We don’t like to admit when we don’t know how to parent our children. What would people think of us if we admitted we have no clue? I know there are days I can’t figure it out. I try to “educate” myself through books, talking to other parents, or by Googling. Even then, I sometimes don’t come up with the answers.
I have raised what I deem a very productive, loving, conscientious 18 year-old, so I feel I have the necessary “chops” to give you the following advice about parenthood:
Love them twice as much and give them half as much. Most of the time they don’t even remember what they got for Christmas after January 1.
Be friendly, but never befriend your children. You are NOT friends. Yet. When they become adults, then you can become their friend. Until then, you are their only source of reason and guidance. They crave it.
Pray. Pray. Pray. Then pray some more.
If you can’t “figure” it out, then seek a professional. I did and it helped tremendously.
When your child walks in the room, smile. It lets then know you “see” them.
Learn to say no more often. I promise you, they need it.
Talk to your children instead of at them. Children have opinions and sometimes good ideas too. My son was always good with coming up with dinner ideas.
Play hooky with them every year. Let them take a day off of school. Take them to their favorite restaurant and just hang out. Make it a tradition.
Everyone is faking it too, so do what is best for you and your family. Always.
You are doing the best you can. Cut yourself some slack.