You have become a parent, congratulations! Or perhaps, you have been a parent for some time. Either way you are looking for guidance. You have come to the right place. In this article I am going to provide you with some parenting 101 tips that I had to learn the hard way.
1. Take Care of Yourself
You are often seen as a “bad parent” if you are not selflessly sacrificing every aspect of your life for your children. This is not true, it is utterly false. If you actually did sacrifice everything that mattered to you, this would create a pathological relationship with your child.
In order for you to be the best parent that you can be, you have to make your own well being a priority. Your children are a very accurate reflection of the state of mind and health that you as a parent are in. Everything that you do or don’t do will affect their psychology for their entire lives.
2. Remember That Your Dreams Still Matter Too
If you are not a happy parent, you will not have happy children. Too many times I see parents who give up on their dreams and passions because they decide to have children. They seem to think that there is no longer any room in their lives to pursue their aspirations while at the same time raising a family. Again, this is a false assumption.
Many parents have achieved their dreams despite having children; single parents, low-income parents, struggling parents. They have accomplished amazing feats in the midst of great challenges and obstacles. There is NO reason why anyone else can’t do the same thing because at the end of the day, we all have the same 24 hours to work with.
Working on your long-term goals in life will make you happy, it will make you happy. Therefore, it will make you a better parent because you will feel deeply fulfilled. This feeling will spill over upon your children. They are very intuitive when it comes to the kind of emotional state that their parents are in.
If you fail to return to your own wants and needs for your life, it’s very likely that you will subconsciously blame your decision to have children as the reason why. And to some degree, subconsciously blame them for your unhappiness. This is disastrous. Children are highly vulnerable emotionally and if they can sense that you are blaming them for something and that it is “their fault” they will be psychologically scarred. They will think that there is something wrong with them or that they did something to cause you to be unhappy. To avoid this, read on.
3. Set An Example
Don’t live a life in which you show your children, “If you have kids, you cannot have dreams. If you have kids, you have to give up everything that is important to you.” The way you choose to live your life will shape their own conception of what it means to be an adult.
Make your children proud, they will look to you as their source of guidance. Show them what it looks like to live a joyful, fulfilling life with integrity. Your children should be your motivation, they should empower you to be the best parent and person you can be. The most powerful way that you can instill important values in your children is through demonstration.
[Tweet “You can only love someone else to the degree that you love yourself.”]
4. Working Slowly Is Not a Bad Thing
You might have to work slowly on some of your dreams, and that is o.k. Patience is a part of life, as you might not have much time or energy while they are still small. Enjoy this stage of your life, your children are only babies once, savour it. When they are grown, you will look back and miss those days.
Even if you are working slowly towards what you want, don’t stop. Don’t give up. Many successful people have worked decades to achieve their definition of success, so it doesn’t matter how long it takes. What matters is you don’t quit. I am a firm believer in the universe only giving you what you are ready for, and whether or not you are ready is entirely up to you.
Did you have any aspirations or life goals that you had to change because you had children? Let me know in the comments below.