Everyone seems to know how to raise a child. Parenting advice is the one of the most widely given and least wanted piece of advice. Often times the advice is unsolicited and just a little bit condescending. I may not be a parent, but I’ve definitely been a child, so I think it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about proper parenting!
As a lover of Super Nanny and children I often pay keen attention to how adults interact with children in general. I try to keep my blog posts as positive as I can, but really and truly the things I see are sometimes heartbreaking. Parenting is hard- I get it. A lot of times persons who became parents never planned for it and truth be told, weren’t ready. I’m not here to tell anyone how to raise their child… but I am here to share some similarities in advice I saw when I posted the tweet below.
Below I have decided to compile 6 general parenting advice given by children.
Apologise to your children.
As simple as it sounds, many parents never admit to their child that they are wrong and take the time out to extend genuine apologies. In fact, we often see memes that poke fun at parents inability to apologise. Apologising to your child shows them how to apologise themself and how to admit when they are wrong, it helps with conflict resolution in the long run. It also helps to build a child’s trust and confidence in you as a parent.
Communicate effectively with your child.
Children are tiny humans, that’s all they are. They are intelligent and capable. Super Nanny always encourages communication with children in simple clear language. Communication doesn’t just include talking, but it also includes listening. Listen and acknowledge your child’s feelings. Speak to them about school, friends, bad behaviour and uncomfortable topics such as sex. When you allow for clear and open communication with your children you are opening up the door for a trustworthy relationship where as they get older they are willing to speak and share with you.
Choose your punishments wisely.
Up to this day, we know parents are using corporal punishment to discipline children often without even explaining to them what they did wrong. You cannot beat discipline into your child, I don’t care what you say or if you got beaten when you were younger- other better and more effective ways of discipline exist. With beating it is too easy to let out your anger physically and cause more harm than good. There are studies out there the prove that corporal punishment is NOT the way to go. Not only does beating not work, but being condescending and passive aggressive is not the way to go!
Let go of your own drama.
One of the recurring piece of advice to parents I saw was to deal with their trauma and not lay it all down on their child. Persons encouraged therapy, they offered other solutions that did not include involving the child. It’s hard to separate our fears, short comings, insecurities and trauma from parenting, but an active effort must be made so that your issues don’t affect how you raise you child. I watched an episode of Super Nanny where a mother had to enrol in therapy in order to be a better parent, there’s nothing wrong with seeking outside help.
Let your child be themselves.
So many tweets reminded parents that their child isn’t their mini me, their child is allowed to have their own dreams, opinions and interests and they should never be punished for that.
Accept and love your child no matter what.
Children just want their parents love and approval. At the end of the day, they will always be your child and no matter who they are and what choices they make, they deserve your unconditional love and respect.
I got so many responses to my tweet, it was overwhelming. The advice was personal, relevant and simple. Parenting skill is something we think we will naturally have once we have a child, but that’s not always so. Just like any other skill, it can be learnt and must be practiced… some persons will naturally be better at it than others but it does not mean it’s impossible to learn. Each parent and person who wants to become a parent sometime in the future should take the time out to look at their own childhood for values and behaviours they would like to keep or discard. They should look at resources and mentors for help and guidance. Parenting is one of the most important jobs someone could have, and just like any other job you want to be good at it and constantly updating and refreshing your knowledge.
Thank you to everyone who replied to my tweet, I appreciate it so much. Please feel free to comment your parenting advice below. Until next week!
Samantha C. Johnson