Being a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me. I have a beautiful 17 months old baby girl, she makes my life worth living, but she also keeps me on my toes. That, however, isn’t the big challenge I’m going to talk about. The big C is trying NOT to be a parent to other kids and parents.
Do you ever notice when you talk to other parents that when you ask them a question or ask them for advice (and sometimes you don’t even have to ask) they decide to impose their believes and views on you? Those parent’s try to tell you how to run the show. I wonder how many of us, moms and dads, catch ourselves do it. How many of us tell ourselves to stop? I know that I do my best to be as objective as possible. There are times where the topic/issue would get me so excited because the results that my daughter and I achieved are so great, that I might sounds like I’m trying to tell the other parent how to raise their kids, BUT I am NOT trying to!
Every time someone asks me how my daughter and I did this, or what did I do with her to achieve that, I try to just give that information without sounding like THAT’S THE WAY TO GO! It is absolutely crucial to keep in mind that EVERY child is different, and so is every parent. Just because my story was successful, doesn’t mean that it will have the same results for the other child or parent. By making our way of parenting sound right, and questioning the other person’s way, we put unnecessary pressure and stress on that person’s shoulders. No one needs to be going home questioning themselves on whether they are doing a good job at being a parent. And if they do need to ask themselves that, they should do it because of their own desire to change, and their own understanding that what they are doing might not be a good option for their kid.
Obviously, it is always great to have someone to give you and advice or some guidance, why not? For as long as the person doesn’t decide to cross the line of giving an advice, and decides to put “YOU MUST” do it hat on.
There are times where I have to repeat the mantra of “Every Child is Different” over and over again. Usually it’s when my own mother tries to question my parenting skills, or tell me that my daughter is not doing this or that while I did all of the above when I was her age! Or when I see my friend and her daughter, who can count to 7 at the age of 18 months; I try to tell myself that there is nothing wrong with my 17 months old not being able to count to three. And so the mantra is on constant repeat.
My pet peeve though, is when other parents forget the fact that no child is the same, and they try to question your methods, or techniques, or even try to constantly compare the kids. Sure, maybe the general idea and steps or raising the infant/toddler are the same, but the parenting styles could be so different. When one parent lets their child to be independent and do everything on their own and learn from their mistakes, while another parent helicopters over their kid and tries to help every step of the way. At the end of the day, those parents might not even see eye to eye, so there is no point in comparing their kids at all, it would be like comparing spoons and forks. Both are utensils, both could be use for many foods, but each one of us has a choice of which utensil to use. So when parents start judging other parents on how they raise their kids, and start pointing fingers and shaming, they shouldn’t! Who said that your way of parenting is the RIGHT way?
I believe that majority of parents out there have their kids’ best interest at heart. Since every one of us is just as different as our kids are, we choose a different way to express our love, to care and a different way of parenting for our kids. So next time you feel tempted to tell a new parent on how they SHOULD do things, try using COULD instead, that might event make them consider using your advice 😉