Thank you mom and dad for teaching me the real and unfiltered version of parenthood, a marriage and a relationship.
Many of us learn differerent things from our parents and I have decided to take it upon myself to learn everything I can, the do’s and the don’ts. You learn a lot from your parents, they have experienced this parental and marital life and now you are the next in line if you want to be.
You learn from their mistakes, that’s how I have learnt majority of the advice I have written down. My parents are flawed people but good. Some flaws outweigh more than the good things they have done. That doesn’t deviate from the fact that they are still good.
So here is a compilation of some of the things I have learnt from them. This piece will all be about the parental tips I have learnt.
- Try not to be condescending towards your kids. Trust them when they tell you they know what they are doing but that doesn’t mean you stop helping them or you stop monitoring them. See what they are doing and offer help but do not bug them on every step. If they fail, avoid the ” I told you so” and offer a comforting talk instead.
2. When you fight with your partner, try to not put your children in the position of choosing sides. It is an incredibly difficult, painful and an anxiety invoking situation for them. I know that feeling because I have been put in it countless moments of my life. The parent who I side with is happy but the other feels betrayed. Children, if you also have to choose, choose the right moral side.
3. Trust your children and give them space. Be their parents and also their friends. Sometimes, even if they think they don’t need that advice, give it to them.
4. Never attribute the worst traits of your partner to your children. The most hurtful lines that can ever be said are “you are just like your father/mother” when said in a negative spotlight. Trust me, I know that gut wrenching feeling. You are doing everything you can to support them and make them happy and one slip up from your part and they say that one line, it wrecks you.
5. Have the uncomfortable talks with your children. My parents to date have not given me the “sex talk”. If I would have got the “period talk” back then, it would have been pretty useful and I could have avoided the mini freak out I had back then.
6. Be accepting, warm and loving of their choices. Do not become that parent where your kids are terrified of you and have the need to lie to you for every single thing.
For a while, I have had that type parents and I still do. I have lied a lot because I was scared but then things changed with them, they became more open, supportive and started understanding my struggles, that helped me a lot.
7. Try not to have the big fights with your partner in front of your kids. It creates a damaging family environment for them. Kids do like peace in their families.
8. Be parents only if you are ready to be parents. It is a lot of work. When your kids grow up, do not ever be in that position where you feel you have sacrificed your identity and life for them. Do not guilt them for your mistakes. Do not make your kids feel the burden. They came into this world because of your choice.
9. Parents fuck up kids. That is one things parents should really acknowledge. You cannot raise the perfect kid, so stop. Let them be, guide them, be with them but let them have their own path.
10. Do not over burden your kids. Do not pressure them into being A-star students at school. Help them, monitor them but do not give them a life time scolding just because they got a B.
11. Teach them manners, what is right and wrong, teach them more about the world. Teach them what you wish you would have been taught by your parents.
12. I would like to have family movie nights with my kids. Make a tradition, any tradition that you and your kids would enjoy!
13. Do not be the over protecting parents monitoring your kid’s every move. Give them independence at the age you think they need. Teach them responsibilities they will need to do later on in life.
14. Children have needs and wants and it is your responsibility to fulfil them. Don’t say the line, “I am doing this for you and that.” It is what you are expected to do, it is your responsibility. Unless they are asking for irrational ones, think about it and do what feels right.
15. Have an open communication. Make sure you know what is happening in their lives at any age. Ask them, be there for them.
16. Treat them like children when they are at that age and treat them like adults when they are at that age. Do not have a double standard opinion.
There is no manual on how to raise your kids right. You figure it out and you hope that you are doing it right. Even though, I have gathered few tips doesn’t mean I have it mastered for the future. I know I will be making mistakes but I hope I can learn from them. I just hope I do it right.