What an emotive question to ask any parent! Doesn’t every parent try to be a good parent? And how do you know if you are a good parent? As you read these questions can you start to feel the anxiety well up in your body? Is there a person who comes to mind who you think is a better parent? Or does someone come to mind who constantly questions your parenting skills?
Before your stress levels get too high, and it is National Stress Awareness Day, let me put your mind at rest. If you love your child and you are doing your best to be a good parent then you are a good parent. There is no job that you will ever do that attracts so much judgment and advice nor a job, that you willingly do, that causes you so much worry and stress. Politicians blame you (and the teachers) for the lack of respect and good manners found in the young today, although I seem to remember my Grandad making the same comments about my generation! And other parents judge you for not raising your child the way they are raising theirs.
No one can get it right all the time. What works when your child is 6 wont work when the same child reaches 16. Your Parenting skills will evolve as your family grows and your thoughts change. So how can you make life easier for yourself?
(i) Stop Judging Yourself – Yes you may feel that you are being judged by others, but in my experience, your biggest critic is you. You cannot get it right all the time. I remember how I felt when I was looking after my friend’s 2 children. The novelty of me being around had worn off. They were pushing every button I had because they didn’t want to go to bed. I wanted to scream at them. I counted to 10 so many times and the voice in my head kept shouting walk your talk. Yes in the middle of the mayhem my biggest fear was that I should be doing better.
(ii) Don’t worry about what others think – Whether it is your parents, your in-laws, your friends or other parents at the school gate, the best way to deal with their comments is to listen with an open mind and acknowledge the other person for their advise. A comment such as ” I have never thought of it that way” will show appreciation for what is being said to you without you having to agree. Then decide if you want to take the advise.If you try it on for size, see if it works for you. Even after that you have an option to keep the advise or disregard it. If you don’t want to take the advise on board then let it go. Don’t question why the advise was given or what anyone will think if you do or don’t take it. Simply let it go and stand by your decision.
Parenting is difficult enough without you making it harder for yourself. Give yourself a break. Use National Stress Awareness Day, http://isma.org.uk/national-stress-awareness-day ,to monitor how much of your stress as a parent comes from the actions of your child and how much comes from self criticism or other people’s judgements.
How much less stressed would you feel if you could eliminate self criticism and worry about other people’s opinions of you?
#goodparents, #lessstress, #selfcriticism, #happyhome, #familyangel