Parenting: Be The Parent That Your Child Desires
Wouldn’t things be a lot easier if parenting came with a handbook that answers the million and one questions that you have about what to do as a parent? Nobody ever has everything figured out and it’s already hard enough when you have to simply worry about yourself but now, there’s a whole human being that is so different from you but has so many of your quirks that they just almost seem like that they are just like you.
Before going ahead, you need to know that your child is not exactly like you. They might look a lot like you, act, speak or walk like you do but they are not exactly as you are. After all, even carbon copies are merely look-alikes. This fact is important because you need to remember that your child isn’t you and doesn’t necessarily have to be raised exactly as you were raised or turn out exactly as you did no matter how great that is.
Here are a few guidelines that just might help;
Be your best 'original' self
As much as you can, try to be your best. Your children are always watching and children, in general, are known for their uncanny ability to model their parents. So work to be your best self. Mistakes are bound to happen though so have the courage to own up to it and let them see you do this. It shows them that no matter how hard they would try to be the best, sometimes mistakes happen and that shouldn’t define you. It’s what you do afterwards that will.
A lot of times, children go around feeling like they aren’t being listened to and this might make them feel small and like they don’t have a voice to lend in the long run. They should never feel like this around you as a parent. It is your responsibility as a parent to make them feel heard and seen as this helps with their self-confidence too. Listen to them, not with the intention of simply responding but to understand them and see their point of view.
Keep an open mind
It’s not enough to simply listen to things they say sometimes. Keep your mind open and receptive to their needs and ideas. Don’t give them a bunch of rules and simply expect them to fall in line. Remember that they are separate and different individuals from you with their own thoughts, needs and ideas. Giving them a bunch of rules for them to follow, especially without an explanation or reason, is not the way to go. And if they disagree with your opinions, hear them out and try to see reason and both of you can eventually settle on a compromise.
Be a tight lid box
You might feel like children’s feelings can’t be hurt or that they’d “get over it” but sometimes, they don’t. They can probably list the number of times they had told you something in confidence and they ended up hearing it from another relative. If you doubt it, just ask them and see. No matter how close you and your siblings are, your child’s business isn’t really their business. And the truth is children don’t forget and for every time you spill their secrets, you chip away at the trust they have in you. Sooner or later, they’d hold back from telling you things and that’s bad for both of you and your relationship with each other.
Have their back, always
Be a loyal friend to them unconditionally. Have their back all day, every day no questions asked. There’s nothing better than the feeling that someone loves them unconditionally and is constantly in their corner. Even when they’re in the wrong, it wouldn’t be so hard for them to come to you because they know that you wouldn’t turn them away and you’re their best bet in figuring out whatever ness they might be in.
Love them intentionally
This might seem like a pretty easy job but it really isn’t. To love them with intention isn’t just by words alone but by sacrifice sometimes. This is important because it teaches them how to love you in return and how to love the people around them. Be the poster of love for them. Let your love for each other be a scale of almost perfect measure to them.
Parenthood isn’t an easy journey, don’t expect it to be. It takes practice and experience garnered over time. You’re bound to make a couple of mistakes along the way so be patient with yourself and your child. You’ve got this!