As a new mom, I received a lot of parenting advice. Some of it was not useful at all, but some of it was wonderful.
Today, I want to share with you 2 of the best pieces of parenting advice I ever got.
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When I had my first child, I was determined to not make any mistakes and to be the perfect parent. I had an image in my head as to the type of parent I wanted to be. I also had an image of how I wanted my kids to turn out. Anything other than that meant failure.
I was determined to find “the perfect” parenting formula and follow it. I thought that if I did things a certain way then my kids would turn out the way I wanted them too.
As I read this, I see the ridiculousness of my thought process. But, at the time, I was so stressed out about finding the perfect way.
Thankfully, I had seasoned parents around me that gave me great advice. I would talk to them about parenting and got great advice from people who had gone down this path before me.
The Best Parenting Advice I ever got
1. Perfection does not guarantee perfection
As a mother, I always want the best for my kids. I want to see them succeed and I want to have a close and loving relationship with them.
Along with that, I really don’t want them to make bad choices or go down a path that will lead to pain for them.
When I was a young parent, I had this idea that if I was the perfect mother, then I would then have perfect children. If I loved them a certain way then I would guarantee a good outcome.
This idea stressed me out because I had not figured out what that way was. I also felt guilty for not being perfect. I also spent a lot of time afraid that my imperfections would hurt my children in the long run.
When my eldest daughter was one, I went to a ladies retreat. One of my friends was leading a session on teens. Since I didn’t have a teenager, I was not planning on going, but my friend suggested I come anyways.
I am so glad I did!! At that session, she said something that helped me so much.
She said: Jesus is the perfect father, yet look at His children.
This idea set me free. The burden of perfection was taken off my shoulder as I realized this amazing truth. If Jesus can live a perfect life and be the perfect father and His kids don’t follow Him, what chance do I have?
I had set this ridiculous standard in my mind!
Now, I was able to see better. I knew that even if I could be a perfect parent, it would still not guarantee that my kids would not make mistakes.
But then I had this light bulb moment. I realized that my children are their own people and their actions are not controlled or determined by my actions.
How I act towards them might help or hinder what my kids do, but the end results ends with them. I am not responsible for the decisions they make.
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2. Focus on love
There are many types of parenting styles but they generally fall into 3 categories: Permissive, authoritative, and authoritarian.
In general, one allows everything, one is extremely strict and the other falls in between.
Wh I knew that I wanted to be an authoritative parent as it’s generally known to be best for the child.
Even though I knew what type of parent I wanted to be, I still had a hard time putting it into practice.
I had a friend come to my rescue, yet again and gave me a great perspective.
She said: it doesn’t really matter what type of parent you are as long as your child feels loved.
At first, I thought that this idea seemed too simple.
But then, the more I read, the more I realized the truth of it.
According to this article in aha parenting, “Children who feel loved and cherished thrive. That doesn’t mean kids who ARE loved – plenty of kids whose parents love them don’t thrive. The kids who thrive are the ones who FEEL loved, accepted and cherished for exactly who they are.”
Basically, if your child feels loved then they will feel secure and will thrive. If they don’t feel loved, then they won’t thrive.
So, that’s what I started doing.
I searched and read books that helped me focus on having my children feel loved.
These books include:
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Parenting is hard! It’s full of hurdles and mistakes, love, and so much more. My mindset when I started off did not help me.
Thankfully, I was able to change my mindset and focus on the things that really mattered.
My eldest is now 10. I have no real proof that my parenting ways have helped her. What has helped is the change in my mindset. This new midset has helped me feel better about the way I parent and given me so much more peace.
I am less stressed and don’t carry the guilt of my mistakes. I am able to seek forgiveness, move on and focus on loving my kids.
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