Friday, September 20

The Controversy of Good & Bad Parenting

Disclaimer: I use the term "parenthood/parenting" because it applies to both dads & moms.

How do you rate your parenting style? Do you think you're doing a good or bad job parenting your child?

All of us have a fair shair of taking the baby steps in parenthood and it usually begins with your firstborn. Let's not include your nieces or nephews but your very own flesh and blood. We were not born to master the art of parenting. Some of us will surf the life out of ourselves finding parenting answers in the web, while others will buy mountain high of books to hopefully "teach" them how to be better parents. A handful will seek advices from experienced parents, their own parents, friends, etc. I havent heard any dads or moms who would confidently say that they know how to deal with their firstborn without any sort of reference. For me, I am lucky I have my mother and godmothers to guide me through. However, my mother will never insist her style is right. She often reminds me (till date) that every child needs to be handled differently therefore I need to take advices as a guideline, not following them blindly. 

In this entry, I aint gonna tell you the right steps but more to share my perspective on parenting as a whole. First and foremost, I have a four-year old daughter who is starting to have a mind of her own and it's starting to eat into my mind that she is growing up day-by-day. My style has changed over these four years and I believe it will keep changing. I have my meltdowns too, major ones in fact. I have reprimanded my four-year old as if she can understand whatever I was saying. In my opinion, she will only understand 50% of everything I said then simply ignore the remaining 50%. U know, simple things like taking the tissue to clean out the nose booger can be a daily yelling affair. It started off nice and even with full demo on how to do it and explaining why it is important to do it in such manner. It's been like....10 months and she still defies me. So is it my fault? I did my positive reinforcement on a simple habit like that until my voice tuned up to the max. To many parents, they will say, "Oh, be patient, she is still a little child." while others may say things like, "If that was my child, I will cane her until she learns!" (OKAY, i get ur point but I don't want to be charged for child abuse over nose booger issue!!) 

Does it sound familiar when parents you know say such things? How do u feel when u hear them making such comments? Do u feel beat up? Do u ignore? Or do you strike off that friend off your playdates roster? 

I see many different parents dealing with their kids and that look of stress.. I feel for them because I feel the same. I'm neither a good nor bad parent. I am human and I have the right to display my plethora of emotions on my face, period. Everyone, friends and family can label me as a bad parent or even a perfect parent, but I will never admit to myself that I'm what you think I am. My bff Goldie always tell me this,"Even if you know you cant give the best, at least settle for better, not good enough." I understood what she meant. 

I don't deny giving my daughter real tough love 80% of the time because I will be in trouble if she has a little sibling in future. I do reward her, I dont pamper her, I am stern with her, I'm a clown when we play, I do not say 'NO' for no valid reason, I don't let her get her way all the time and I don't change my mind unless absolute necessary. Serious parenting some would say, like I'm a mad mother. No, I am not.. I love my daughter so much that I can die for her. But I want her to grow up with the kind of strength I grow up with. I want her to know life is not a bed of roses. I need her to know she needs to work hard for what she wants, and not just put two arms out and get everything under the rainbow. I have to teach her to be firm in her own beliefs and believe she can do whatever she wants with perserverance. Even if in future she doesn't go to the university, it is not the end of the world and she needs to know that. Yes, I'm not a superficial person that she has to be top in everything and above everyone. She has to learn to fall and stand up on her own, no one will hold her up. When I'm gone, she has to fend for herself. The one thing I don't do : cane.

Do u think I'm crazy? She's too young to understand? No... little things that goes on in her life teaches her what I want her to learn. Picking up her toys, eating on her own, telling me how she feels, not to whine over broken skin and bruises and crying for attention. I constantly remind her that that's not how life works so get over it. Some of you may think I'm not doing enough and some may feel I'm overdoing it. Every child grows up in different environment so I cannot use your method towards my child, vice versa. 

Parenting books give us guidelines to help us "plan" the way we may want to deal with our kids like the way we put our message across to our child. My advice is not to follow what these books tell you, but use it as a guideline to help you execute your parenting style appropriately.

We are humans. We are not meant to do everything right (tho we wanna be perfect). It's a gift to be a parent, but we're not God. Don't be afraid to say sorry to your child if you made a mistake and they are aware of it. It shows them that saying sorry is normal. Don't compare them with another kid, especially their siblings. It will burn their ego and confidence level. Yes, kids have stress too alright? Don't think they do not have any forms of stress! I hate it when I hear parents saying "kids doesnt have any stress like adults!" Of course, u clown! Their stress comes in a different form, it comes majorly from their emotions and innocence. They do things innocently and sometimes it's wrong! But do they know it? Nope! Do they repeat their mistakes? Yes! ALL THE TIME! That's because their level of understanding is not there. Don't force them to live with YOUR standards or the society's. 

Share with me what is that one thing you have to deal about when it comes to ur kid and how do u overcome it? I would love to hear from you, and learn something. I tweak my parenting style to suit my child who happens to be a tough nut. Even if you feel you need to say something in regards to my topic today, please do. I'm open to everything but of course, if you want to say something nasty, you may want to drop me a personal email. 

Thank you for taking time to read my entry. Coming up soon will be a sponsored review! 


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