Parenting is Challenging

Lately, many self-help books and videos about parenting have appeared in book stores and libraries. This information is meant to help us to be positive, nurturing, encouraging, confident, responsible, and effective parents. Does all of this sound as if a parent should be some sort of saint or a knight in shining armor? While it is true that we are responsible to help our children to grow and learn as individuals, it is also true that we need to take care of our own lives as well. How can we be good role models if we are unhappy, frustrated and yell at our children all the time?

Reading a book about parenting can be confusing at times. When reading some books, we may think "I've been a bad parent", so we give up and feel defeated. We may say "this sounds good" and try to do things differently all at once, leading to arguments and frustrations. The advice given in most books is meant to be some helpful hints.

If you attempt to change everything at one time, it may complicate life even more than it was before. It may confuse children and make them feel insecure. To alleviate some of that, pick one or two things that need to be different and try it out for a while. Ask the children how they feel and see how the family reacts before trying to change anything more. Change made gradually and with feeling may last longer and be more effective.

Another important fact to remember is that we need to trust ourselves and our common sense. We know our own children better than anyone else. Using our own intuition can tell us when the time is right to make changes in the family. Love for our children should be our guide.

Relationships with our children is what is most important. Hints and advice may be useful but our interactions with our children need to be based on love and trust. If children know that they are loved no matter what, we can make some mistakes and still be effective parents. Taking time to communicate and really listen to children may the best technique that can be learned.

There are many ways to raise our children depending on our own personalities and temperaments and that of our children. Communication, listening and positive discipline with consistency and stability are some important facts to remember. As parents we all want to raise responsible adults. Doing that takes time, patience and love. Help is available for people who feel that their skills need improvement. Don't be afraid to ask - we all need and want to improve our skills for the sake of our children. Being a parent is a job and a challenge. That challenge can be met head-on as long as we all remember that listening to our intuition and feelings is most important for us all.

Copyright 1994,1995 Lovina Pivin
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