We meet so many parents who at their wits’ end and are on the verge of giving up. They say they can’t take it anymore.
Parents juggle so many roles and burden themselves with rules from the books of good parenting. They cook nutritious food every single day, they fight the battle at the dinner table, they play hard to cut down on screen time and they face all challenges of modern day parenting until they are exhausted. They go through it each day. In spite of giving their 200 percent, they fear falling short of expectations. They pray for patience to go on one more day.
They falter, they fumble, they fall. They go wrong so many times. They end up spanking, screaming and shouting, only to hear their children shout back.
To all those parents, all we want to say is,’Pat your back’.
You can pat your back for putting your children above all else:
There will be days without a clean eyebrow, fine make-up and tucked up hair. There will be nights on the floor, on the sofa or on the chair. There will be months without a vacation and it might seem forever since you had a party. You may not remember the last time you took shower, went on a coffee break or telephoned a friend. All of this because you put your children ahead of everything and that deserves a pat on the back.
You can pat your back for giving freedom to your children:
You may feel rage when your children shout back or throw tantrums. However, that is so much better than raising children who don’t have a voice. Would you rather have children who fear you and despise your authority? Your children have a say and that is because you have taught them to speak up. Don’t resent it. Pat your back for raising confident kids. ( In time, you will manage to teach them polite conversations too).
You can pat your back for raising playful happy children:
You might go mad at the constant running around, emptying of toy baskets and loud noises by your children. You would have secretly hoped for zero vacations for your kids. However, a messy house with toys around tell a beautiful story. They indicate spirited kids who like to play. Would you rather have children who sit in front of TV screens all day? Yes, the house will be clean but at the cost of inert children with bored souls. The house would look lovely and calm. However, the children would have lost their creativity and energy to play offline. You wouldn’t hear them fighting with kids in the neighbourhood. They would be children without social circles. Pat your back for raising soulful kids.
You can pat your back for taking one day at a time:
You will miss your breakfast schedules. You will be late for school. You will forget to get the homework done. You will feel too exhausted to play. There will be bad days that come by every once in a while. They will make you feel terrible. You will want to run away. Life might seem like infinity but you would gather courage to face it. Pat your back for smiling through these days, getting ready for another day and doing a fabulous job.
You can pat your back for raising children who communicate:
You may feel bad when a teenager questions your decisions and seeks answers. You might wonder where you went wrong and if your parenting faltered. Have you considered the flip-side? Would you rather have your children run away from home? Would you rather have them confide in someone else? If your children are making an argument, take it as a healthy sign. They are not questioning you. You have taught them to resolve matters through communication. Pat your back.
Pat your back for keeping the score even:
You scream, shout and spank them. You go above and beyond to teach them discipline and good manners. You put your foot down on important matters of nutrition and well-being. You go loggerheads with them for their own good. However, you get even with equally rewarding behaviour. You set off by playing till you drop, showering them with unlimited hugs and kissing their troubles away. You give your precious time while sacrificing your personal priorities. Pat your back for making them feel important, in spite of a tough parenting style.
Pat your back for being imperfect:
Perfect parenting is a wrong goal to chase. When you chase perfection, you want to do it right no matter what. You won’t listen to your children. You would want to play it by the books. You won’t let them be. You will shout foul if anything goes wrong. You will hate the sight of spilt milk, broken toys or soiled carpets. You will drag your children into your perfection goals. You won’t laugh at life’s blunders. Pat your back for embracing parenting in its entirety, along with its imperfections.
There are no badges or certificates being given away for good parenting. Parenting style is customised to every family and their needs. What works for you, works for you. If you end up losing out, screaming or crying, it’s fine. In fact, run away in the night for a long drive or for an ice cream. Cry aloud, every once in awhile. That’s how it is meant to be. You are chasing wrong goals if you are seeking a forever peaceful home with always-obedient kids. Let the house be full of free-spirited, happy children driving you crazy. And let patience grow to levels where you laugh it off and fall in love with the madness.