When you look back at your parenting successes and failures in 2017 what do you see? Are you happy with what you accomplished? Are you a bit disappointed that you came up short in a few key areas?
As a parent, you should never expect yourself to be perfect. Even when you do whatever you can to help your child along, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong. With 2017 in the books, there is no better time than now to look at the past to assess the good and bad.
Here are 5 parenting lessons 2017 taught me:
1. Always be Open to Questions
This is easier said than done because some questions are extremely difficult to address. For example, those associated with friendship, sex, and alcohol can throw you for a curve. However, you don’t want to make the mistake of shooting down your child’s questions and hoping that he or she figures things out on their own. This could backfire on you soon enough.
Early in 2017 I wasn’t as open to questions as I should have been. Fortunately, by the time October rolled around, I realized just how important this was.
2. Kids Have Mood Swings Just Like Adults
It’s easy to assume that your child will always be in a good mood, but you can’t expect this. Even if you have a happy child, you should realize that their mood can change without notice. This holds true with infants all the way up to teenagers (and beyond, of course).
It was hard for me to come to grips with this, but I eventually found my way.
3. Give Your Kids Space to Grow
It’s difficult to let go as your child gets older, but it’s something you need to do.
If you continue to smother your child, there’s a good chance he or she will start to pull away from you even more – and that’s not something you want.
This was one of my most challenging parenting moments. I did everything I could to hold onto my children, but soon realized it was holding them back from growing.
Once I let go, it was easy to see that we were actually growing closer together. You should give it a try.
4. Watch Their Use of Technology
No one wants to believe their children will get into something bad, but this is easier today than ever before. And the reason is simple: technology is everywhere.
Does your child have a smartphone? Do they use social media every single day of their life?
You don’t want to come across as overly strict, but you definitely need to know how your child is using technology.
During the early months of 2017, I was giving my older children entirely too much leeway on Facebook and Twitter. I made the decision to lay out expectations as to let my children know what they should and shouldn’t be doing online.
It was an adjustment period, but everything worked out in the end.
5. Plan Alone Time With Each Child
If you have more than one child you know just how difficult it can be to plan alone time with each one. Even so, you need to find a way to do so.
I wasn’t always good at this. Instead, I would try to lump all activities together. Unfortunately, my children became upset with me, and I realized that we weren’t spending enough alone time together.
If you’re struggling with this, try to plan a trip. If you do, check out squareship for travel tips and some ideas on how to spend time with your children. You may come across a handful of ideas that really get the ball moving in the right direction.
So, there you have it. These are just a few of the many parenting lessons 2017 taught me. There were many others, but these five definitely stand out from the crowd.
With 2018 flying by, there is no better time than now to implement a parenting plan for the months to come.
Did you make any parenting mistakes in 2017? Were you able to rectify them by the end of the year? Use the comment section below to share your biggest mistakes, as well as your approach to making things right.