Your pregnancy was wonderful and the birth went well. You and your partner are thrilled to bits with the product of your union, and rightly so. However, you probably noticed when you brought your baby home after giving birth, that there was no manufacturer's hand book or instruction manual that came with the baby. For some reason, "they" thought you'd know what you were doing and you obviously didn't need one. Little did they know...
What If I Wreck Him?
Of course, most new parents want very much to develop good parenting skills and to create an environment where child development is nurtured. When faced with the reality that the little seven pound bundle in their hands will one day grow into an adult, many parents experience a wave of fear and anxiety. Nobody wants to be accused of bad parenting, but the fear of not doing it right and ultimately ruining the child is very big and scary.
Most of us either love or hate the way we were raised and, as a result, determine to either raise our children as we were raised or vow that our kids will never experience the childhood we experienced. But, for some reason, our parenting styles often mirror our parents' styles and we end up bringing them up pretty close to the way we were raised - for better or worse. Then, when we see our own behaviors repeated in our kids, we wonder how in the world it happened.
Good Parenting Does Exit
Does good parenting exist? Yes, it does. But, it isn't as common as we would like to believe. Part of the difference between good parenting and bad parenting is found in the area of discipline, respect, and responsibility. By learning and applying parenting skills geared towards empowering children to make good choices and to have respect, compassion and responsibility, parents bring out the very best in their kids. There is a plethora of parenting articles and parenting tips available from myriad sources in bookstores and on the internet. Parenting classes are also available for those who are simply overwhelmed or feeling out of control. Often these classes are available from the same sources as pregnancy classes.
Parenting styles differ with individuals. Some people are just naturally laid back and easy going - nothing seems to ruffle them, while others are uptight and constantly worried about things. When it comes to raising kids, both styles are useful, but in perspective and with tempering. The laid back individuals may need to remember that parameters and boundaries are very necessary for small children and the uptight parents must learn that kids need breathing room in order to grow and express themselves. If you have parents of extremely different temperaments raising the same children, there are bound to be challenges. That's were parenting classes are really beneficial.
Taking Care of Yourself First
Parents, especially moms, who learn to take proper care of themselves first (without going to the extreme of self-consumed preoccupation), are able to give more to their children because they have more energy, time, and patience to give. This, in turn, teaches the children what a happy, healthy adult is like. A frazzled, fried, mom does her children a disservice by neglecting herself and ultimately not giving from a place of contentment to her family. It's like sitting in a field of ragweed when you have allergies - you're miserable and you make everyone around you feel the same way.
Are They Spoiled?
On the other hand, children who are raised as the center of the universe have an unhealthy sense of entitlement - something that is rampant in today's society. Often this is a symptom of unhappiness at home and with the divorce rate still around 50 percent, kids have a lot to deal with emotionally. Parents try to make it okay for the kids by going overboard in terms of permissiveness and simply spoiling the kids - guilt being the motivator. The key to good parenting is a good relationship - a partnership that is a good role model for the children. If that scenario isn't possible, then the weight of being a well-balanced parent falls to the one with the kids. It's hard, but it can be done.
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