Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and challenging things a person can do. It can be mentally and physically draining but being such an integral part of a person’s upbringing can bring immense pride. Often new parents don’t know what to expect and have long forgotten what it was actually like to be a child. It is easy to feel like you’re getting parenting wrong, or that you could potentially be doing more for your child. Sometimes talking with other parents can reassure you but equally it can put pressure on you to raise your little one as they raise theirs. Where there are two parents involved in the child’s life, it can be difficult for both to agree on parenting styles and this can result in a lot of confusion not just for your child but also for yourself. I’ve put together two of the hardest issues surrounding parenting, and tried to advise as to how you might tackle them.
- To spoil or not to spoil?
You want to give your children all of the things you never had as a child, but you’re worried that giving them everything they desire will give them a sense of entitlement that’ll hinder them in later life. It can be tricky to negotiate their birthdays and holidays with the pressures of other parents spoiling their own children. Your child will naturally be envious of friends who receive lavish, expensive gifts. When planning present buying, try not to leave yourself penniless trying to provide the same toys that your child’s friends will receive. While the santa secret can be a valuable tool to promote obedience in children in the run up to Christmas, it can be particularly difficult when you’re unable to explain to your child why santa would give them less than other children who’ve perhaps not been as good as they have. Without breaking the secret (an unquestionable act) and explaining finances to your children. All you can do is make the holidays a special time, in ten years’ time they’ll remember leaving cookies and milk out for santa, not what plastic toy he brought. A lot of parents, aware of the devastation brought by santas apparent discrimination, have taken to leaving small gifts to santa and taking credit for the expensive ones. This might be something to consider.
- Not always being able to help
Naturally, you won’t always be able to solve everything for your child. Most parents find that when their child is experiencing pain, sickness or heartbreak, they just want to experience it all in their place. Knowing that you can’t is one of the most unpleasant realisations a parent has to face. However, you must remember that this is what prepares them for the real world. To shelter a child is to deprive them of important elements of their development. Everything from their first graze to their first break-up teaches them about the consequences of their actions and the reality that life simply isn’t always fair. Though the immense empathy is unavoidable, try not to feel guilt for it.