By Margie Slider
Parenting as we know doesn’t come with a manual! Not like replacing a furnace or fixing a car. Sure there are many, many books which have been written by experts and non-experts, but which ones are the ones you should read. Which strategies and styles work and which don’t?
Well I have looked after kids for many decades, actually since I was 10 years old. I was the neighborhood babysitter way back when kids looked after kids. Our responsibility was very different back then. I have worked with kids from newborn to 19 years, special needs kids and juvenile delinquents. I have had my own at home daycare and stayed home to raise my own two kids… now 16 and almost 18. I consider myself an expert in the field of parenting and dealing with kids.
There are many different ways to parent, many different strategies which work, others which don’t. However; just because a strategy works for one child, doesn’t mean it will work for all. Children are all unique with individual personalities,
No power… all control!… Some parents are total control freaks. When it comes to parenting, their kids can’t ever do anything right, or they don’t allow their kids to make mistake That would mean they will be losing control as a parent if their child was to get hurt or disappoint. Kids need to feel that they have some amount of power to make decisions and choices on their own. This is how they learn to become independent and responsible.
No responsibilities... This is how kids learn, to gain a sense of self-worth, to feel important and valued and that they have something to offer. It’s also what helps prepare them for the years ahead by teaching them about household chores, and daily occurrences.
Too many rules... there are some rules which families have as their family rules. Maybe like no cell phones while they are eating, or homework must be done before dinner etc. Then there are rules which are non-negotiable like being strapped properly into car seats, or never going anywhere with a stranger. However; too many rules cause anxiety, frustration, disrespect and disappointment. The children feel trapped and like they always have to be perfect, which is not realistic.
Putting your kids down, humiliating or disrespecting them… this also causes anxiety as well as a feelings of not being worthy, not being important or good enough. It eats away at their sense of worth and self-esteem, which leads to other problems.
Parent-child reverse roles... it is not a child’s job to be the parent! It is their job to be the kid. To learn and grow, have fun and be raised in a safe, nurturing environment. It is your job to be the best parent you can be!
I encourage you to look at some of the rules, morals and values which you rule your family by and ask yourself, are these, your truths or are they what you were raised with and you continue to follow. Or do you believe them because they were your parents and you haven’t had the courage to follow your own inner being? Raise your children to be the best they can be… it is their right!