Avoid Parenting Mistakes By Learning As Much As You Can Before You Have Children
Raising children is often a difficult and challenging job that tests the resolve of the even the best parents. Learning good parenting techniques before having a child could mean avoiding many of the problems that arise as your child grows up in a high-pressured society.
Many soon-to-be parents do not buy a parenting magazine, or watch a parenting-themed television show, or read a book about raising children. Why is this? Some think that all the skills needed to raise children come naturally, and therefore they do not need help from anywhere, or anyone. Others are too fearful to admit they need any sort of help. Still others will never consider that they could be doing their parenting in any other way. Sadly, some simply do not care.
It is your baby, it is your child, it is your teen
It is your duty as a parent to be the best parent you can be, and that should mean researching parenting techniques, and finding out about the mistakes that others have made. Ideally you should know a good amount about modern parenting before you have your first child, but if it's too late for that you can still have a big positive impact on your family by learning some new skills.
Are we naturally equipped to raise children to a good standard?
The pressure on our children from a very young age right through to their late teens is enormous, and it comes at them from multiple angles, and in ever-changing forms. The basic parenting skills that we all have may enable us to protect and raise our children up to a point, but they do not equip us for a society that is overloaded with the sneaky hazards and bad influences that can inflict misery on us. Are we adequately equipped, as parents, for a society that seems to be moving too fast for us? Modern parenting can often seem like a constant battle against corruption, negativity, and plunging standards of behavior.
We do not help ourselves or our children with flagrant bad parenting
Not many of us think of ourselves as bad parents, and most of us would be horrified if others thought we were. There are good and bad parents, but, as with most things in life, the great majority of us can be classified somewhere between the two absolutes. One small mistake in your child raising does not make you a bad parent. Some mistakes, however, could have been avoided by doing some research before giving birth.
Slapping a child around, whether in public or private, is wrong, and yet some parents know no other way to teach their children good behavior. Calling your child names and humiliating her for making ordinary mistakes is sure to lead to problems at some point in the future, and yet this is common in some families. We may not be able to keep up with the ever-changing threats in our society, but we should know by now that certain methods of parenting are at best unproductive, and at worst totally abusive. Learning about unacceptable parenting methods before having children could help prevent so much misery and suffering.
Use all the resources you can find to educate yourself
The Internet has grown into an incredibly large mix of good and bad information. You should be wary of people who suggest that something so obviously wrong, like over-the-knee spankings, never did them any harm. If you are happy to beat your child then you have immediately identified one harmful consequence of being beat as a child.
Thankfully, there are plenty of parents willing to share their experiences of bad and good parenting who can point you in the right direction. There are hundreds of advice articles about positive parenting and hundreds more about common parenting mistakes. You might have to look closely at your own upbringing to identify potential problems, and you might find yourself doubting your ability to raise a child in an appropriate way. However, the fact that you are seeking the best information and looking for help shows your willingness to be the best parent you can be, and that is a very positive first step that too many parents fail to take.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Gary Thomas is a father of five who assists parents with the problems that often come with raising children.