There is a lot of parenting advice in the world. There’s a lot of so called experts and gurus all online telling you how to parent your child and which method is right. Everything has become trendy in the social media world even something as serious as parenting. I’ve blocked a lot of the noise out because I truly feel parenting is gut instinct. You know your child best and you parent based on that child. And if there are serious issues that are beyond your scope, you seek professional help. I mean how else did our parents do it without the social media world? Today, I will list the fifteen tips I live by when parenting my own children. I am not an expert or psychologist and I’m not here to give advice. I’m just a mom writing about what has worked for me.
1. My children are not mini adults. They are children with developing brains and they are going to figure out life as they grow. I am here to guide, protect and lead them in the right direction. I will fill their minds with things they need to navigate the world and be productive citizens one day. Let them be free to grow as they are but correct when needed.
2. Never compare my children to other children or each other. Every child is uniquely them and have their own timing for things. Don’t rush the process and don’t let anyone else *ahem school* rush the process either.
3. Don’t be ashamed of seeking professional help. I’m so glad I got my son a therapist and his therapist has helped him a ton in regulating his emotions and behavior.
4. Children are human beings with their own complex issues, feelings and ideas. Knowing this, I understand there will be good and bad days and just roll with it.
5. Apologize when I’m wrong. If I yelled or I felt like I could have handled something differently, I apologize and explain to them I’m human and I get frustrated at times and I’m working on it.
6. As a parent, actively work on yourself. Take care of yourself and mental health, it’s important. You have to be mentally well and whole for your children. You really can’t pour from an empty cup.
7. Breaks are necessary. You’re not a bad parent just because you’re not with your children 24/7. Take time to have fun, work on a hobby and just enjoy a break from your children. And it doesn’t have to be a long break from them either.
8. Take time to see how your kids are doing. Make sure they always feel valued and heard in the household. And ask them if you can share what they told you with a relative or friend. You want to make sure the lines of communication stays open and they feel comfortable sharing things with you and know you won’t blast their business unless they told you it’s okay.
9. If you’re a single parent like me, don’t overcompensate because the other parent is not there. They don’t need more things, more money. They want the other parent and that’s not something you can give them if the other parent doesn’t want to be there. Try not to talk bad about the other parent and figure out the best way to explain the situation to the child.
10. Your children are not mini versions of you. They are uniquely them with traits that may be like you because y’all share the same DNA but they are not you. Try not to live life through your child or try to make them be someone they’re not. Pay attention to their interests and gear their activities towards it. They might not be the pro football star but they could be an amazing artist, play guitar or anything else and that’s perfectly okay.
11. Morals are very important and builds a child’s character. Making sure my kids know to be kind to others, compassionate, humble and have courage are important. I teach them these things by being the things I want to see in them. And we also practice faith and we live according to His word. Having my kids be connected to something greater than us is very important to me.
12. Have spontaneous fun with your children. Life is about living and enjoying every moment with people we love dearly. I love jumping in puddles with my children, racing at the park with them and playing games with them.
13. Love on your children. When you say I love you to your children, show them love also. They need to know that’s not an empty phrase and that you mean it. I told my kids to tell me when they need mommy time or a hug. I wasn’t very affectionate before I had my children and I had to learn how to be more affectionate for them. And now, I know their cues and know when they need a little extra attention or hug.
14. Realize YOU, the parent, can be wrong at times. As parents, we’re not perfect and we’re not superheroes. Sometimes we handle things wrong or say the wrong things. You just have to hold yourself accountable, do better and realize we don’t always get it right no matter how hard we try to do so. For example, I thought the school had my child’s best interests at heart and I was completely wrong. I stepped in, corrected the issues by advocating for my child and now he knows I will always be by his side fighting for him.
15. Set clear boundaries and discipline. When you mention discipline, it seems everyone thinks about beatings but that’s not the only type of discipline. Discipline is one of the most important parts of parenting. This gives a child the structure and stability they need to be responsible and respectful. Having rules and structure in a household only helps a child not harm them. Discipline helps children learn about consequences and they’ll learn to take accountability for their own actions. How you choose to discipline your child is up to you. Just don’t abuse your children.
I hope you enjoyed reading the fifteen parenting tips I live by. Being a parent is more like being on a rollercoaster than a fairytale. As parents, we have a huge responsibility of raising good human beings that will be productive, compassionate, humble, disciplined, have good morals, work hard and all of those good character traits. Make sure you are also modeling the behavior you want to see in your children.
If you’re having a hard time in life and you realize you’re taking your frustrations out on your children, ask for help and get a therapist. If you notice things with your children, seek professional help. Don’t be ashamed of doing so. It doesn’t mean you failed as a parent.
Here’s to all the good parents that are worried if they’re doing right!