When expecting a child for the first time, there is a very strong desire to read as much as you can about the subject. After all, most parents agree that there are few times in life that are quite as scary as those first few months when you are thrown head first into the role of protector.
Wherever there is demand for information however, among those who provide said information, there are also those who like to talk a lot without really having a clue what they are saying. This in turn leads to many parents having unrealistic expectations as to who they need to be in order to raise well adjusted children.
Here are a few myths about what it takes to be a good parent.
Good Parents Never Argue In Front of Their Children
If this myth was actually true, everybody in the world would be completely unadjusted. All children at some point see their parents arguing and allowing your child to witness you arguing actually teaches them how to deal with feelings of anger in a healthy fashion. The key is to make sure that your child always sees that you and your partner make up afterwards. When your child witnesses this they are actually learning conflict resolution and the fact that people can argue but still go on loving each other.
Good Parents Put Their Children First At All Times
While it is certainly true that your child should be your priority, other aspects of your life do still exist and at times need to be put first. Many marriages go through rocky periods due to the fact that parents start to spend all of their time worrying about their child without even a thought towards the needs of each other. Occasionally putting your marriage before your child can mean the difference between your child growing up in a happy family or the product of a divorce.
Good Parents Never Lose Control
Many articles on the subject of parenting give the impression that good parents are perfect parents. Unfortunately regardless of how good a parent you are, there will come a time when you scream at your child at the top of your voice. The key is not to make sure that this never happens but more to make sure that you apologise afterwards and explain that you love your child and did not mean it. Provided such outbursts are kept to a minimum and you always explain yourself afterwards, it does not psychologically damage your child and actually teaches him/her that you are not perfect.
Good Parents Stay at Home
There are many articles online about the dangers to your child should you decide to go back to work. There are however very few studies that agree with said dangers. If you want your child to grow into a well adjusted adult, he/she needs to know that you love them and are there for them. They do not however need you to be around twenty four hours a day regardless of any articles that suggest the contrary. Provided you make the most of the time that you are available, working and hiring a responsible baby sitter will not have any significant impact upon your child’s future well being.
Good Parents Are Friends With Their Children
Many parents have this picture perfect image in their head about parents who manage to not only raise well behaved and happy children but also manage to do so while being their child’s best friend. Although such parents do exist, most of them are found on television shows. Children make friends very easily and they do not need (or in later years, even want) you as a friend. You need to be in charge of your children and being such and being their friend at the same time is practically impossible.
Good Parents Buy Their Children Everything That They Want
Sounds silly eh? Not only is this impossible considering the amount of things that children ask for but if it were true, the children of the richest families would turn out to be the most well adjusted. While parents love to purchase their children the very best clothes and toys, all of these things should be considered extras and are by no means at the core of good parenting. Children need parents to take care of them, talk to them and offer appropriate levels of structure and discipline. Fancy sneakers really don’t even come into the equation. And the fact that your child may scream the opposite of this is equally irrelevant.
Good Parenting Comes Naturally to Good Parents
The whole parenting comes naturally thing gets thrown around on a daily basis but it is actually completely false. Every parent starts out totally clueless when it comes to how to raise kids and they only figure things out through a mixture of research, experience and trial and error(mostly the last one). The idea that you should instinctively know how to deal with the dramas of raising a child is ridiculous. Even parents raising their third child will frequently run into new situations that they have no idea how to handle and the myth that this is somehow abnormal is one that leads to a lot of unnecessary guilt.
Good Parents Always Have Well Behaved Children
Finally, many parents immediately blame themselves when they find that their children are regularly poorly behaved. This is largely down to the fact that a lot of people fail to recognise that all children are different and that anywhere from thirty to seventy percent of any child’s personality is decided before they are even born, it’s in their genes. Therefore should you find your children to be the loudest in the supermarket or your teens the drunkest at the party, remember that you are not entirely to blame. The downside of this of course is that when your child gets the highest grade in the class, that does not automatically qualify you for super parent status either.