Grab a cup of coffee, let’s chat.
Listen, there are a million (billion, trillion?) parenting articles and books out there. Some are fantastic, while others pile on the guilt and flame your anxiety.
It’s easy to get caught up in the “Should’s” and “Should not’s” of parenting.
But here’s the bottom line:
You are the expert on your child. You are the one who knows what’s best for them.
It doesn’t mean you always have the perfect response or ideal solution to a challenging situation. It doesn’t mean you won’t struggle through challenging stages or worry about your child’s development.
It means that you have permission to be the parent your child needs.
- You put your child to bed at 7:00 because they need a little more sleep than most kids. OR, you let them stay up until 9:00 because you work late and it’s the only time you have together during the day.
- Your family enjoys a variety of TV shows, movies, and video games. OR, you avoid screens entirely because your child cannot manage the stimulation or the transition back to real life.
- You lay with your kids until they fall asleep at night, in fact, you usually fall asleep too. OR, you encourage them to sleep in their own beds, and you sleep in yours.
- You keep your kids busy with activities because they thrive being busy and interacting with other kids. OR, you limit the number of activities they do because they thrive on downtime and independent activities.
- You don’t get involved in homework or school projects unless your child asks for help. OR, you sit together while they complete their homework, helping your child stay on task and guiding them through difficult sections.
- You get on the floor and play together for hours. OR, you find small moments to connect with your kids throughout the day.
- You avoid places like amusement parks and movie theaters because it is too overstimulating for your child. OR, you enjoy them often because your child doesn’t seem bothered by the noise and activity.
- You limit time with certain friends and even some family members because they are not a positive influence. OR, you embrace a wide community of support.
Even these examples are too black and white. In between these alternatives are limitless options.
Rather than being focused on finding the “right” way to parent or the “perfect” parenting strategy, become a student of your child.
Explore what makes them thrive and what hinders their progress. Address their needs. Look for things that seem to work well for your particular child, and make adjustments to things that are not working.
Identify areas that cause you, your child, or your family stress and see what can be done to eliminate or decrease these stressors.
Allow yourself time for quiet reflection about the parent you want to be for your child and what they need from you. If you need support, reach out to a friend, a mental health professional, or set up an online parent coaching session with me.
You don’t need a million parenting articles.
Your child needs you.
Give yourself permission to be the parent your child needs.