Parenting is a scary and unpredictable journey because no matter how much you try to prepare yourself through reading or speaking to others, majority of it will just be learned through trial and error! Each baby is different, each parent is different, and each time and place are different, so unfortunately there are few universal truths and constants about parenting! We do know that babies cry and poop a lot, require a lot of love and attention, need to eat and sleep a lot, and that's pretty much it!
Parents on Reddit where asked to share the best parenting lessons they have learned on their journey through parenthood that were missed in all the books. We have collected some of the best ones to share with you. Here are 10 lessons parents have learned along the way.
"Your kids are going to be who they are and not what you imagined them to be. From a young age. Let it happen and don't fight it. Encourage it." -BadParentingAdvice
We truly believe that this is one of the most important lessons for a parent to learn. We canno't force our kids to be who we always imagined them to, we need to let them be who they were destined to be.
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"If you are asking yourself whether doing X makes you a bad parent, you are already ahead of the game. Bad parents don't ask themselves questions like that." -Rbaltimore
Parenting is a learning process and as long as you take the time to access your actions than you are most likely doing things right. Its common nature to compare yourself to others and its a very good sign if you take the time to reflect on your actions.
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“Try not to judge other parents. You never know what they’re struggling with. I have come to the realization that most parents are just trying THEIR best. It may not be the same as my best, but it's the best for their child.” -Sabreens
We've all judged a parent at some point in our lives but once you become a parent you begin to realize how most of parenting is about acting in the gray. Almost nothing is black and white. We love this advice and it ties in well to Lesson #4...
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“At some point you will be that parent you judged before you had kids and it is okay.” -Kidsarecuterthancats
There will many circumstances where from the view point of an onlooker you are not "parenting" but from our standpoint we are doing what we feel is right. For example, a mom shopping in a grocery store while her kid is throwing a tantrum. Onlookers might be appalled that this mom is allowing her kid to scream and isn't leaving the store, however the mom might have already tried this and learned that her child throws a temper tantrum to get out of doing the things he or she doesn't like such as grocery shopping. There are 2 sides to every coin and there isn't simply a correct and incorrect way to handle things.
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“Never miss an opportunity to look your kid in the eye and tell them you love them, how proud you are of them, and how much joy they bring into your life. They may not be there tomorrow.” -Dermzzz
Life is unpredictable and life does not go according to your plans. Life as you know it can change in the blink of an eye. Tomorrow is never guarantees but this exact moment is so use it to remind those you love how much you truly love and appreciate them. There is no such thing as loving your family and friends too much. Let them know how special they are to you every chance you get, you won't regret it.
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“Kids don’t listen to what you tell them anywhere near as much as they listen to what you show them.” -Thompson_S_Sweetback
This goes for most things in life, you must lead by example. It is much too easy to say all the right things but it's much more important to practice what you preech. Our kids often mirror what they see their parents do so make sure you are acting in a way you would want your kids to.
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“When it comes to discipline, whatever method you choose, you must follow through or your credibility will be ruined.” -Ctcook
Example: if you say, "If you do X then Y will happen" then Y better happen. Otherwise, your credibility is ruined and your kid will always think, "is this for real, or is this like when they said Y would happen". This is not going to be easy, but it's really important that our kids understand that their bad actions will have consequences. This will result in kids who think before they act.
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"Don't expect everything to go like you think it will. From the second of conception, so much is out of your control. Being flexible and willing to adapt will make your life much easier." -sassyfras
You could be following every rule in the book but life will happen the way it's going to so you must learn to go with it. You will end up a better parent, spouse, and person if you allow for fleciblity in your life. Don't let the things you can't control stress you out, just try to learn to adapt to the way things are happening.
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“Sometimes you have to admit that you were in the wrong or acted irrationally, and you will have to fess this up to your kid and apologize.” -Misanthropologist
We make mistakes as parents and we will at times take out our anger/frustrations on our kids when they don't deserve that treatment. It is very important for our kids to see us apologize when we act incorrectly, and then try not to let this happen again. This will teach our kids that everyone is accountable for their actions as well as that everyone should be treated with respect both big and small!
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"That your power to refrain from giving your kid 2 cookies instead of one can be easily broken by a hug. It's the little hands on the back of your neck." -CompMolNeuro
Our kids hold the power to melt us into a big pile of mush and to make us want to give them the world. They will try to use this power against us and there will be times that we will allow them to, becuase every once in awhile we should.
We also love this lesson: “Be flexible in all things. Kids don’t care about your idealistic visions of parenthood. They just want to be fed, held, entertained, and loved.” -TheRealMichaelBolton
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