We are constantly inundated with conflicting messages on how to parent “the correct way.” It’s all too tempting to believe advice from the media, relatives, and other parents and get concerned that we’re doing something wrong. We frequently compare ourselves to others, and we often feel evaluated and chastised by others.
Understanding what you are and aren’t responsible for when it comes to raising your child is one of the most essential ways to cut through the clutter of advice, guilt, and comparisons to others.
See also: How To Build A Loving Family
Things You Are Responsible For As A Parent
Making the Tough Call
You’re not doing your job if your child doesn’t become upset with you at least once in a while. Additionally, keep in mind that you are not obligated to provide lengthy justifications for your selections. When your teen wonders why he can’t leap from the roof and onto the trampoline, a simple “it’s not safe” answer will suffice. “It’s your duty,” is a sufficient explanation for informing your child that it’s homework time. You don’t have to go through all of the conceivable “what-ifs” and “if-thens.”
Holding Your Child Accountable
It is your responsibility to keep your child accountable for his behavior and deeds. At the absolute least, this entails setting boundaries with your child when she exhibits improper behavior. For example, if your child puts off doing her schoolwork, you may switch off the television and say:
“Watching TV isn’t the same as doing your schoolwork. You may re-start the television after your assignment is completed.”
This might also be as easy as stating unequivocally:
“In this house, we don’t talk like that.”
…and then walk away.
Of course, this can also involve enforcing effective punishments (operant conditioning)for things like missing school assignments, such as putting weekend activities on hold until the work is finished.
See also: How to Raise Responsible Kids
Riding the Parenting Rollercoaster
Parenting is a roller coaster ride that you are stuck on whether you like it or not. There will be moments when your child excels and periods when he or she struggles. Remind yourself that the ups and downs are not a reflection on you; they are simply the way the trip sometimes goes.
So, don’t blame yourself when bad things happen. Focus on discovering good coping strategies and trying something new to support your child successfully.
When your child is old enough, he will need to learn how to emotionally calm himself, tie his shoes, write his name, and cope when he is teased. He will need to learn more sophisticated talents as time goes on. He must be able to type a paper, refuse drugs, drive a car, and fill out a job application. Indeed, he must understand that his degree of responsibility will increase with time.
See also: Qualities Of A Spirited Child
Doing Your Best
Sometimes that’s all you can do. Parenting is a never-ending balancing act in which you try to hit a balance between doing too much and doing too little, or delivering consequences that are neither too severe nor too gentle. Parenting may feel like a circus at times, with multiple balancing acts going on at once. That is when you must return to selecting your fights and accepting that you are not, and will never be, the perfect parent. All you have to do is be good enough.
Above all, keep in mind that your child is one-of-a-kind, and you know him better than anybody else on the globe. You will constantly get feedback from the environment around you, no matter how clear or subtle, about how you should parent.
See also: Imperfect Parenting Is Ok
Things You Are Not Responsible For As A Parent
Constant Happiness Of Children
Don’t get me wrong: it’s good for your children to be happy in general. However, there will be occasions when your children are angry, especially if you are parenting appropriately.
When you establish limitations or impose consequences on them, they may object at first. But that’s part of your duty as a parent and the leader of the family. You don’t make decisions based on what your children will enjoy, tolerate, or accept. Instead, you make the greatest decisions for them and your family and then stick to them.
Approval of Others
You do not require the approval of other adults in your life to know that you are acting appropriately. Parenting is not a popularity contest inside your family or society. It’s nice to hear from other adults, such as your children’s teachers, that your child is doing well. However, it is not required for you to govern your family effectively.
You are not a puppeteer, and your children are not puppets. You will never be able to control every move your child makes or every word your child says, especially outside of your house. Children have free will and will behave on their own volition—often in self-interest.
For example, it’s critical to remind yourself that if your child isn’t doing her homework, despite your best attempts to inspire and hold her accountable, it’s her problem, and the low grade she receives is solely her responsibility.
You will ensure that she makes time to study every evening as a result of your actions. You will communicate with her instructors more frequently. And you will closely supervise her homework till she improves her grade.
We cannot control our children, but we can affect them via the boundaries we set and the consequences we impose. “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” says James Lehman, “but you can make him thirsty.”
Do Things For Them When They Are Capable
Our children will frequently request that us do something for them that we know they are capable of accomplishing on their own. You are no longer in charge of those matters.
Your grade-schooler, for example, may not make his bed precisely the first time, but practise (and doing it imperfectly multiple times) is all he needs to get to the point where he can do it on his own.
I’m not suggesting you should stop cooking breakfast for your child once she’s old enough to pour her own cereal or that you should never do anything to assist your children in a situation. What I mean is that you should let your children struggle from time to time. Try your hardest to offer them more and more responsibilities.
See also: Important Life Skills Our Kids Need
Being A Superhero
You are not a superhero, and you should not try to be one. Rather than focusing on resolving every behavioral issue or following to a flawless schedule every day, strive to meet the main objectives while accepting that you may have to let some little things slide on a daily basis. This is referred to as selecting your battles.
You, on the other hand, are the expert on your kid and have the authority to make your own judgments about how to raise her in a way that teaches her independence and accountability while still being kind and respectful of your child and her needs. When you’re at your wits’ end, recall the ideas in this article to help you remain impartial and remember what you are and aren’t responsible for as a parent.