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Parenting: 6 Myths You Should Know About

Parenting: 6 Myths You Should Know About

    It is easy to get overwhelmed with parenting these days. There are societal pressures and ever-changing child-rearing theories that have created a lot of stress and anxiety for parents. It’s time to clear up some misguided notions about good and bad parenting so that parents can get back to feeling confident and being able to enjoy their kids again.

    Here are the top myths surrounding the topic of parenting:

    1. Parenting has to be stressful and chaotic.

    Television shows, movies, and magazines seem to be driving this message home constantly. We see images of overwhelmed and exhausted parents everywhere! This seems to be the reality and so we just buy into it and become one of those busy, stressed parents ourselves.

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    This is a myth though. If certain tools are learned and used, and if we live our lives more slowly and with routine, our lives with family can be absolutely magical and peaceful.

    2. The more you do the better parent you are.

    Rushing around, taking your children to lessons and practices does not make you a great parent. Sorry. Giving your children love, one-on-one time and creating and participating in family traditions does.

    Being a great parent also means allowing your child to have down-time and loads of time to play. It is here that your children learn, problem-solve and are able to be physically healthy.

    3. You have to LOVE playing with your child.

    What? You don’t like playing choo-choo train with your child? You don’t like pretending you are an alien on another planet or a fairy in another land?

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    Spending quality time with your child IS important but many, many parents have been made to feel guilty that they do not enjoy participating in child-like play.

    Children and adults play very differently. Often children will dictate to parents HOW to play a game and when the parent tries, the child will often say, “No, this way”, making it even less enjoyable to play their game.

    So, choose something you love to do and share it with your child. Children LOVE to see what their parents like doing and often want to participate.

    4. You are a bad parent if you use the word “discipline” instead of “managing my child’s behaviors”.

    The word discipline comes from the word disciple, which means “learner”. Our children are the learners in our family…along with us of course, as we are all constantly learning. It is our job to teach and guide our children through each stage of their lives, using our values and experience as our reference.

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    Getting caught up on a word just shifts the focus from what is important – teaching our kids how to have self-discipline, to be kind, and to feel good about themselves. Not all discipline is equal, I’ll agree, however, using the word “discipline” should never label you as a parent who doesn’t care about the well-being of your child.

    5. The more talking and explaining you do, the more your child will do the right thing.

    This is a myth because children, particularly from the ages of 2-7 are concrete learners and do not have an understanding of logic and reasoning. They need simple sentences that they can follow and concrete experiences that they can understand.

    Any long lecture just goes in one ear and out the next. Simplicity is what works best, then adding more talking and explaining as they grow older and can actually comprehend what is being said.

    6. Letting your child struggle or get upset is bad parenting.

    Although it is not easy to watch our children struggle or be upset it is necessary at times and actually helps our children learn how to do new things and as a result feel good about themselves.

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    We know that the only way our children learn anything is to practice and practice, and that along with the practicing, there will be some frustration. Once they do master something they will feel great about themselves and THIS is the time to jump in and give them a high five, a hug and attention.

    Taking this experience of practice and mastery away from our children robs them of having confidence in themselves, the ability to be resilient and the feeling that they are capable. So, the next time your child is struggling, just stand back, let them try and try again, and if after some time, 5-10 minutes, they are not able to succeed, offer them encouragement and a little bit of help if needed.

    Given your experience as a parent or even as an observant child, what would you add to the list? I look forward to reading your thoughts!

    Image: Cia de foto

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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