By Karen Deerwester, Ed.S.
Parenting can get very confusing in today’s world. Here are 5 valuable tips on how to approach the overwhelming amount of parenting information available to parents today.
- YOU ARE THE ONLY EXPERT WHEN IT COMES TO RAISING YOUR CHILD.“Experts” are only resources to help you on your parenting journey. Use what seems helpful. Rework parenting suggestions to fit your personal style, your child’s individual personality and your current family situation. Don’t get too caught up with doing everything “the right way” – children listen far better with their hearts than with than ears.
- IF SOMETHING ISN’T BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT. Have you ever gotten advice not to do something that seems to work in your family? Ignore the message for now. If something is truly wrong for your family, you will get other unmistakable signals that it’s time for a change. Behaviors will start to escalate until they cannot be ignored any longer. You will begin to question if you are growing with your child’s changing needs. Focus on today. You have plenty of time to deal with future problems in the future.
- BE YOURSELF. Parents are individuals. The key to successful parenting is to parent from within yourself. A good parent, at one time or another stands alone, when everyone else thinks she’s lost her mind. Trust that the person you are will be an invaluable influence in the life of your child. Go ahead – compare yourself to others – watch, learn and grow from what you see. But always come back to sharing your true self with your children. Children need real people around them if they are going to grow into real people themselves.
- NO ONE CAN PARENT 24-7 FOREVER. Parents require practical and emotional support for a very demanding job. No one can raise children isolated within her own home and remain sane. You must take care of your needs if you plan on being there to take care of your children. Build yourself a support network – with relatives, friends, mommy & me classes, or within a school community. You are not alone in the challenges and joys of living with children.
- NEVER JUDGE ANOTHER MOTHER OR FATHER. Parenting is not about “getting it right”. Parenting is about having the emotional and practical resources to do what it takes everyday over a long period of time to raise your child to his or her fullest potential. Criticism destroys a parent’s foundation for success. Accept that everyone brings something different to the parenting experience. We are all learning together.
Parents might also enjoy this article, 10 Qualities of Successful Parents by Wes Fessler, our friend at Family Fun Shop.
Karen Deerwester is the owner of Family Time Coaching & Consulting, writing and lecturing on parenting and early childhood topics since 1984. Karen is also the Mommy & Me director at The Ruth and Edward Taubman Early Childhood Center at B�nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton.
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