Mothers and fathers always do the best they can to raise their children to the best of their abilities. But just like our children, we need reassurance and reminding as to the things that really matter.
I believe there are 7 things that every parent needs to know, so that they are in a better frame of mind to raise their children.
You don’t need to be the ‘perfect’ parent.
One of the greatest aspects of parenting is the love we feel for our children. But this love can often translate into trying too hard to be the ‘perfect’ parent. We try to manage everything: housework, yummy dinners, playing with the kids; to the point where we end up feeling exhausted and stressed. Try to manage what you are capable of, but know that a simple slip up like forgetting an appointment does not mean you’re a ‘bad’ parent. It just means that you are human. By recognising that you aren’t perfect, you are teaching your children that it IS okay to make mistakes in life!
There is no ‘right’ way. Just the ‘right’ way for YOU.
We always wonder whether we’re making the right decisions for our children. We question whether we should’ve done things differently. But the important thing to realise is that there is no ‘right’ way for everyone, just the right way for US. Everyone has different parenting styles and also children with varied personalities, so it’s expected that the decisions we make would differ as well. If you give your decisions a lot of considerable thought, then you’re probably already doing what is ‘right’ for you.
Don’t let the advice of others get you down.
Parents are always confronted with a lot of unsolicited advice, but the key is to take on board only what you choose to. Close family and friends will want you to succeed, so naturally, they will give you advice because it worked for them in the past. But don’t feel pressured to change the way you raise your children. The purpose of advice is to help a person see another course of action, not to feel forced to do what they don’t feel comfortable with.
Don’t view parenting as a loss of freedom.
Society tends to perceive ‘settling down’ i.e. getting married and/or having children as the beginning of a loss of freedom. But that is simply not true. Children may change our priorities and lead us to sacrifice what we otherwise would not have, but it doesn’t mean that ‘life has stopped’. You can still have that job you’ve always wanted or go travelling, it’s just being put on hold for the moment, as you raise your beautiful children. You only need to look at your kids to see the positive effect that your sacrifices have made.
Talk about your feelings.
If you ever feel overwhelmed with the stresses of being a parent, confide in someone. Just because we love our children, doesn’t mean we always love their behaviour. Vent to a friend or share your feelings with your partner. No matter what the medium is, make sure you acknowledge how you are feeling.
Unconditional love is all that children need.
Sometimes we feel regret thinking that we don’t do enough for our children or provide them with enough. But what children need the most is not a parent that always gets it ‘right’ or a parent that always has financial stability. They need a parent that will give them unconditional love. If you are able to make them feel safe, loved and cared for, then all the things you regret will be meaningless in the end.
And remember that life is short.
At the end of the day, we must remember that life is precious. The housework and bills are important, but so is the time with your children. Always make sure that your children feel loved, you never know where life could lead tomorrow.
So next time you are sitting there with your children, keep these 7 things in mind. Our children are the future and it is never too late to give them the best start in life. Be the parent that YOU want to be.
Thuy Yau is happily married and a stay at home mother of 3. It is her passion in life to help others and she loves doing so through writing. She writes for her website Inside a Mother’s Mind and has recently begun her first novel.