This is a sponsored guest post.
Being a parent is like going on a long roller coaster ride. There are ups and downs, but no matter what, you need to buckle up and keep moving forward. Your kids rely on you, learn from you and need your constant support and encouragement, no matter how old they get. There is no way you get to be expert parents by reading a few books or taking an online course. The only way to do it right is to be the best version of yourself for your kids and experience life as it comes.
Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Eat, Pray, Love says “Having a child is like getting a tattoo… on your face. You better be committed.”
You might never know what life has to offer but the best thing you can do is be part of the experience. It involves making the time from an extremely busy life to be present for the little joys that parenting is comprised of. Needless to say, this isn’t easy and is indeed a responsibility that will take a lifetime to fulfill.
Here are five things you didn’t know about parenting:
- You learn more from your kids than you thought – The biggest pressure about being a parent is that your kids learn almost everything from you. The truth is that you learn a lot from them as well. Being a parent is not about telling them what they need to do. It is about showing them how they can get it done. You show your child what kindness is by being kind, motivating them to overcome failure by leading by example and directing them to strive for greatness by doing so yourself. It means you have to frequently get out of your comfort zone and experience life as you want your kids to. If there is anything you wish you could change in your child, it is better to examine yourself first and see if there is anything you could change in yourself.
- You monitor everything – Once you have children, their safety becomes your biggest priority. You begin to monitor what they eat, what they are exposed to, how much they sleep and so on. It does bode well to understand the mechanics of health and take conscious steps towards providing them a better environment. Our children are unfortunately exposed to many unhealthy elements in their diet. Caffeine in sodas and large amounts of sugar in their treats can negatively impact their health. Many parents opt to using Caffeine Calculators to monitor and regulate their intakes.
- Your purchasing behavior changes – As parents, there is nothing resembling ‘cutting costs’ in your purchasing behavior. Each product you buy for your children comes with extensive research into quality, safety, and durability. For example, if you are looking to purchase a new hybrid mattress for your child, you aren’t going to make an impulse purchase of a popular brand like the Purple mattress. You are going to research the quality of the product, compare it with other brands, see the materials they use and their trial periods before investing in the product. Parenting is about giving them a safe, nurturing environment so they can transform into smart, independent adults.
- You are going to apologize for your mistakes – The biggest misconception of being a parent is that you do not have to apologize. Unfortunately, this is not true. Parents need to acknowledge and apologize for their mistakes. It teaches the children accountability, honesty and gives them a sense of justice. It teaches them that rules are for everyone and it is meant to be respected and observed. It humanizes you in tough situations and shows them first-hand how to accept their mistakes. Apologizing is never a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
- You can’t always make them happy – Parenting is about teaching them how to make the right choices which might involve disciplining them. They might get mad at you and that is a choice you have to make. You can’t always be the fun parent, nor can you disregard the rules you have set for them. Holding them accountable for their actions may invite tantrums and words you never wanted to hear. But, being firm in your beliefs is important for them to respect your authority. It might break your heart but that’s what parenting is.
Smart parenting is about helping your child build their own personality, learn from their mistakes, discover their passions and give them the opportunity to blossom. It takes a lot of strength to not force your opinion and interests on your child. It also takes enough emotional maturity to not demean your child when they make a mistake or compare them to a smarter kid when they don’t perform well. As parents, it is normal to feel competitive but only positive words and affirmations can encourage your child to do better.
Motivational speaker Brian Tracy says “If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.”
There are many times in your life that you wonder if you are a good parent. If you do think about that, it means you are concerned about the well-being of your child and so, you probably are. There is no way that you can predict the person your child will grow up to be but with a nurturing home and healthy relationships, you can shape them into a good person with values, morals, and beliefs.
As a parent, your focus is on their holistic development. To get your child to understand the value of education or healthy eating, it is important to be open and honest with them. By creating a non-judgmental, safe zone in your home, you encourage your children to open up to you about 5 things you most likely didn’t know about parenting.