Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs out there. It comes with a mountain of pressure. You never ever get a raise, and sometimes you don’t hear “thank you” as much as you deserve. But, at the end of the (exhausting) day, it’s still the most rewarding job you’ve ever had.
There isn’t one parenting manual that works for everybody. No child is the same — thank god for that. There have been many different theories on how to properly raise a child. Just walk into a bookstore to find everything from how to correctly discipline your children to how to help your child develop high self-esteem. Any question you have, there are multiple theories and answers for it. So, it’s hard to know what will work for you as a parent and what advice fits into your lifestyle.
There’s some advice that you can throw out the window and then there’s some you hold on to and lock it up. Some advice stands the test of time. Here are some old school parenting tips that will always remain relevant.
Follow The Golden Rule
Treating others the way you want to be treated never goes out of style. This applies to raising children as well. They learn by example, so make sure they learn the best kind of example. Treat your children with kindness and respect and they (hopefully) should return the favor.
Don’t Try To Be A “Perfect” Parent
Being a “perfect” parent is setting yourself up for failure. There is no such thing. Instead of trying to be “perfect,” try and just be the best parent you can be. It’s not about doing everything “correctly,” it’s just about loving and caring for your child in your own way. So put down those self-help books on how to raise children and go with your intuition. Only you know what’s best for you and your family.
You Are Their Parent, Not Their Best Friend
I know it’s easier being the good cop, rather than the bad cop. But to be a good parent, you gotta pull out the bad cop sometimes. First and foremost, you are your child’s parent — not his or her best friend. It’s important to share with them, but you can’t share every part of your life with them (hello: sex life, etc). And even though your child might say they wish you were their best friend, what they really need and secretly want is a strong and secure parent.
Setting limits is crucial, but following through with those limits is of the utmost importance. If you tell your child you are going to “turn around this car if they don’t stop screaming” and you don’t literally turn the car around, you’ve lost the war. You will most likely loose many battles after that as well.
Watch What You Say
The saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones. But words will never harm me” does not apply here. Words are powerful and you have to especially remember to watch your words around your children. Whether it’s foul language that you don’t want them to repeat or negative statements that come out of your mouth, your kid(s) will remember it. Your words carry an enormous amount of weight, so don’t make them too heavy to carry.
Be On The Same Page
If there are two parents involved in the child’s life, it’s important you both are on the same page. A child needs structure and consistency from both sides. Whether you are raising the child(ren) together or separately, you both should communicate where each other stands on rules, discipline, etc.
Don’t Be A Helicopter Parent
Being a helicopter parent is not fun for you, nor your child. Constantly hovering over their life will leave them with little to no independence, and probably some co-dependency issues. Just like birds, you want to prepare them to fly from your nest.
Take Time For Yourself
In order to be the best you for your child you need to be the best you for yourself. Self care is highly important. Do things that make you happy and that add peace and calmness in your life. Whether that is running, taking a relaxing bath or meditating, it’s crucial you make time for your own self.
Images: Giphy (8)