As we all know there is not a manual handed to us on “How to be a Good Parent” when we leave the hospital with our precious new bundle of joy. We soon find out that the adventure of parenting is going to be one of trial and error.
There’s no love like the love between a parent and a child. From the first breath your child takes, there is not a thing you wouldn’t do for the safety and well being of your child. A parent’s love does not have to be reciprocated. No matter what happens with your child you will always love them.
The saying “love is blind” comes to mind when describing a parent/child relationship. We have all experienced that demon child in the store, restaurant, etc. and thought how can the parents not see how bad that kid is, right?! Yet, at times the very demon is our own child. Don’t let that blindness of your love for them keep you from holding your child accountable to the authority you have as the parent.
We experienced being parents while we were still teenagers. We went from being under our parents authority to having that authority as parents. Finding out who we were as parents became our priority. We did not find it acceptable that because we were teenagers that somehow exempted us from our responsibilities. We just knew we wanted to raise a respectful human being who hopefully would one day contribute positively to society.
That meant that we had to feed, cloth, and nurture our babies to the best of our abilities. Did you catch that, I said to the best of our abilities. Our abilities, however, had to continue to mature from the teenagers we were to responsible adults. We could no longer stay in a child-like frame of mind. As parents we had to continually cultivate our parenting skills- what worked for one kid did not work for the other.
The biggest thing for our family about parenting is consistency. Consistency in our love for them, our words to them, and discipline. Our consistency defines a part of our character as parents. Our kids know this to be true as to who we are as parents. They in turn respect the structure because the outcome is going to be the same. That’s not to say they like our parenting technique, but they do respect it because it is required. As the saying goes in our house: “you may have a strong will, but mine (dad and mom) is stronger”. This requires us as parents to act as the adults: be consistent in our behavior and make tough adult decisions that kids do not have the ability to comprehend.
But, there have also been times when an apology is in order. Parenting is a learn as you go process. You realize the decision or a reaction you made was the wrong one. Therefore, asking your child for forgiveness shows your child that you are willing to admit you are wrong, you don’t have all the answers, and you are by no means perfect. Remind them you are doing the best you know how to because….there is no manual.
Question of the day: What would you include in a parenting manual?