Wanted to share a small piece of my new book Parenting with an Edge:
It all starts with a stick…those two minutes you have to wait are the longest two minutes of your life…then you get the “+” sign. You are pregnant! You will be someone’s parent. You spend the next nine months preparing for your baby. You realize that there are so many things to do; so many things to buy; and so many things to learn. You also realize that children do not come with instruction manuals. Now what?
You can rely on books that your family and friends recommend or the internet. Your parents, and other caregivers you had, will give you some of the best advice, but take all of this with a grain of salt because no certain way is perfect and not every parenting tip works for everyone.
Once you learn you are pregnant your whole world and the way you see things change immediately. You will start seeing babies everywhere and begin making judgments of other parents. You may see a sweet interaction between and mother and daughter and think I can’t wait! Then you will see a negative interaction between a mother and daughter and think am I really ready for this?
Many adults struggle with raising children partly because of the importance of parental responsibility. As a parent, it is our responsibility to meet the needs of our children. You will be responsible for basic needs such as water; nutritious food; shelter; a warm bed with clean sheets, blanket and a pillow; medical care; clothing; and personal space. You will want to provide an environment that is safe. You will be responsible for providing their self-esteem needs and the morals and values of your family. As a parent, we want to develop a discipline system to create the mutual respect every family member deserves. These are the basics.
Aside from the basics, one of the most important things a parent can give their child is a sense of being loved. We must give unconditional love and support. Tell them that you love them every day. Tell them that there is nothing they could ever do or say that would cause you to stop loving them. Tell them that you are in their corner on every issue. Spend time with them. Show them that they are the priority in your life. Support their endeavors even if they choose a path that you would never choose or didn’t want them to choose.