Because of what I have done with Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures and the blog, I have a unique opportunity to speak to parents daily about the highs and lows of parenting. I enjoy studying things parents do that work and ideas that I would scrap. I call what I do parentology (No, this isn’t really a word). Parentology is my study of parenting.
Most of the parents I talk to will not be met face to face but I value their opinions and sympathize with their issues. One reoccurring theme lately has been their realization that they don’t always get the right answers while trying to parent. It has led to some frustration in some parents because things don’t always work as planned.
It’s not possible for a parent to make the right move all the time with their child. Mistakes are part of what makes us human. The way I look at it is that mistakes should be accepted for the time being but worked on in order to not make the same type of mistake again. Being conscience of this has been a key to making me a better parent.
One sure way to work on correcting mistakes is by reflection. Simply thinking about the problem at hand and pondering how it could have been handled differently is a big step. This tactic is great for single parents but it’s even better for parents who are married because you have a partner to bounce ideas off. Parents who are single though can still seek out priests, counselors, and trusted friends to have virtually the same effect.
Now that I have given you a solution for when things do not go as planned while parenting; allow me to give you a solution I’ve seen used many times which fails miserably. It’s called the “beat myself up until I am blue in the face” method. This is when a parent convinces themselves of what a poor parent they are over a mistake they made and won’t let it go.
There’s nothing productive about this for you or the child. A child needs to see you be a beacon of light- not wallowing in self pity because you can’t figure out how to make your child eat their peas. Trust me, I’ve seen this (in many shapes and formats) many times.
Attaining perfection or even being close will never happen. It’s like jumping as high as you can to touch the clouds and being disappointed when you miss. The goal with parenting should be to accept your strengths and faults honestly. From there, find the avenues to improve on your areas of weaknesses while maintaining the good qualities which make you special. If you can find a way to do this, I promise you will be several steps ahead of a lot of parents.
My next post will come to you this Friday and my wife is going out of town for a couple of days. Therefore, it will be just the boys and me together before I write to you again. Why do I have the feeling there’s going to be a lot of blog material between now and then? Best wishes!