If you know me or if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know my kids are my world. I am the kind of parent who loves being a parent. Does this means that everything is nice, and pretty, and perfect, and unicorns, and topped with sprinkles all the time? HECK NO! I have struggles, just like any other parent out there does. Today I want to share with you a few things to keep that frustration to a minimum.
I love my kids dearly, but they are little individuals with a mind of their own. They have personalities and are testing the world (myself included) to know their limits. This isn’t necessarily bad you know. They need to learn what they are capable or not of doing. But simply sitting back and letting them do just whatever the heck they want… nope, that is not going to work. Not for me, at least. So while I super duper love my kids, it can be frustrating at times to be a parent because they simply are more excited to try their version at things than to follow my directions. Well, this happens more often than I wished for and that is when it can be frustrating. Notice I said “CAN” be because it not always is and there are many factors that come into play which I will share shortly.
I am fully aware as I am sure any other parent with little ones in this day and age that there is a lot of “controversy” about spanking kids and creating little brats. People (or should I say “research shows”) seem to think that you either spank and ruin your child or don’t spank and ruin your child… seriously?! I don’t think we are ruining our children if they get a time-out (yes, I know time-outs are also “bad” these days) or if we use our words to solve a problem. The thing is that every child is different, and every situation is different which means you always need to asses it individually before deciding what the best course of action is to let little one know that his or her behavior is not acceptable. And as they are learning to be their own person, there are so many other factors that come into play here which shall too be shared shortly.
Also, I want to point out that the amount of societal pressure is freakin’ bunkers! Like super, duper, mega, ridiculously bunkers!!!!!!! (yup, extra exclamation points needed here) Because our world is “connected” to everything since we are such tech savvies these days, everything that we do gets “shared” with others. Now here is where I seriously need to draw a line, a freakin’ thick “personal shhhtuff” line! Just because we can share everything, doesn’t mean we should. Sure it is nice to see what you had for lunch, or a post-workout selfie, or know you are watching a movie, or that you are having adult beverages (I found it so amusing when I see someone shares that on their status), but not everything needs to be shared. Some people open up their lives, which is totally okay if that is what they want to do, but there are a few people who wrongly assume that this entitles them to pass judgment and push their ways into others. Along those lines is where the pressure comes to meet this “perfect parent standard” which only gives us unnecessary stress and makes parenting more frustrating that it needs to be.
Where are those other factors that I keep promising I will share? Well, I just kinda did. I say kinda because allowing other people decide what is the best for us and for our family can certainly be a damaging factor in anyone’s life. Allowing the pressure to be something or someone we are not so we can please others is a sure way to be frustrated all the time. Trying to “fit” the masses can be a problem if you are aiming for the wrong masses. What do I mean? Let’s put this way: waiting in line overnight to be one of the first ones to own the new iPhone is simply insane. The pressure certain people have to “be someone” based on what they owned is simply wrong yet is what marketers feed us with. I don’t let my oldest play Fortnite even though he thinks he should because “everyone else is playing it”. I much rather to be boring mommy than allow him to playing a game that is not age appropriate. That’s just who I am and I know other parents out there don’t have a problem with this at all. Some people allow trends or popularity be a factor in what they do, raising their kids included. I think these “other factors” are simply the same thing that can derive multiple effects: caring too much about what others think of you.
So, what can be done to take the frustration away? Well my list below might not pass the trending test but I think you should at least consider it:
- Frustration is a mere choice. The way we react to things is our choice. That is why earlier I said you “can” get frustrated . Hey, we are all humans so it happens! I know it is impossible to just laugh up all situations you are faced with as a parent, but you can also chose to face it with joy and a positive attitude. I mean… can we try to take the high road and play nice? Note than being nice is not about letting your kids do whatever with no consequences but rather teaching them how to be nice about everything. Remember:
Being nice to someone or something you dislike does not mean you are a fake. It means you are mature enough to tolerate your dislike towards them and accept any differences.
- Stop comparing. So what if lil one is not a great athlete or a talented musician? Sure you might hear your good friend bragging about how good her kids are at these and yours is the opposite. Good! Embrace that! Your lil one might be amazing at something else. Be patient to discover their talents and support them. Also keep in mind that true happiness is an inner quality. It doesn’t depend on how others see us or how they think of us.
- Focus on the present. It would be nice if my daughter did her homework withouth the interruptions of the stories of what happened at school earlier that day or three weeks ago. But guess what? Appreciate that. Appreciate their stories. Pay attention. Take interest. Listen. You’ve seen the quotes: The best present is to be present. Experience each moment with your kids. They really do grow very fast!
- Get rid of fear. Don’t be afraid of betting on your child. Support them so they can take chances and grow. Don’t be afraid of betting on yourself. Be the parent your child needs you to be and not the one others think you should be.
Remember these are my suggestions. You are welcome to use what brings value to you and disregard what doesn’t.
Have a great week!
Mama Bear Kim