Apologies for the clickbait worthy title, but as you will see, it’s basically the perfect opening to this post. Because I think I have found the two things that every person needs to do be a good parent—a big “ah-ha” a couple of fellow parents and I have had recently and that I want to share with as many others parents as possible.
But First, Some Background
At the end of the day, all (normal) parents want their children to become healthy adults. This means that we want them to have the ability to navigate the world confidently, that they pass through tests without unnecessary angst, that they can contribute productively to the betterment of society—the usual.
Parents put a lot of pressure on themselves to do this parenting thing perfectly. We read a ton of books, follow blogs written by parenting experts, take classes, talk to older parents as well as younger ones, and constantly think about what we are doing as parents. All. The. Time.
The First Ingredient To Being A Good Parents
Barring extremes, most parents are doing a great job. There is a large number of paths that lead to the ultimate goal of raising healthy adults, with one common denominator: coherence.
In short, a person’s parenting has to be coherent with his beliefs, with his own decisions about his life, and with his own actions. On the one hand, this makes for happier parents in the first place. On the second hand, it makes parenting decisions “streamlined” with the rest of the parents’ life.
The Second Ingredient To Being a Good Parent
Of course, just being coherent in itself is not enough. We are, unfortunately, imperfect, and have to always strive to work in a learning mode. In other words, we have to had a scientific approach to life and to parenting: we gather information, do some research, make a decision, see the effects of this decision, and then go back to the information we first gathered and, in light of these effects, adjust our decision.
On the one hand, we will thus be constantly working on becoming better parents. But, and to me, most importantly, on the other hand, we will be showing our children how to approach life: confident in ourselves and our life decisions, but humble enough to question everything and adjust as needed.
What this means is that there is a broad range of parenting decisions that can be made under the umbrella of good parenting, and that anyone can be a good parent. Breastfeeding or not; sleep training or not; the age you start potty training; how you dress you children; how you talk to you child; within reason, all these decisions can be the right ones if parents make them in light of their personal beliefs, and they are adjusting them as needed.
Most importantly, it means the end of the Mom Wars, an increase in parenting self-confidence, and an increase in the sharing of tips that help each of us become better in our own way.
Win all around!