Thursday, November 19, 2009

4 Difficult Questions that Parents Face

NOTE FROM SUSAN: Today's guest post was written by Jennifer Johnson. If you've ever asked yourself if you're making the right decisions for your child, you're a normal parent! The truth is that we're all just learning on the job, and sometimes it's hard to know if we're doing the "right thing" for our kids. But that's all just part of the process in growing as a parent.

It’s a job that’s not really a job at all, but one that is definitely harder than the most complicated jobs in the world; it makes you delirious with joy one moment and mad with wanting to pull your hair out the next; and it certainly is very rewarding in spite of all the pitfalls and perils that all parents face today. Parenting is something that people learn on the job; no matter how much you think you’re prepared for it, there are regular curve balls that throw you for a loop. So if you’re a parent, you’re bound to ask yourself the following difficult questions more than once:

• Am I doing the right thing? What is the right thing to do when raising a child? There are no hard and fast rules, and with unsolicited advice coming from all quarters from both the self-proclaimed experts and the eager to help, you are always in a quandary as to whether you’re doing the right thing. Are you spoiling your children’s health by allowing them to eat a pizza once in a while? Are you keeping them safe by not allowing them to play outside where they are at the risk of being kidnapped or hurt or hindering their health by keeping them indoors all the time? No matter what your doubts are, you must do what you think is right for your child, because as a parent, you know them better than anyone else.

• Where do I draw the line? Are you spoiling your children by buying them all that they demand? Or are you denying them material possessions that other children their age have and making them feel left out in the process? Where do you draw the line when it comes to their demands, especially for things that are not really necessary? One way to resolve this dilemma is to fix a budget for each child for each year and allow them to fix their demands within this amount. This way, you teach them to be responsible and realize the value of money even while giving in to their demands.

• Should I interfere or not? When your children are a little older and begin to wake up to the idea of the opposite sex and substances that boost your mood, you hesitate to probe into their lives although you badly want to do so. You fear losing them for good if you’re too nosy, and you fear that they will be affected badly if you don’t step in to protect them. The best way to resolve this quandary is to be friends with your children from a very early age. This way, they know they can come to you with any problem they may face or any questions they may have because you will not reprimand or judge, only understand and help.

• Why can’t I treat all my children equally? Parents with more than one child are always in this dilemma. The way they treat their younger one is different from the way they treated the older one at the same age. This bias or lack of it is not intentional; it’s just that your situation may have changed since your second or third child was born and you have adapted accordingly. So don’t worry about this too much and continue to be the best parents you can without worrying about the pitfalls this job involves. After all, you’re learning something new every day!

This guest article was written by Jennifer Johnson, who welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't parenting be so much simpler if each child came with an individual book? Always a challenge out there, regards to parenting! Great post.


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