The articles this term are written for parents by the Royal Children’s Hospital and compliment what children are learning at school as they take part in the ‘Thumbs Up’ program.
I hope that your child is sharing their learnings with you as they work on regulating their emotions by using strategies to help them develop in this area.
Being a Parent
Being a parent is one of the most important, but challenging jobs many of us will face in our lives. Unfortunately, the birth of your child does not come with a Do-It-Yourself parenting manual. There is no one right way to parent and most parents learn their parenting skills through trial and error. Sometimes parents place expectations on themselves that are too high, and this can leave parents feeling incompetent. Feeling incompetent then makes it more difficult to face the challenge of bringing up children who will be competent adults. The following suggestions for managing the challenges of parenting may help to minimise the impact of feelings of disappointment on your ability to be a good parent.
The Challenges of Parenting
- The belief that children should be perfect – All children cry, complain, make a mess, have arguments, and become irritated at times. No child is perfect, and such unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and conflict with children.
- The need to place blame – Sometimes parents may have the belief that either themselves or their children are solely to blame for their child’s problems. This may lead to parents overreacting or avoid reacting to misbehaviour. Therefore, try to avoid placing blame on anyone and instead focus on working on the issue.
- Prioritising only the children’s needs – Parents sometimes become so involved in their parenting that they forget about their own need to look after and enjoy themselves as well. An unbalanced life may result in marital and family conflicts. So, don’t forget to take time out and do something for yourself on a regular basis. A healthy parent most often means healthy, happy children.
- The belief that children will grow out of it – Children’s behaviour problems are not necessarily a passing phase. Such a belief may deter parents from seeking help or solutions to a problem. If problems are dealt with early, it is less likely to develop into a more severe problem later on.