Parenting doesn’t come with a performance evaluation. Often, the feedback we receive is how much our kids dislike us when we give them discipline or our own internal voice of “not enough” that makes itself known when we are NOT asking. It can be taxing to do everything within our power to care for our kids and feel as though it is in vain or that it is without reward.
We love our children. I know you do, because who else reads parenting blogs? No one reviews these things for entertainment. We explore parenting ideas and options to gain some baseline of okay. When we care about someone, we want to make sure we love them well. How in the world can we know? Few ideas.
Terrifying? Yes. Helpful? Often. Talk to a co-parent. Talk to a grandparent. Talk to a close friend that sees your parenting. DO NOT ask, a general question about your parenting. That can go wrong so fast. Instead, give some guidelines. What is one thing you see me doing well? It can be so life-giving to have your work noticed. As a society we don’t often encourage one another out of the blue. Prompting is, unfortunately, necessary.
If you’re in a positive headspace, maybe dare to ask, what is one thing I can work on with my parenting? I need to stress, only ask for criticism if you are in a place to HEAR it. That means, in a frame of mind to recognize the need for growth and not bite the head off of the messenger. This IS a conversation that needs to happen occasionally, but might not be the most helpful when you are feeling the weight of guiding little people into adulthood.
I am not saying trust all the Instagram posts from moms that seem to have it all together. I am encouraging researching parenting advice presented from people that have credentials. Do all those that have credentials present helpful tips? No. However, taking parenting help, that works for your family, from various sources, can allow you to feel as though you are not parenting in a vacuum.
Also, personal counseling can help with parenting. Shocker, I know. Working on yourself can give you space to parent out of positive mental health rather than exhausted mental health. When we are healing and we are functioning in a healthy way? It can pass on to our kids.
SET ONE GOAL
We talk about goal setting ad nauseam on here. It’s because setting expectations out loud, helps a ton. One goal that you feel will make you a better parent. It can be a behavioral chart that spells out behavior and consequence. It can be an intentional bedtime routine. Mine this summer? Getting the kids outside more, even if it means braving the heat. Ugh!
Be measurable about it. That way, you can feel as though something is being accomplished in a medium that has constantly changing goals. Example? I want to take the kids to the park twice a week. Can I do more? Yes. Why not make it more? Two is so manageable that I do not feel overwhelmed by the expectation. Also, share the goal with someone else. They can help encourage you.
Parenting is so difficult. We never know if we are doing things well. My husband and I joked when our oldest was born that we better start saving for his therapy bills immediately. We will not be perfect. We will make mistakes. But we will continue to work out our love for our kids, everyday of their lives.
Together in this ambiguity,
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for counseling or medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find in this blog, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. You are welcome to contact us in response to this post. We will not provide online counseling services via our contact form. We encourage you to seek counseling services of your own if you are looking for more support, help, and advice. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.