Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Parenting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Before your children are born you possibly have unrealistic ideas of what it means to be a parent. You are possibly envisioning theses beautiful children that can do no wrong.
After your children are born and the reality of parenting sets in. You may be open to all the parenting advice that you can get, because there is the reality that even though you love your children, you had no idea that it would be like this.
May I take you back just a little? Do you remember when your first baby was born? That moment in the hospital after giving birth can be a joyous occasion. Possibly even after you bring the baby home, your baby just takes a bottle and then goes right back to sleep. After a couple of months you are probably thinking, “I can hardly wait until my baby starts talking.”
It is good when you have family such as mother and mother-in-law to give you their expertise help from their own experiences of being a mother.
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Now this is not really bad unless you perceive it as that. I like to think of it stages of the baby growing up. You may have never considered that your baby will be cranky during teething time. You may have never considered you nor your husband would get very little sleep when your baby is colicky. You may have never known that two-year-olds would throw temper tantrums. Possibly you assumed your toddler would do everything that you asked. It never occurred to you that this little person has a mind of (his/her) own. Previously when your baby was born, you could not wait for your baby to talk, now you possibly feel guilty because you are thinking,” I do not want to hear the word “mama” or “mommy” any time soon because my ears need a rest.
You may feel bad when you have fed your baby, changed your baby's diaper, and to no avail your baby is continually crying for too long a period of time. After taking your baby to the doctor you discover the crying was for a reason, because the baby has an ear infection. Your baby could not talk, but instead cried as loud as (he or she could) to let you know something was not right. Do not beat yourself up about this, because you did make it to the doctor in time. Remember parenting is trial and error whether you like it or not.
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Although this is not ugly at the time it may feel quite uncomfortable when you need to apply tough love as your child get's older. If you have been an enabler and you have not allowed your child to develop to become a productive part of society, you may feel guilty or sad about the outcome. Tough love is a choice. A question I have often asked myself is, “If this were not my child, would I allow this type of behavior?” Sometimes, we need to detach ourselves from the situation.
As I watched the TV program Supernanny, I was amazed at how this woman goes around and helps families where the children are basically taking over the house and running the lives of not one parent, but both parents. Basically you do not have to be mean to get your point across to your toddlers, children, or teens. You do however, need to be persistant. You do, however, need to be on the same page with your husband regarding your children. No you and your husband may not agree, but there needs to be a common ground.
I recall my one daughter was born sucking her finger on the delivery table. The doctor looked at me and told me, "She has probably been doing that while you carried her in the womb." When we went home, my husband was adamant about pulling her finger out of her mouth. He did not want her sucking her thumb, he was afraid she would eventually have buck teeth. I, however, disagreed and I knew very little about babies, but I know everyone has some type of habit, this just happened to be hers. Needless to say, he allowed the thumb sucking. She grew up with beautiful straight, white teeth. When she was about 6 or 7 years old, she came home from school and told me the children were teasing her and she wanted me to put hot sauce on her thumb to help her stop sucking her finger. I did so. Needless to say she was determine to stop and she did.
Parenting is a stage in life. There will be some good days and some bad days, but inevitably you still love your children, hopefully, unconditionally.
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