Being a parent is the most rewarding and challenging job, all at the same time. Almost every decision you make, or don’t make, when it comes to the care of your child is considered parenting. There’s a lot of talk about different parenting styles but the bottom line is parenting is full of personal choices. When you own your parenting, you’ll be better able to stick with your strategies and be the best parent to your children.
Own Your Parenting: Parenting Styles
First off, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to identify your parenting style or give it a cutesy (sometimes offensive) name. You parent like you and your friend parents like her. It’s just that simple. Yes, some mothers hover, some are more laid back. Some care more about discipline and less about nutrition. Some are hyper-focused on extra-curricular activities and not as concerned about academics.
Because the way in which you parent is a personal choice, there are a lot of blurred lines as well. If you’re strict about bedtime it doesn’t mean you can never allow your children to have a late night. If you get caught up in your own parenting style title, you can lose sight of a pillar of parenting – being flexible to the needs of your family.
Own Your Parenting: Personal Choices in Parenting
It’s hard not to consider your own childhood experiences and how you were parented when you are making personal choices in parenting. Many parents pick and choose from the way they were raised and apply the best of their parents’ choices to their own parenting. Just be sure you’re making parenting decisions for the right reasons, not only because you were raised that way or you’re revolting against the way you were brought up.
Own Your Parenting: Parenting to Your Children
When you head into parenthood you’ll probably have some great ideas of how you want to be a parent. These are wonderful guidelines, however you have to get to know your own children before making any final decisions about parenting them. Different children require different parenting styles and techniques, even in the same family. It can get tricky to tailor your parenting to your children, but it’s essential for their growth and the happiness of your family.
Own Your Parenting: Be Confident in Your Parenting
Not everyone is going to agree with your parenting and you’re going to have to accept that by being confident in your choices. Where your child goes to school, what he eats, your discipline techniques, his daily schedule and every other aspect of parenting are subject to scrutiny from just about anyone including grandparents, friends and strangers.
Stay true to yourself and don’t always feel the need to explain why you make the choices that you do. Sometimes mother knows best. No one is in your shoes and is managing exactly what you are so stick to your guns and do what you think is best for your children and your family.
Own Your Parenting: Constantly Improve
Even the most confident parents aren’t immune to changing course if they see fit. There is no one right or wrong way to be a parent and therefore sometimes you adjust your own strategies in the name of improvement. You may observe another parent’s way of encouraging her children to share and adopt the tactic yourself. Or you may find that your once-loved nighttime routine is no longer working and you need to find a new system. All of that is a normal part of evolving as a parent.
Parenting is a journey, not a destination. Own your parenting and enjoy the adventure!
Sources: Washington Post, Hand-in-Hand Parenting and The Pragmatic Parent