Family Magazine

How You Know You’re Doing This Parenting Thing Right

By Monicasmommusings @mom2natkatcj

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How You Know You’re Doing This Parenting Thing Right
Parenting is the hardest job there is out there.  You are in charge of molding and shaping these little people’s minds and bodies so they hopefully grow up to become productive members of society.  Not one of us is the perfect parent.  And I know I doubt myself every single day.  When my teenager back talks me, I doubt myself.  When my preteen cries, “But that’s not fair!” I doubt myself.  When my 5 year old tells me, “No, I’m never going to bed!” I doubt myself.  When my toddler has a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store because I want her to ride in the cart and not run around the store like a crazy child, I doubt myself.  But there are times in life when I say, okay I must be doing something right.

The Fruits Of My Labor

So here’s how I know I must be doing at least one thing right…

  1. When my preteen goes over a friend’s house after school for a few hours and I pick her up and the parent/guardian tells me your daughter was a true pleasure to have over, she is welcome here anytime, I think okay manners did sink in.  For the record these exact words have been uttered to me twice by two different parent/guardian this year.
  2. When my teenager is asked by other adults to watch their children because they see how good she is with her younger siblings I think I have instilled responsibility into this child.
  3. When my 5 year old stops to help a classmate who has fallen down or got hurt I think he has learned to be sympathetic to his fellow man.
  4. When my toddler says please (ease) and thank you (ank-oo) without being prompted to when asking for and receiving things I think the constant reminders are at least sinking in.
  5. When I get the kids report cards from school or go to their parent/teacher conferences and I’m told what good classroom citizens they are I think they have learned how to be respectful and mindful of others feelings.
  6. When my preteen received a glowing recommendation for safety patrol this year and then was given the position because the principal felt she was responsible enough to handle it, I think the years of giving her responsibilities and chores have paid off.

These are the moments when I think some of the things I have told them have sunk in.  However, it’s not when they accomplish something in school.  Either musically, artistically, athletically, or academically.  While I’m extremely proud of the hard work and dedication my children have to their studies and other activities their accomplishments are not my own accomplishments.  Well, unless maybe I were homeschooling.   Their intelligence and drive and talents are theirs.  They are moments which make me so proud to be their mother, but they don’t define me as a mother.  When they shine at something that doesn’t make me a better mother.  When they falter at something that doesn’t make me a worse mother.  As a matter of fact, I think how we handle things as a mother when they do falter and what we do to help them and lift them back up is a larger challenge as a parent and something that needs to be handled with kid gloves.  How our children come out of the times of struggle has more of a reflection on our ability as a parent than how they do in the areas they shine in.

I am forever proud of my children and they give me reasons to smile on a daily basis.  But we have to let our children shine when it’s time for them to shine and not take credit for their accomplishments.  Those are theirs.  And perhaps they’ll even be polite respectful people in spite of any of our teachings.  Although, I do like to think I have led by example there.

How do you know when you’re doing the parenting thing right?

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