Anyone who has kids is immediately besought by many questions, and the weight of responsibility may lie heavily upon your shoulders. The fact is, there are many, many ways to fail when it comes to parenting, but the good news is that there are also many ways to succeed. The definition of failure as a parent will depend on many factors, including your culture, your hopes for your children, and the circumstances you find yourself in. In other words, one parent’s successes, such as Donald Trump having both his children incorporated into his business and television show, may seem to another parent to have been failures, the failure of a parent to spend enough time with and thinking about his offspring. Failing as a parent, therefore, will be dependent on your goals. There are still areas in which it is easy for us all to fail as parents, no matter what our goals for our children may be.
The first way many parents fail is by putting their children ahead of themselves, especially during their very early years. More and more research is showing that the most important time in a child’s life, in terms of development, are the preschool ages, including infancy. Your child needs you around at this stage, mothers and fathers both. It can seem impossible with the pressures and responsibilities of work to make the time necessary for the kids, but it is an important consideration nonetheless. This may be a time when you have to let some of those promotions pass for a time in order to serve the best interests of your family.
Another big mistake many parents make is either expecting too much or too little of their children, at any age, logically speaking. This applies to parents of teenagers as well as babies- the human brain is still developing right into the twenties, and even teenagers will not think of matters in the same logical way as adults. On the other hand, you do not want to underestimate your offspring’s powers of perception- as with many issues in parenting, there is a very fine line to walk, and you must base it on your knowledge of your child.
This brings us to the final area that will bring about failure when it comes to raising your children- by listening to everybody else. It seems that these days, everyone has an opinion as to how your children should be raised. There is a lot of conflicting advice, and lots that will just not work when it comes to your own children. Again, you know your children best and the final decision in matters will be up to you; base your decision on what has worked on the past. If this approach does not work, then it is time to try the alternatives suggested by someone else (and start with someone with a proven track record with their own children!) Again, this is a fine line- do not ignore your doctor’s advice when it comes to medical needs.