In a word, No. Well, not as hard as some would have you to believe. Yes, raising children requires a lot of sacrifice and dedication. However, when you learn to be yourself and not fear mistakes, you will have a much easier time. Many of the books on the subject make you feel as if there are a bunch of learned approaches to parenting. That is why there are so many authors and so many views. I am sure that you have noticed that there is an entire industry devoted to educating new parents on the various techniques. Specialists and researchers have made a lot of money pushing one technique or another. Free enterprise is a great thing, really. It can be overwhelming. I have seen many a parent struggle with the inner demons telling them that their instinctive behavior is wrong because some so-called expert is telling them that they are scaring their children. Here is a little secret. We are all scarred. I know I am. In fact, I don?t know a since person that is not. And yet, despite it all, we are still contributing members of society. Have you ever felt that your parents did it wrong? I have. And yes, there are lessons to be learned from their mistakes. However, there are a lot of things that they did right.
Now, I may sound like some old man with ?good old days? syndrome. But, I know that children 20 or 30 years ago had much more respect for authority, elder and, frankly, themselves. Now, I am not saying that all children did. Of course, there are delinquents in every generation. I have some in my own family. But, I still believe that this was true. I know I did. It is my contention that this was due to the more straight-forward parenting methods of generations past. I know that my parents did not think much about corporal punishment. They certainly would never have thought much about Attachment Parenting. I think the basic philosophy of the time, if there was one, was that children should have a healthy fear of their elders. Not the kind of fear one feels when they are in mortal or bodily danger. But the kind of fear felt when we look in the mirror and see the blue and red lights flashing. ?How long has he been back there? I had the radio up and did not hear the siren. This is going to be bad?. My experience? Yes. When I was 20 years old. Anyway, this is the kind of fear I am talking about. Without a healthy fear of authority young, children will never grow up to respect authority and their elders. If they are raised as equals with their own ability to decide right and wrong, what they will eat, where they will sleep, and on and on? They have no reason to respect their parents. They are equals.
I think the parents of my generation and prior parented from instinct. They applied their own adult logic when problems arose and applied the necessary force. In the last decade, parenting has become something of a science. Too much so, in my opinion. We should go back to parenting from instinct. As a parent, you should trust your adult sensibilities to make the appropriate decision when dealing with your children. Does this mean that you will always be right? No. You will make mistakes. But you will have an opportunity to learn from them. You will not scar your child unduly. And, most of all, they will be your mistakes and not the mistakes of some specialist found in the hottest parenting book of the day. In other words, don?t be afraid to parent with your own style. Just as not all kids are the same, not all parents are the same.
Stand up and parent like an adult
About the Author: Practical Parent is a parent of two children from Plano, TX. He is not a licensed therapist or professional in child development. The advice offered here is simply the opinion of one parent. Although I have seen much success with this philosophy, it is not for everyone. For more advice, see my web site at http://www.practicalparentingadvice.com