The parenting choices that you make for you and your family, are you happy with them? Is everything working well or are you tired of doing the same things over and over and getting nowhere?
Parenting Advice is abundant. Sometimes it can be valuable to pause and sort out that advice and evaluate our choices.
Sometimes before we decide to take a piece of advice that is popular advice, the advice from the best-selling book, the hottest blog around, the advice from family members, it may be wise to stop and ask: Am I choosing this route because it seems like a good fit for me and my family? Am I choosing this path because it seems like it’s the right thing to do or the easy thing to do? Is it the way to go because it feels right or because somebody else said so?
It's easy to become conflicted, feel misdirected or overwhelmed. Let's take discipline as an example. The literature is abundant, the methods, experts and popular advice can be found at every corner of the Internet, from parenting forums to Facebook pages. Some experts give you three minute miracles yet most parents find that they stop working sooner than later. Other places leave you hanging telling you to “choose what’s right” but don’t offer any examples of what that “right” may be. From traditional to progressive, every angle you pick might be criticized, really you can get a book to suit whatever way you are leaning towards.
So how can you know you are making the right choice for your family? How to choose what's the right parenting style? How to decide what will work for you, your child, your family?
Think about what is important to you. Think about what is important for your child. Talk to friends, read some parenting books and parenting blogs; not to measure up and compare in a competitive way but to use it as a spring board of ideas that might fit with your own family. Listen for the words and ideas that sit well with you and the values you hope to instill in your family. Don’t take every expert out there as the right one for your family or the best-selling book as the one you must follow. Actually many best-selling books are not always the “best information containing” books and experts don't have to live with you and your children!
Look at how your family life is unfolding, how your children are adapting, how everyone’s health and general wellbeing is developing. Chances are when your parenting choices are working, you will feel the harmony, you will see the gears of daily life turning and your hearts will be full of warmth. Yes, conflicts may arise, opinions will differ, limits will need to be set, but if your parenting choices truly fit your family needs, these moments will likely just be part of family life, not the driving force of your everyday misery!
Parenting advice is not one size fit all, don’t be afraid to look for sources of wisdom that will mesh well into the unique unit that is your family.
Peace & Be Well,