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Parenting Isn't for Cowards
Remember growing up and experiencing a form of discipline from your parents, then grumbling under your breath that you're never going to do that when you have kids? Well, here you are, still sporting maternity tops and leggings, but in no time at all your pregnancy will end and your life will never be the same.
Someone once said that parenting isn't for cowards, and that is very true. Good parenting doesn't just happen. It's the result of learning, researching, growing, changing, integration, and experience. There are some things you learned just growing up in your family's home that you will carry with you into your parenting style, and there are other things that you will not take with you. Your experience is key to your parenting style, believe it or not.
Take Advantage of the Information Available
Whether you have had a child, or whether this one is the first, there is an abundance of information you can avail yourself of, together with your partner, that will help make the experience of parenting better. The only reason there is for bad parenting is an unwillingness to be educated. Help is out there, one only has to reach for it. Parenting classes, available before the birth of the baby and long afterward, help expectant and new parents understand some of the things that lie before them - what to expect and solutions to parenting questions. Parenting tips can be had in many of our parenting articles on this site as well as at parenting classes. Don't discount the parenting tips you can glean from family and friends. There's nothing like learning from someone who has successfully managed a trial you are currently in the midst of.
It is never too early to learn about child development. The more information you have, the better able you are to understand what is going on with your baby or toddler - or older child for that matter. While you are expecting, you can use the time to not only follow baby's progress in the womb, but to also learn about those first months after baby is born. By being informed, you can help your child grow and develop, enhancing the life experience for both of you.
Am I a Bad Parent?
Some new parents think that if they don't have the answers or don't handle a situation exactly right that they are bad parents. That is hardly the truth. Bad parenting, as we mentioned is the result of ignorance in many cases, and choice in others. By choosing to avail yourself of the myriad opportunities to become informed parents, you will be well armed for many of the day-to-day situations that arise. Parenting articles are really helpful, especially when there is one specific thing you are dealing with - you can often find something that is useful in resolving the issue. You can find parenting tips in magazines you're thumbing through in the doctor's office or while waiting at the hairdresser. You'll be amazed at the plethora of information that is available.
This is Not One-Size-Fits-All Parenting
Of course, not all of it is the best for you and your child. Assuming the "one-size-fits-all" tact can be hazardous to both your child and you. As your child develops and grows, you will not only learn his or her particular strengths and idiosyncrasies, but you'll learn what parenting styles work best with that child. Interestingly enough, each child requires something different - since we're all individuals. It is a good thing to be flexible. If a parenting method works well with one of the children, it may work with the others or it may not. One child may be strong willed and the next compliant. Each child's needs can be very different.
As you embark upon this great adventure called parenting, be sure to take advantage of the parenting classes, tips, articles, and help that is available to assist you in this amazing responsibility.