There is no rulebook when it comes to being the perfect parent. In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Every family has their own traditions, values, customs, and routines. There isn’t one “right way” to raise your child. You get to decide the values, skills, and behaviors you want to encourage and discourage and what approaches you want to take.
Being a parent is challenging and important work. There are sleepless nights, toddler upsets, concerns for the future… Just know that if you are trying to be a good parent, you are already on the road to being a great parent to your child. The effort and time you are putting into yourself and your child will be worth it in the long run.
Sometimes, we idealize the type of parent we want to be to our child, or what life will be like once baby is born. And sometimes, we put expectations on ourselves because of the way we were parented. Perhaps, we want to do things differently or live up to what we saw growing up.
While our parenting approach is influenced by how we were raised, it is also influenced by:
- Life experiences
- Opinions of family and friends
You want to be the best parent you can be and you know parenting is important work. The unrealistic expectations we see in the media or expectations others put on us sometimes leave us disappointed in ourselves as parents. Our job as parents is to support our children to grow into healthy, resilient, and fully functioning adults. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion as to how best to achieve that.
There are great resources for us as parents as we learn and grow in the parenting role. Parenting groups are a great source of evidence-based strategies that have been shown to work. A parenting group is also a place to find other parents who may be struggling with similar challenges, and a place to find a peer group of support. You can learn to work with your child’s temperament and developmental stage to provide the support they need to grow and learn within your unique family, in alignment with your values.
Sometimes we learn by trial and error while our child continues to surprise us with new challenges. Just when we find a strategy that seems to be working, our child grows and changes and we need a new strategy.We all make mistakes as parents, and it is in how we repair those mistakes that growth and trust is built with our child. When we admit we made a mistake, or that we wished we had reacted differently to our child, we are teaching them how to build trusting relationships. We are teaching them that we are human, and we can learn and do better.
It takes time to become a good parent and to learn and develop the skills to support your child’s physical and emotional needs. When you show up for your child every day, you are showing them that you care and love them, and you are a family that learns together.
There is no right way to be a parent. Every family is different, and every child has their own needs. The best way to become a good parent is to find an approach that works for you and you feel comfortable with and that will work for your family.
No matter what your values or background, getting support and tips for raising your child can be invaluable. The Positive Parenting approach can help your child and you thrive now and in the future. Programs like Triple P Positive Parenting and local parenting groups such as offered by Parenting Now, can show you how to be positive parents!