“The more people have studied different methods of bringing up children, the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is the best after all.”
– Benjamin Spock, MD
Before we become parents, we see ourselves avoiding the mistakes we identified in other parents, balancing our professional and family lives, keeping our smiles and joy, being fantastic role models to our children, and knowing how to overcome all the challenges that might arise. Once we become parents, we realize that there is a reason why people say that parenting is the hardest “job” out there (if done well!). We sometimes find ourselves at our wits’ end, not knowing what to do next. Others, we just go through the motions and see the days and weeks go by before our eyes.
Parenting should not be as hard as we think or we make it to be. Parenting should be smooth, full of heartwarming moments, and enjoyable. I’m not saying that it should always be fun, that it should come without challenges, and that it should be easy; I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is that we all can be the great parents we want to be, and that we can all have the Smooth Parenting Experience that we had always envisioned.
Sometimes, we need to…
- Take a step back and appreciate what we have.
- Acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers.
- Be aware and mindful of how our own actions, feelings, expectations, and emotional baggage are influencing our children.
- Let go of the dream that there’s such a thing as a super mom or super dad, who always gets it right from the very first try..
- Analyze what we are doing and improve it.
- Take the back seat and let our children teach us how they need to be parented and what it is that really need from us.
- Get support to solve the more challenging situations.
In any of these situations, we are taking action, and that is the first step to become the parent you want to be and have that smooth parenting experience. You can be the parent you want to be! Yes, you can!
This is what I believe when it comes to parenting:
- Every child is unique, special and should be treated as such.
- Parents should promote and support the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of their children from babyhood to adulthood.
- Parents must adapt their parenting approach to their child’s individual needs, personality, and character.
- Children must know that they are unconditionally loved and that their parents will always be there for them.
- Children must feel happy, respected, valued, loved, acknowledged, safe, and protected in order to thrive and achieve their highest potential in life.
- The dignity and rights of children must be respected.
- Sleeping, eating, and exercising are basic needs for babies and children.
- Consistency and teamwork are key in order to be successful at parenting.
- Babies and children thrive when their lives are organized and when they know what’s expected of them.
- An “structured routine” adapted to each family’s individual circumstances is essential to create a chaos-free and stress-free home.
- There’s always a reason/motivation/cause for children to cry, protest, misbehave, be aggressive, etc. In order to solve that behavior, parents need to discover it and find a solution. More often than not, our own expectations, actions, behavior, feelings and words are what are getting in the way of our children growing up to be who they are meant to be.
- It is important for parents to model appropriate behavior and to establish expectations as well as limits.
- Physical punishment or disciplining techniques are never the right way to go.
Smooth Parenting doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps on the road. Smooth Parenting means that we let go of the idea of perfection. Smooth Parenting means that we are conscious, present and aware to see the bumps on the road and navigate them as best as possible.
When it comes to parenting, there are not one-size fits all five minute solutions, there are no magic tools, there are no immediate transformations… parenting is hard! We are human beings, dealing with tiny human beings, so it’s going to be messy.
Much love, Diana-