Parenting is challenging and frustrating. It’s hard to know if you’re doing the right things and making wise choices that will benefit your children. It can sometimes feel like there’s no good answer for many of the parenting situations you find yourself in.
In parenting, as in the rest of life, perfection isn’t a possibility. Do your best and shoot for excellence, instead!
Use these tips to accept your flaws and be the best parent you can be:
1. No one teaches you how to be a great parent. You learn a lot of things in school, but parenting skills aren’t commonly covered. You can read a book, observe others, or make it up as you go along.
- Being a great parent isn’t easy. This is easy to prove to yourself by looking at all the poor examples of parents you’ve known.
2. Learn from your own parents. Whether your parents were spectacular, mediocre, or terrible, there is something that you can learn from them.
- Think about what your parents did well.
- Consider the ways in which your parents failed.
- There is a lot of good information you can use from your childhood. Discuss this with your siblings if they’re willing.
3. Ask for feedback from your children. Tell your kids that you want to be a better parent and ask for advice. Ask them what you could do better. A lot of the information you’re given won’t be helpful, but there will be a few gold nuggets of advice in there. You might hear a few things you’ve never considered.
4. Ignore the non-experts. Everyone you meet will have an opinion about how to better parent children. Plenty of those people will give you advice without you asking for it. Everyone likes to be an armchair quarterback. Consider their feedback but make your own decision about whether to implement their ideas.
5. Cover the basics. These may be basic, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy! Do your best to ensure that your kids see these concepts in action.
- Children and everyone else need to have high self-esteem. Life is miserable and limiting without it.
- School matters. Help your child to do as well as they can in school. Good students have more opportunities.
- Be a good role model. Your children are always watching you.
- Money matters. Love is great, but it won’t pay the rent, buy shoes, or pay for the doctor. Spend your working day trying to maximize your income.
- Keep them safe.
- Teach them the important things. Teach them the importance of saving money, how to make friends, how to deal with negative emotions, be honest, and other things that speak to your values.
- Spend time with them each day. We spend time on the things that matter. When you ignore your children, they know they don’t matter.
- Love unconditionally. Show your children that you love them even when they make mistakes.
6. You can do everything right and still have challenges. Children aren’t plants. You can’t be guaranteed of success just by adding some water and fertilizer. Each child is different. You could be as perfect as humanly possible and still have a child that struggles.
7. Read. Parenting is one of the most researched areas of study in the world. There are a lot of great books that all parents can read and use.
No parent can be perfect. You’re doomed to feel like a failure if perfection is your goal. Fortunately, kids are quite resilient and don’t require perfect parenting. Keep doing your best and trying to improve. Be the best parent you can be and your children will eventually thank you for it.