I don’t know how to say this, but I am a better parent than a lot of the people out there. I know that is a very boastful and prideful comment, but it is true. I am doing a better job. I am not saying that they don’t love their kids, or that they aren’t trying their best, but the fact remains they could learn something from me.
A lot of parents just don’t do a good a job. It isn’t for a lack of trying. They were never given the tools to be successful. They raise their kids the way they were raised, and despite what you may think, your parents weren’t perfect. They made mistakes. Lots and lots of mistakes. You may have turned out fine, but don’t let that fool you. They made a lot of mistakes.
Why Am I A Better Parent?
There is one belief that many, many parents adhere to. It is a belief, so engrained that they never look past it. We are all guilty of it. Heck, from time to time I fall into it too. What is this belief you may ask? What one thing is everyone doing wrong? The belief is that they know what they are doing. They know what is best for their kid, and their gut feeling, their intuition has the final say. The problem isn’t that many parents don’t know what they are doing. The problem is that many parent’s think they do.
They cling to their ideals. A way to do it. They know what they heard, or what they read and that is it. They aren’t open to other methods, they aren’t willing to be wrong. They know what is best for their kids and no one better challenge it. It makes my skin crawl every time I hear a parent say they know what is best for their kids.
Well, if we are being honest, we don’t. It wasn’t that long ago, we thought we had it figured out. We knew how to raise happy healthy kids. A spanking here or there kept them in line. A little whiskey helped sooth the baby. There was nothing wrong with smoking in front of our kids. We knew these things.
I am a better parent because I know one simple thing. It’s that I don’t know everything. In fact, I probably know less than most parents. I admit it. I approach parenting not as some authority but as the exact opposite. Because of this, I am always looking for more information. I search out advice. I am not beholden to one way of doing things, and can easily change methods for different kids or different circumstances.
By not having a specific way to do things, by being open to information, it allows me to pull from everywhere to find what works for my kids. No two kids are alike. So why would we think that the exact same punishments and rewards would work for both? As the kids grow and change, so should your parenting methods.
Some parents get this. They are flexible. They are open to learning and eagerly search out new information. But the problem is in where they get their information. Facebook? Some famous person selling books? Nope. They might serve to give me an idea but that is when research starts. Don’t go read some blog (except mine because I’m awesome) but look for a medical journal. See how the experts weigh in on the topic.
This is the hardest part for many parents. They hear something that seems to makes sense to them and all they look for is information that supports their new point of view. It doesn’t matter how shaky or how quickly disproved an idea is – they will stand by it. If they speak about more information, it is only info that supports their new hypothesis.
In the end, just be open. Grab information from everywhere. Then look into what you found to see if it is legit. Be prepared to be wrong. Be ready to change your mind. Don’t let a fad or a celebrity sway you. Don’t let “the ways things have always been done” be the only way to do things. Be a better parent.