All parents strive to be the perfect parents right? They want to be the best leaders, providers, caregivers, and friends to their children. Yet, is there a perfect balance, or a perfect formula out there for parents to follow? Of course not, because how can any one child be the same as the next, and how can any one parent be the same as another? Human beings are complicated individuals, and not one is ever the exact same as another. This all being said, there are many forms of advice out there that can lead a parent in the right direction to being the best parent they can be to their children.
Of course, the way a parent raises their child also changes over time. There are specific ways to be a great parent to an infant, and there are drastically different methods of being a great parent to a teenager. So what do the experts out there say? What do they believe a person has to do to be considered a good parent, in all aspects of their child’s life? An article on healthy children.org, “A ‘Perfect’ Parent” says, “As a parent, you need to develop your own philosophy – one with which you feel comfortable – within a flexible and adaptable framework. Take into account your own expectations, parenting style, and temperament, and how they fit with each of your children and your spouse, and their own unique preferences and temperaments. Your approach and philosophy will vary from youngster to youngster, mainly because of their own particular attributes.”
Personally, I can attest that this is a good way to look at how to parent your child or children. Although I am not a parent yet myself, I have observed and learned from the way my parents have raised my younger brother and I. Although no parent is perfect, I can say that I have truly admired the methods my parents have gone about when raising my brother and I, and the way they have adapted to our specific needs as well as their own.
My mother and father were parents with specific expectations when it came to our manners, attitudes, grades, and free time. We were taught to work hard at everything we do, giving 110% at all times. My parents gave us rules, but also allowed us specific freedoms. We never had chores because we were always expected to maintain a clean living environment, and were given responsibilities at a young age. At the same time we were never restricted like some children are. My parents subjected us to many things, so that my brother and I would learn right from wrong, and so that we would learn self control. They would both discipline us in ways they felt fit when we made mistakes or were bad, however, they praised us when we learned from our mistakes or when we felt remorse. As my brother and I grew, their parenting changed, morphing more into a mutual friendship than a parent-child relationship. Today, the relationship my brother and I have with our parents is an interesting one. We still look to them for guidance from time to time, and respect them like no other, but now things are different. We laugh with our parents, talk with our parents, and confide in our parents like we do our best friends. We are welcome to live our lives as free, young adults because my parents know they have done the best they can to guide us and help us make the right decisions.
I am definitely not saying I have the perfect parents, but I am saying they were truly on to something when it came to the balance they put into raising my brother and I. Hopefully I will take the best parts of their parenting skills, and adapt them to my own children in the future, being the best parent that I can possibly be.