Tips To Better Parenting
Raising children is difficult. It may well be one of the most difficult things a person can ever do. It’s your job to take a human being, and completely form who they are and what kind of person they become. That kind of pressure can be incredibly hard to deal with. It doesn’t help that everyone has their idea of how a child should be raised. They have their thoughts and opinions, and no matter what you do, they’ll always tell you that you’re doing it wrong.
That’s why the best parenting advice ever is not to have children. However, that’s not very realistic advice, because some people really want to have children. There’s nothing wrong with that desire. It just means you have to be ready to understand the kind of job you’ve taken on. Luckily, there are other bits of tips and advice that you can take.
Since the best parenting advice is obviously not going to help you (given you’ve clearly decided to have children), the second best parenting advice most certainly will.
Every single child is a little bit different. That’s the advice, and it’s important to keep in mind. Many people will tell you “children want this” or “children need that”, and think that what they’re saying is gospel truth. This is a common thing for human beings, to presume a general statement will always be true in an individual sense. The real truth, however, is that context is everything. Every child will need something a little bit different. While it may be true that children in general need discipline, for example, how that discipline looks will be different for each child.
This means that you need to work to figure out what does and does not work for you and your child. For some people, time out works wonders. For others, it doesn’t. The important thing is not that you do things the right way, but that you do things in a way that work for you and your child. This might mean that what worked for you as a child won’t actually work for your child. You need to be willing for that to be the case. If you stick to one particular action or routine just because you think it’s the right way, you may be doing more harm than good.
This leads into the third piece of parenting advice. You, as a parent, can be wrong. This is incredibly important to understand. Many parents, when they do something that involves raising their children, stand fast to the idea that they’re completely in the right. If their child argues or questions, they double down on their opinion and punish the child. This is absolutely the wrong course of action. When you act as though you can’t possibly be wrong, your child learns to act in a similar manner. Thus, all you’re doing is training your child to act as if they’re never wrong.
Instead, be willing to admit that you made a mistake. Talk to your child about what could be done differently, and what you were trying to accomplish. It’s possible that your child even has a good idea for how to do what you were trying to do in the first place.
This leads into the next piece of advice. Talk to your children, and actually listen. Many parents get the idea that their children don’t understand what’s going on. There are multiple reasons for this. After all, a parent will raise their child from infancy. So it’s easy to think of a child as still very young, even as they get older. It’s also easy to underestimate how much a child understands at the age of six or seven, leading a parent to get the idea that they simply can’t trust their child’s judgement.
It may be true that your child isn’t fit to understand certain things. But that’s not necessarily true. So ultimately, other than “don’t have children”, the best parenting advice can be summed up with this. Try to engage your child in reality, and not a fantasy. Don’t romanticize the idea of parenthood. Being a parent should be about raising a real human being, and not performing the right acts to make it look like the right thing.