Being a parent is not easy.
Parenting generally is difficult and stressful, but it can also be extremely pleasant and rewarding. As they say, they grow up very fast. Look for every opportunity to spend quality time with your children because you won’t have too many opportunities.
There are no perfect parents. A reasonable goal is to be a better parent to your children than your parents were to you. Try your best and don’t feel guilty or like you’re a failure.
Your parents did many things to you as a child that you swore you would never do to your children, but you will.
Do you need to forgive your parents?
Am I an expert on parenting? I raised four children, all of whom turned out well anyway. I’ve seen many patients in therapy and observed some of the effects of parenting. Do I know the answers? I do not.
Some things I do know:
1. Every child, every parent, and every parent-child combo is different. There’s no one size fits all. If the personalities of the child and the parent mesh well, good. If they don’t you have to make the best of it.
2. The three basic styles of parenting:
A. Authoritation: I’m the parent, the boss, and you’ll do what I say. (See John Rosemond. No, don’t.) This doesn’t work well with adolescents.
B. Collaborative: Let’s figure out the best way for us to handle this situation, but I get the final say.
C. Permissive: Do whatever you want.
I believe the collaborative style usually is best, but it may depend on the particular parent child combo.
3. The reality with teenagers is you have as much authority as they are willing to give you. The challenge is to give the support needed while gradually letting go.
4. Your child will learn more from what you do than what you say. This cliche is true.
5. Children need a chance to be children. And be sure your expectations are age appropriate.
5. There are more important things in life than a orderly room or even grades. There are more important things to worry about. Try to avoid struggles, especially non essential ones. Pick your battles- Can I win? Is it worth the effort? You have a long rough road ahead. Conserve your energy. Take care of yourself.
6. Don’t make threats or establish rules that you aren’t prepared to follow through on.
7. I don’t advocate punishment. It’s often counter productive, especially long term. If you are going to punish, never do it while you’re still angry. Physical punishment is child abuse.
8. There are many different ways to judge someone “successful.“ A kind, honest, relatively happy adult is a huge success, no matter their financial, professional, or social status . Especially if they’re good parents if they have children.
Personal Notes O the Day:
- I’ve heard parents say I spank (etc.) my child to teach them respect. I was spanked (etc.) a lot. It taught me many things. Respect was not one of them.
- This post is in response to many anguished questions I’ve answered on other sites.
- I’m excited about the novel. I keep doing another draft, always hoping to publish the next one. On 23. Maybe 24?
- Parenting is hard. Parenting an ADHD child is much harder. And if you have ADHD too? Wow!
Quote O the Day:
“Guilt is a very useful emotion. For about five minutes.”
An unknown guru.
#ADHD #adultADHD, @dougmkpdp
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