When you become a mom, you get lots of parenting advice.
In this post, I will share with you the2 best pieces of parenting advice I ever got.
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 and how I wanted my kids to turn out. Anything other than the picture I had meant that I was a failure.
I was determined to find “the perfect” parenting formula and follow it. I had this idea 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 craziness 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 discipline and parenting and got great wisdom from people who had gone down this path before me.
Along the way, I got lots of advice, but there are two things that I will never forget and that were the best pieces of advice I could have gotten.
2 Best Pieces of Parenting Advice
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 yet to figure out what that way was. I also felt guilty for not being perfect and 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 did not have a teenager, I was not planning on going, but my friend suggested I come anyway.
I am so glad I did!!
What I learned
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, 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.
I had this lightbulb moment where I realized that my children are their own people and their actions are not controlled or determined by my actions.
How I act might help or hinder what my kids do, but the end results do not lie on my shoulders. 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.
When I was doing some reading on parenting, I knew that I wanted to be an authoritative parent as it’s generally known to be best for the child.
I had a hard time trying to fit all my theories into any of the 3 categories and was stressing out about the type of parent I would be.
I had a friend come to my rescue, yet again, and give me a great perspective.
She said: It does not really matter what type of parent you are as long as you focus on loving your child.
At first, I thought that this idea seemed too simple. But then, the more I thought about it and 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.”
So, that’s what I started doing. I read books that helped me focus on loving my child in a way that made them feel loved.
The Best Parenting Books
As a parent, I love to read books. Over the years, I have read many books. There are 2 books that I love and recommend to every parent that helped me from these 2 lessons I learned.
These books include:
- How to really love your child
- The 5 Love Languages of Children
- Have a new Kid by Friday
- The Whole-Brain Child
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 and that would help my children grow.
My eldest is only 10, so I have no real proof that these things have helped her, but my mindset has helped me feel better about the way I parent. 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.
What is the best piece of parenting advice you ever got?