Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Let’s face it, there are some really tough days. The key is to find contentment in each season. If the issue you are facing today was not here, there would be another one in its place. Embrace it, resolve it and move forward.
How many times have you said, “If only she would [fill in the blank], things would be so much better.”? Yet, there’s always another “if only” once you reach that milestone, as you will see in the list below. If only s/he would …
- Sleep through the night
- Get past teething
- Wean from breastfeeding
- Potty train
- Go to childcare/school without a fuss
- Stop having tantrums
- Get homework done
- Listen the first time
- Get better grades
- Follow through
- Do chores without being asked
- Pass this semester
- Have a plan
- Graduate high school
- Get a “better” girl/boyfriend
- Find the right college
- Choose a good career
- And the list goes on!
In reality, there are endless opportunities to correct your kids, so it’s important to be careful. Remember when you were your child’s age? Did you want your parents to let you figure some things out on your own; make your own mistakes? Perhaps you sometimes felt they didn’t understand you? How often did you think, “This is my life!”? Your kids are thinking that too and they need room to fall down, while you are there to help them back up.
As a parent, listen fully and ask for clarification to gain a true understanding (not necessarily agreement) of where your child is coming from. Meet your child there, whether two years old or 15. This opens the door so you can walk together to a new place, with trust. Open communication, consistency, patience, kindness and healthy boundaries (not control) are how you get there.
If parenting has got you down, ask yourself these three questions:
- What is and is not within my control?
- What do I need to understand about my child?
- How can I be content, while I work on this issue?
Remember, parenting is not simply about getting your child to the age of 18. Parenting is about creating a lifelong relationship and giving your child a foundation strong enough to build their entire life on. That process comes with up’s and down’s, and seasons that are hard. Take things one at a time and you will get through it.
Traci L. Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She is known for her practical and intuitive parenting style. To schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation, simply click here!