Parenting Slump? Here are the Top Dos and Don’ts for Parents
According to all the strict parents quotes you can find on websites like Pinterest and Tumblr, you might be tempted to believe that some people are just not suited to aptly guide someone on their life journey. Nonetheless, a simple imagination exercise of putting yourself in their shoes may reveal parenting to be a little trickier than you initially thought.
In the book ‘How to Build Self-Esteem and Be Confident: Overcome Fears, Break Habits, Be Successful and Happy’, Maddy Malhotra makes the point that “If mental abuse was a punishable crime, a lot of parents would be in jail serving a long term.”
It seems like no parent in history had it all figured out, and no parent will probably ever be 100% perfect. This is why today, inspired by the multitude of selfish parents quotes I have come across, as well as some amazing parenting videos (which I will link at the end of the post), I decided to make a list. These tips are meant to offer both a guideline and a reminder for what is crucial for improving your relationship with your child.
Even Amy Chua, a woman who has been described as a regular ‘tiger mom’, confesses that “Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. (…) If I could do it all again, I would, with some adjustments.” I think this is a point of view that many of us share but few of us are willing to fully admit.
What NOT to do as a parent
If you wish to put your mind at rest, know that there is no absolute ‘right‘ or ‘wrong‘ way to parent a child. We all have faults, bad days and traits that make some things easier to do than others. However, there is always something to do in order to change for the better. You can conquer your fear of failing and start observing what you’re doing in relationship to your child, so as to improve your long-term relationship and give your child all the advantages he or she needs in life.
1. Don’t criticize them. In time, this will breed resentment and a low self-esteem.
“Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.” Bill Ayers
2. Don’t think for them. You have to teach them to make their own decisions.
3. Avoid replacing consequences with lectures.
4. Don’t rescue them from their problems. This will not help with self-sufficiency.
5. Don’t use anger to deliver the consequences of their actions. This turns the child against the parent instead of making them focus on what the right solution might have been.
“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” Bette Davis
6. Don’t assume that just because they’re young, babies can’t understand things. Babies are capable of comprehending everything, especially limits, which will be incredibly important in their future.
7. In the case of babies, Ferberization may just be the most damaging parenting method out there. It will really harm the trust between you and your child. Therefore it’s best to avoid this technique altogether.
8. Don’t become your child’s servant. Your role is not simply that of a provider.
9. Don’t become a rule-enforcing dictator either.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” Anthony Robbins
10. Don’t feed them counterproductive beliefs. Reinforcing the ‘I can’t’ mentality will surely alter their self-confidence. This can only be done by stating beliefs that you yourself believe in. You can’t say one thing and do another.
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” James Baldwin
What to DO instead…
11. Let them evaluate situations, without telling them what to think. Try offering different options to get them to reach the correct conclusion.
12. Let them learn from their good and bad choices. The hardest thing to do as a parent is to let go of a child and watch as they experience the consequences of their own judgment. You should do this without putting them in harm’s way, of course. But it is an extremely important process for the development of a strong adult individual.
13. Become a sort of guide for your child. Think of it this way: you have been here longer. Help them fit into the world so that they too can find the appropriate personality and purpose that suits the life they need to create for themselves.
“If you are a parent, open doors to unknown directions to the child so he can explore. Don’t make him afraid of the unknown, give him support.” Osho
14. Allow them to solve their own problems. This will help them feel free, and build a confident mindset.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin
15. After they have made certain bad decisions, offer them empathy and understanding. The advantage here is that, instead of becoming the enemy yourself, now the bad thing is the adversary.
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” Jim Valvano
16. the one who pays attention to their own true self will teach their children to do the same. Therefore, the child will grow up trusting themselves to stay in alignment with their own guidance system. They will look for freedom instead of rebellion.
“Parents who discipline their child by discussing the consequences of their actions produce children who have better moral development, compared to children whose parents use authoritarian methods and punishment.” Simon Baron-Cohen, Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty
17. When you can’t control what they do, use enforceable statements. They will eventually learn that you have no control over what they do or don’t do.
18. Being prepared when it comes to parenting will give your child a sense that he is, in essence, a good person because he is not causing any trouble for his parents.
“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange, it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding
19. Set limits. Because we live in a society that strongly values limits, it is important to learn how to set healthy boundaries from an early age.
20. Teach them that they create their own lives, not you. You are essentially a temporary provider for everything they will learn to eventually procure on their own. This will set up the child to become self-sufficient and not depend on others.
21. Teach by example how to trust one’s own emotions. Follow all the instincts that ultimately lead to your happiness and let the child witness this in order for him or her to learn how to do it as well.
22. Offer your children good examples by demonstrating the attitude you want to teach them to practice on a daily basis. This is a great excuse to become exactly what you are meant to be, which essentially makes your child your biggest teacher.
“Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.” Albert Einstein
If you believe we each came to this planet with a purpose in mind, then you have to recognize that, from this point of view, there is no difference between you and your child. You are both separate entities who have a goal in life. Therefore as a parent, you have to teach your child to go in the direction of this target and build a life that supports and leads to the fulfillment of this purpose. By trusting that they know what is right or wrong, you are leading them on the path of their life purpose. You are allowing them to do what they were born to do in the first place.
If you recall any popular quotes about bad parents from dramatic movies, you are probably aware of the bad rep these caregivers can get. Nevertheless, there is always a silver lining.
Strict parents quotes are born from love
You can see various stereotypes emerge from so many strict parents quotes and sayings about the attitude some adults adopt when raising their kids. However, none is more prevalent nowadays than the “tiger mom”. Usually, this kind of rigorous mother makes her children undergo a busy schedule and has only the highest expectations for her kids’ academic results.
I’m sure you think this type of parent to be an example of what not to do when raising a child. Nevertheless, it looks like there are lessons to be learned from this parenting style. ‘Why I love my strict Chinese mom’ is a sweet, touching confession from the daughter of such a parent. Sophia gives us the positive effects of her upbringing. She shares personal family stories with the purpose of defending her mother and her way of thinking, and parenting. Her heartfelt description of her mother paints a lovely picture of some of the positive results a good parenting method can bring.
Making your kids happy is the ultimate goal
There are Internet resources like ParentSupportHub, in case you need further assistance or just a place to get inspiration or even reassurance. Because, if I’ve learned anything from the strict parents quotes I’ve come across, the positive life quotes, and even my own experience with parenting, it is the fact that, like Oscar Wilde said: “The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”
Image source: Pixabay