Embracing the Good and the Bad
Being a parent can be a mix of emotions, often leaving us feeling entirely overwhelmed. From joy to stress, we are pulled in multiple directions when it comes to the way we handle our children. Are we the disciplinarian? Do we have too much patience? How do we balance everything while still managing to stay in control? We have all asked these questions and felt the same anxieties. One thing we can all agree on is that an effective parent is one who can navigate between the good and the bad. By embracing both, we can create a home and family life that enables our little ones to flourish.
Leading with Respect
The foundation for balanced parenting is respect. We must learn to be the ones who firmly set boundaries and expectations, while making sure those we are parenting understand how much we love and care for them. We must remain consistent in our expectations and provide them with unconditional support and stability. When we can master the dance of being respected and respecting our children, we establish order without creating a divide. Respectful language, models and expectations make up the core of creating a safe and growth-oriented environment for our children.
Think Before You Speak
This is an important one. It is likely that our children will push our patience, often leaving us feeling frustrated and short-tempered. Before we lash out in anger, we must remember to pause, breathe, and consider our words and actions. When we can do this, we can avoid reacting in a way that may cause lasting damage to our relationships. Acting in a defensive manner will not resolve the issue, while a thoughtful response and answer can open the door to necessary understanding on both sides.
Raise with Compassion
Parents must always remember to show compassion to those we are parenting. We must remember to be tender and empathize with our children and teach them the same. We must not judge prematurely and instead put ourselves in their shoes and try to understand the reason for their feelings. Our children must learn that all feelings are valid and that feeling sad or angry is okay. We must teach them to express their feelings in a healthy manner and accept that life can be a bumpy ride.
Set Goals and Have Fun
As much as being a parent looks like a serious job, fun must be there too. We must include some fun time and activities in our families, even if it is just a little. Celebrating our children’s successes, no matter how small, is a great way to show them that we care and are interested in their growth and development. Whether it is a simple conversation or an exciting activity, it is essential that we mix in some lighthearted moments in between all the seriousness, so our children never forget that family is for having fun.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Keeping everything together is a challenge and it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting absolute perfectionism. Despite our efforts, life is never perfect – and that’s normal. We must accept our own flaws, and encourage our children to be comfortable with theirs. Instead of only focusing on our children’s weaknesses and shortcomings, we must look for their strengths too and help them build those. We must help them learn to be mindful of their limitations, so they can strive to be the best version of themselves.
Finding Balance and Support
As much as embracing both the good and the bad is what makes parenting so challenging, it is also what makes it so rewarding. We must try to be as patient and understanding as possible, but firm when needed. We must find a balance between teaching and loving, discipline and being laid-back, and being a role model and being a friend. Finding a support system – whether it be family, friends, or local resources – can work wonders when it comes to embracing the balancing act of parenting.
Overall, parenting is a hard job but one that comes with a lifetime of rewards. When we can accept the beauty of the good and the bad – and remain balanced in-between – then we can create long-lasting relationships and bring out the best in our children.
Parenting requires balance, understanding and patience. It is an exhausting yet incredibly rewarding job. Despite the difficulties, it is possible to embrace both the good and the bad by leading with respect, thinking before speaking, showing compassion and definitely finding balance and support. Doing this can create a warm and happy home environment that is conducive to growth and development.