Raising a child is never an easy endeavor and the state of today’s society only seems make it more challenging than is ever been in the past. Parenting comes with its own special set of rewards and challenges, to be sure. It seems like mothers are frequently more impacted by the challenges of parenting than anyone else, usually because of the special bond they share with their child. While that certainly doesn’t mean that fathers don’t also have their own fears and anxieties about their ability to raise a child the way they want to, a lot of families have a tendency to rely on the mothers for the majority of parenting challenges. Either way, there are a lot of ups and downs involved in being a parent. Hopefully, the following tips will help you or anyone you might know that seems to be struggling with some of the challenges that parenting can potentially bring.
Fears Involved in First-Time Parenting
Anytime you do something you have never done before, there is a certain amount of anxiety involved. You want to know whether or not you will be good at the endeavor you are about to participate in. Will it be what you expected it to be, will it be better, or will it be worse? These are questions that every person has about every new experience they encounter. Parenting is certainly no different. In fact, being a first-time parent can be one of the most frightening things you will ever do, but it can also be the most rewarding choice you can make in life. One thing is certain, people don’t grow unless they get out of their comfort zone and becoming a parent certainly forces you to do exactly that. Therefore, remember that it is perfectly normal if you are about to become a parent for the first time and you are feeling anxious.
Dealing with Social Pressures
One of the things that makes being a parent so challenging is the necessity to deal with the pressures of society. Sometimes those pressures are placed on the parents themselves because someone else doesn’t agree with their parenting style. However, the most frightening thing is when social pressures are placed on your children. They encounter these types of pressures everywhere they go. They are pressured to do things they may or may not want to do at school, during extracurricular activities, and in practically every other area of their lives. Teaching your child to be true to himself or herself as opposed to giving in to the social pressures of life is likely one of the most important things you will ever do as a parent, but it is also one of the hardest.
What if your Child is Different?
For some people, they have the added pressure of dealing with a situation where their child is not like the majority of children around them. Make no mistake about it, that certainly doesn’t mean that your child is somehow inferior to the other kids, it just means they’re different. Whether your child is dealing with some type of perceived disability that involves their physical body or they are struggling with an issue like autism or a whole host of other things that are frequently perceived as disabilities in society, you know your child best. If your child is dealing with something that makes them have unique needs, the best thing you can do for them is give them every opportunity to succeed in their own special way and support them from the moment you give birth to them. Children have a tendency to live up to their expectations, so if you expect them to treat whatever they are struggling with as a disability, they probably will. By the same token, if you treat them like they are capable of doing anything, they will believe that as well. Parenting a child that is different can be heartbreaking, depending on the situation, but it can also be one of the most rewarding things you will ever experience in your lifetime.
Disagreements on Parenting Styles
One of the more difficult things to deal with as a mother or father is when the two of you don’t agree on parenting styles. This can cause a lot of fighting within the family and ultimately, it has a tendency to confuse your child because they don’t know what they are supposed to do. More often than not, they end up trying to please both parents and then feeling like no matter what they do, it isn’t going to be right. This obviously places an unfair demand on your child, so it is best to have your disagreements in private and come to some type of middle ground so that your child knows what he or she is supposed to do.
Working and being a Parent
The idea that you can’t parent your child properly and have a full-time job, as well as other obligations, is an outdated one, to say the least. These days, parents have fulfilling careers, they are active in their church and in other areas of their social circles, and they still manage to be there for their children whenever they need them. It all comes down to time management and whether or not you have a desire to work while being a parent. Don’t allow anyone to convince you that you should be a stay-at-home mom or dad or that you should have a full-time career. That choice has to be based on your personal desires and the financial needs of your family.
Leading by Example
Kids have a tendency to pick up on everything they see adults do and they repeat practically everything they hear. If you are teaching your child to respect people and yet you fail to show respect to others, what do you think your child is ultimately going to do? If you want your son or daughter to grow up to be a responsible, respectful citizen, you must demonstrate those qualities in everything you say and do. Don’t think that you can teach them one thing and act another way because they will catch you right in the middle of it every time.
Becoming A Single Parent
Unfortunately, there are times when people are forced to deal with being a single parent. Sometimes that happens as the result of divorce and sometimes it occurs because the other parent passes away. In either case, a special set of circumstances is created that can be difficult for your child to deal with. Since you are undoubtedly dealing with some challenges related to the situation yourself, you may not notice that your child is struggling as much as you would otherwise. If you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you are a single parent, remember that it is okay for you to have mixed feelings about the situation, as long as you make it a point to put your child’s well-being first.
Helping Your Child to Grow
Every parent wants the best for their child. In order to do that, you have to walk a fine line that involves being there for your child, making sure that they are not getting involved in situations where they could potentially make dangerous choices, and simultaneously giving them the freedom to make choices on their own. It is a difficult situation. There is nothing easy about parenting. If you don’t watch out for your child, he or she could get involved in making choices that could have an adverse impact on their lives from that point forward. With that being said, your child isn’t likely to develop the skills he or she needs to become a productive, happy adult if you fail to provide the necessary level of freedom. Therefore, most parents feel like they are always walking on a tightrope and trying not to fall off.
In closing, it is important to remember that regardless of the things you have accomplished in your life, one of your greatest accomplishments is becoming a parent. While it is immensely challenging, the rewards that come with it are too numerous to list. The most important thing to remember is that as long as you take things day by day and you develop a close bond with your child, parenting is likely to be a much more enjoyable endeavor for everyone involved.