I always have this “bursting” feeling in my ears whenever I listen to parents talking about how difficult their lives are because of their children or how miserable their teenage kids have made them. I am not saying of course that parenting does not have its share of challenges. Being a parent myself, I know that there are so many thuds and thumps along the way. But saying that it’s tough enough to make any parent’s life despicable is definitely far from the truth.
Actually, there is one reason why parents find it so difficult to be the parent that they should be—people’s expectations and what other people might think of them.
There Is No Parenting Formula
Today, each one of us has our own definition of what a parent should be; each one of us has our own set of rules on what we should enforce on our children; each one has a different way of looking at her children.
To add to the confusion are the thousands of self-help books that abound in libraries, in book stores and on the internet telling people what to do with their teenage kids or how to deal with their children. Thus, parents are drawn in on diverse (and sometimes conflicting) ideas on what parenting formula to follow just so they can achieve an iota of peace and harmony in the home.
That is where the real problem comes in because many parents think there is a formula. There isn’t. A mother will have to deal with her son or daughter based on the kind of personality the son or daughter has. The strategies to be carried out must be grounded on the type of temperament the child has, must be based on the child’s inclinations, perceptions, mindsets, attitude and everything else that the child inherently has within him or her.
When dealing with a child or a young adult, we need to follow our instincts. We parents should not listen too much to what other parents are saying to us on what to do with our children or be worried on what other parents will think of our actions and decisions on the way we are handling the issues of our children.
We need to remember always that our children are a lot different from the children of other people, simply because they are unique individuals. Thus, the strategies that have to be implemented should not be the same as what the neighbor parent is doing to her child.
Likewise, what other parents are thinking about us should not make us anxious. They are “outsiders” hence they don’t know what goes on inside the four walls of our domicile so they have no right to make presumptions, conclusions and judgments about us on the way we carry out our responsibilities as parents.
Parenting Is Not an Exact Science
It isn’t math where there is a formula or an equation to be followed in order to arrive at the correct solution/answer. To become a good parent, one needs to work every day with different angles, always ready to traverse diverse slopes, always prepared to see various gradients and work around those numerous perspectives.
While all these maneuvers require from a parent extraordinary emotional maturity and intellectual mellowness, it only demands one trait for a parent to be successful and effective: unconditional love.