Skip to main content

Confident Parenting

[Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed below have come to me after years of raising children who differ in their personalities, strengths, and talents.  This post is not about any one child, but rather what I have been taught by all of my children collectively.]




Let's face it:  when we become parents, we really have no clue as to what we are doing.  We might be educated, we might have experience working with children, and we probably understand that parenting is a huge undertaking, but we don't yet know our child--the precious individual we have the privilege of raising. 

When I was pregnant with my first child, someone told me, "The best advice I can give you is to realize that you are the mom. You know your child better than anyone else." As I am ever-so-quickly approaching empty-nest status, I think I am finally figuring that out.

I know from experience that what works for one, doesn't necessarily work for another.  General principles can be universal--love and respect come immediately to mind--but specific teaching techniques vary. 

As a competitive, goal-oriented person who enjoys checking items off lists, I have been guilty of looking for the "to-do" list of child-rearing.  How do I inspire motivation in my child?  How do I teach him or her everything required to succeed in life?  Am I a good parent?

While self-reflection can be useful, I find that too many questions stem from comparison with others, and that is neither healthy nor helpful--for me, or my child.  Just as I realize that each of my children differ from the others, I need to remember that each of my children differ from me, and each differ from every other person. 

I am a confident parent when I compare my child to no one and celebrate with my child each step of personal growth.  (OK, I know there are situations where you might need to discuss developmental milestones with health professionals, but even/especially with limiting conditions, the idea of not worrying yourself/your child with comparisons remains the same.) With the exception of deity, no one knows my child better than my husband and I.  I do not need to answer the why questions of others with anything more than, "This works best for us."  When I start to feel overwhelmed by some ridiculous notion, such as, "My child needs to know, do, or be x before age y," I need to ask myself if that is actually true.   

Please do not misunderstand me.  I want my children to set goals and be life-long learners, and I very much believe in parents taking an active role in their children's lives, helping them to learn, build faith and develop character.   I just need to remember to be a confident parent.   I'm not perfect, but when I'm confident, I'm a more relaxed and pleasant mom.

What have you learned through your parenting journey, or, if you are just starting out, what do you hope to learn?  I'd love to hear from you!

Thankful thought:  Thanks for parenting,  life's best teaching opportunity.

You might find my posts on these blog hops:
Sew Darn Crafty Party,  Find a Friend Friday, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop, Show Your Stuff, The Wildly Original Link Party, Wow Us Wednesdays, Down Home Blog Hop, Tuesday Archive Link Up, Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River, Grandparents Say It Saturday
The Creative Home Acre Hop Best Blog Post Ever, Grand Social,
Crafty Garden Mama,
Let's Get Social Sundays

Comments

  1. I'm so glad you have this perspective. I mean obviously I'm not a parent, but I am a psychology major and it really frustrates me how so much emphasis is put on comparing people with what's "normal". I think that often does more harm than good, especially with kids. Not that I know anything about anything, but I certainly agree with you :]

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Post-Thanksgiving Edition

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I'll jump right in:

1. I'm thankful for cooperative return policies. Several weeks ago, I mentioned that I had to return a range that I had purchased, and I hoped that the particular range was just a lemon and that the replacement wouldn't have the same problem. Well, unfortunately, it did. On the bright side, the store quickly picked up the second range and refunded my money. I'm putting appliance purchases on the back burner (!) for the moment. 

2. I'm thankful for temples. I went one morning this week to the temple. I'm always amazed at how much insight comes in just an hour or two of reflection. 

3. I'm thankful for my sister. She and her family came to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with her in-laws, and I got a chance to see her and her family on Wednesday. The last time I saw her was in January at our grandma's 100th birthday celebration. We feel lucky to have two visits in one year! 

4. I'm thankful for my brother. …

Ten Things of Thankful: Home Edition

This has been a take-care-of-things-at-home week, and I'm thankful.  It feels good to tackle the mundane, yet necessary, tasks of home.  




I've done loads and loads of laundry.  (1) I'm thankful for clothes, sheets, and towels.  

I've paid bills. (2) I'm thankful for sufficient money to meet our needs.

I've de-cluttered. (3) I'm thankful that still-useful items can be shared with others.

I've done some aquarium maintenance. (4) I'm thankful for beautiful fish that provide a calming influence.

I've dusted, vacuumed, and cleaned. (5) I'm thankful for the joy that comes with a clean house.

I've tackled paperwork. (6) I'm thankful for the satisfaction that comes when tasks are completed.

I've received my ballot, and will soon vote. (7) I'm thankful to live in a free country. 

I've washed dishes.  (8) I'm thankful to have plenty of good, healthy food to eat. 

I've spent time reviewing commands with Drexel.  (9) I'm thankful …

Ten Things of Thankful: California Poppies

Spring has arrived.  On Wednesday, I took off for a few hours to hike.  The weather was perfect:  the sun was shining, the wind kept itself to a cool, slight breeze (as opposed to Thursday, when the sustained wind speed was 37.5 mph), and the temperature was warm, but not oppressive.  

My Ten Things of Thankful list this week will be mostly made of photos.  Each time I climbed another hill, or turned another corner, I was delighted with the new view.  Come along with me!

The poppy fields can be seen from miles away.

Many other people had the same idea I had on Wednesday. The line to get into the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve was longer than I've ever seen it. Many cars turned around and decided to just park on the main street and hike into the reserve.

Once I finally got the car parked and started to hike, I was greeted with wonderful views.  I hiked the steepest and furthest trails, and was rewarded by moments of solitude.