Parenting is difficult. With the popularity of reality TV comes a number of misguided notions of what it means to be a modern parent. You only have to watch one over exuberant pageant mother before you begin questioning whether or not you are trying to live your dreams out through your children. There is a difference between being a positive, involved parent and abusing your relationship to further your own agenda. To ensure your parenting is on track, it is important to go on a journey of personal self-discovery.
Resolve Past Conflicts
Think back to your childhood. Is there anything you regret? Do you wish you were in a different place in your life? Leave that in the past. Focus on what is good about your life and resolve to go forward from there.
Embrace Your Stage of Life
Many parents have trouble watching their children age because it also means they are getting older. Embrace whatever stage of life you are in. There are good things about getting older; be open to discovering them.
Don’t Wish For What You Can’t Have
There is no travel machine that can take you back in time to relive past triumphs and adventures. Rather than wishing to return to your college days, make every day of the present special.
Never Stop Learning
Consider going back to school or taking a class over the Internet. Learn more about things that you are interested in. For example, you could take a photography class or learn a foreign language.
Continue Setting Goals
At no point in your life should you stop striving to achieve something better for yourself. Interested in getting fit? Why not sign up for a 5K and commit yourself to training for it. You can achieve whatever goals you set your mind to with work and determination.
Remember that how your child performs on one test or in a sporting event will be forgotten with time. However, your relationship with your little one will live on forever. Commit yourself to building that bond.
Parent with Your Partner
It is hard to raise children if you and your partner are always bickering about what is best. Talk often to one another to ensure the lines of communication are open.
Don’t Forget to Listen
Your children may be young, but they have important things to say. Make sure you stop and listen to them. You can learn a lot about who they are as people that way.
Putting too much pressure on children can cause them to rebel. If you identify a problem, work to come up with a reasonable solution. Excessive discipline techniques simply don’t work in the long term.
It is okay if your child is not like everyone else. In fact, it is wonderful. Make sure to recognize what is unique about your little one, and remind yourself that it is okay for the two of you to be different.
Your child will let you know when they have had too much. Sometimes, they need to be allowed to play and relax. Recognize when you have over-scheduled them and give them a break.
Allow Time for Exploration
Children are constantly learning. Share their world with them and try to see it through their eyes. Do activities together that they will enjoy. Remember, they are only little once, and it is important to do what you can to make their childhood special.
Let Children Follow their Own Path
Your kids may not grow up to be just like you. Allow them to express their interests and support them in whatever they want to do, within reason. Empathize with them when they are upset and share their joy when they succeed.
Life is a journey of self-discovery. Continue to grow and develop, no matter how old you are. Allow your children to do the same. In the process, you will build a relationship that stands the test of time.