As parents, we so often second guess the decisions and actions we make as we try to navigate the huge job of guiding our children into becoming decent, contributing adults. This second guessing is often due to the conflicting advice we hear from friends, family, the media and even the differing views between you and your co-parent.
Our children also have a large influence on us as they react to our actions, rules and decisions.
We like to make them happy and don’t like to see them upset, disappointed or angry. Their reactions play on our ‘parent’ guilt.
Am I too busy?
Am I mollycoddling?
Am I being too hard?
Am I being too soft?
The problem with this over thinking is it stymies our decision-making. We end up either avoiding doing anything or backtracking on our decisions. This disempowers us as parents.
If you find yourself battling children who are butting heads against boundaries and rules, and you start second guessing or over thinking your parenting decisions, focus on these words that were passed onto me by a psychologist. They certainly resonated with me.
Always remember….you are stronger, wiser and kinder than your children
As adults, we have earned that strength, wisdom and kindness with our age and from our experiences. That knowledge gives us permission to make decisions our children may not agree with or like.
So with those words in mind..…. take charge and don’t be afraid to set boundaries and have high expectations. Decide on the values and habits you want to instil in your children and create routines and rules that reflect those. This is certainly not easy, but it is easier to stick to if you have your own beliefs and wishes for your children in mind. For example,
If you want your child to do well in school - take an interest in what they are learning.
If you want your children to be safe - set boundaries and expect them to keep to them.
If you want them to be respectful - model how to treat others and expect that respect for yourself and others.
Solving problems together
If you want them to be self-disciplined- give them jobs to do.
If you want your children to be healthy - create healthy routines, so they have time to eat, sleep and play well.
If you want them to be resilient - encourage them to work through challenges and problems - don’t rescue them.
If you want them to be happy - spend time with them.
Time on the lake
Catch up time
I know I have made this simplistic and we know that parenting is certainly not that. Back yourself as a parent. Your family, school and neighbourhood and most of all your children: they will appreciate it.
Keywords: parenting, boundaries, decision-making, beliefs, values, self-discipline, respect
Curriculum links: Health - Personal Growth and Development