I’m far from being a perfect parent. I do some things right. I make some mistakes. The biggest mistake I believe I make is that I don’t believe in my abilities as a parent. This low self confidence is even evident at times to my own son, and I believe it shouldn’t be. Children need us to be leaders, and leaders must be confident. That’s why I’m always reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos to help me become a better parent.
The other day I saw this video about being a good parent. I thought I’d write a blog post using the same 8 points they said were important in order to be a good parent, and comment on my opinion of them and whether I think I have these requirements.
This is just for enlightment purposes. No video or quiz or person could judge whether you are a good parent or not. You aren’t even a fair judge for that matter. Many good parents belittle themselves and many bad parents see themselves in a grandiose manner. According to my 5 year old, “there is no such thing as a bad mommy”, so I think I’ll take his word for it.
So here are the 8 requirements of a good parent, according to the video I saw on YouTube:
“Getting down to your childs level”, especially when they’re having big feelings. I agree but sadly my anger and self righteousness and sometimes my pride gets in the way.
Sometimes I forget he is 5 years old and I should be the reasonable adult and let him be the child. If I were to score myself on my level of attunement for my son, in terms of prioritizing his needs and feelings over mine, I’d say I score a 6/10.
2. Small things
I read once to pay attention to the small things in a child’s life, so they can share the big things with you when they grow older, because to them, the small things were the big things all along. So when your child is excited over a balloon, share the excitement. When your child is upset over a broken crayon, “be sympathetic”.
It’s called “sympathy for age appropriate sorrow”. I agree with it 💯 but sadly I don’t follow it much. I’d give myself a 3/10. My ranking may or may not be clouded by my insecurities and distorted vision of myself.
Sorry but I’m not very forgiving or tolerant. But in a lot of ways, I am. It’s a bit complicated. I have low tolerance and always demand apologies, but once he acts cute or hugs me or apologizes, I’m easily forgiving.
The point of forgiveness here is to “not consider your child a troublemaker because they are simply upset at the arrival of a new sibling, nor antisocial because they prefer the company of a few certain people over others. Being forgiving with your child teaches them self-forgiveness”. I totally agree, and so I give myself a 7/10.
4. Strange phases
Every child goes through “phases of obsession, wierdness, tantrums” over tiny things like cutting the sandwich the wrong way. As much as it’s important to discipline a child and help them regulate their emotions, it’s also important “not to label the child” or shame them.
Don’t make them feel horrible for not knowing how to do something from the 1st few times. Do encourage them to try again. Labeling a child stupid or stubborn only makes them believe that that is who they are, and they will fixate on that. I admit, at times I resort to shaming, when I am angry, but I try to make it up with kind words as much as possible.
I call my son smart, kind, important, funny, cute, etc. His face lights up everytime I call him a good name and it falls everytime I claim he can’t hear well because he didn’t listen or understand my directions. So I guess I’ll go with a balanced 5/10.
“Allow the child their natural need for reassurance in order for them to become securely attached”. I admit, when my son was clingy, I resented it sometimes and accepted it at other times.
Also, the video says “don’t request your child to be brave” but I disagree because my son gets scared a lot and if I let him be and don’t push him to face his fears, he will never leave his comfort zone. So in this regard, I give myself a 7/10.
“Don’t set yourself up as a glamorous figure. Don’t try appear perfect and ideal”. 1st of all, I don’t try to appear perfect. 2nd of all, I couldn’t even if I tried.
They also say to “be present, ordinary, dignified, and occasionally silly”. So minus my occasional blowouts, I’d get a solid 8/10 in this domain.
The video says “you must appear boring, predictable, and stable”. I’m not even close to being these things. However, I disagree with their explanation of boring. I think they meant you must be dependable. In that case, I win.
“You must accept that parenthood is a role you play and not a full representation of who you are”. True. I’m a writer. A Muslim. A friend. A sister. A daughter. A wife. But to my son, I’m a boring housewife who does nothing but housework and reading, so I’d get an 8/10 here too.
8. Unreciprocated love
“Give love but don’t expect care, love and attention”. I disagree.
“The fruit of your labor will show when your child develops into a good parent”. I agree.
However, I believe when your child shows care, love and attention as a child, it means you’re doing a good job showing them how to express love.
“Love is considerate, tender, and patient”. True.
“A child can’t help but be out of control, confused, frustrating and bewildered”. True but it’s our job as parents to teach them how to regulate their emotions, not let them be and be passively patient and hope they grow out of it.
So in this domain, I think I get an 8/10.
In conclusion, no video or quiz determines if you’re a good parent or not. Your child’s level of happiness does. Things like my son telling me “mommy, I need your help” shows how he is learning proper communication.
Things like when my son comes to me and offers a hug, tells me he loves me but is still mad at me because I asked him to put his colored pencils away and he refused because then he will have to wash his hands (he’s turning into a germophobe and I’m trying to not let him go too far), but just wanted to express his love for me. Afterwards, he proceeded to put his colored pencils away because I assured him that our house is clean and corona-free and that he doesn’t have to wash his hands after putting the colored pencils away. These are 2 examples from today.
I lose my cool a lot. I go into rage sometimes. I act childish, immature, and insecure. But I also love my son so much that I made it my life’s mission to be a good role model and to raise him into a kind strong human being. I’m far from perfect. Some days I don’t spend enough 1 on 1 time with him. Other days, like today, we do arts and crafts together. Click here to see the crocodile I cut and he painted.
I’m a bit too controlling sometimes, but I think that I’ve done an okay job so far. There is a lot I need to work with, but I’d rather have a strong willed child over an amiable one any day of the week, except while I’m in public, but that’s for another post.