There are plenty of widely accepted ideas about being a parent that simply aren’t true! I’m setting out today to debunk these myths about parenting for you and bring you the truth.
Being a parent ties you down
I’m a missionary kid, so I have a strong opinion when it comes to this topic. I hear far too many parents complain that they can’t travel or do fun things anymore because they have children now.
Let me tell you, my parents moved us halfway across the world when I was six and my brothers were four and 11 months. We moved internationally three more times after that. We lived in first world countries and third world countries. One of my brothers is autistic and had to be involved in special education in every country we moved to.
After experiencing that childhood, and meeting plenty of other like-minded families, I don’t accept children as an excuse not to go on adventures. Travel is good for children, and it’s good for adults too!
There is a secret formula
If you do everything right, your kids will turn out right.
This might just be the hardest part about raising children. You strive for years to provide them with the happiest childhood, the best education, the most loving family… And in the end, you still have to let them go and make their own choices. And the reality is that they will not always make the choices you would have chosen for them.
There will be times when you are disappointed in the choices they make. And there is nothing you can do about that. Your job is to prepare them for adulthood. What they do after that is entirely up to them.
If you do something wrong, they will be ruined for life
Children are incredibly resilient.
There is no such thing as a perfect parent, but something tells me that if you are reading a parenting blog, one of two things is true:
You have way too much time on your hands and need to find a hobby
You’re a good parent striving to be a great parent by learning everything you can about how you can best take care of your children.
I’m going to guess most of your fit into the latter category. So if you are actively trying to learn how to be the best parent you can, chances are your kids are going to be just fine. Sure, you’ll make a few mistakes along the way. Every parent does. But when you build a solid relationship with your children based on love and respect, it can handle a few bumps into the road.
Keeping your children safe is your most important job as a parent
I know, some of you might disagree with me on this one. But hear me out:
I believe that the goal of raising children is to develop successful, thriving adults. There are are plenty of smaller goals along the way, but that’s the main one. And yes, keeping children safe is a part of that. But when safety becomes to focus rather than a minor goal, children do not thrive. They are stifled in their abilities.
A while back I wrote a post on Myths Parents Believe About Child Safety. Doing what is best for children can be counterintuitive sometimes. Never letting your child get hurt seems like a good idea, but it prevents them from learning a lot of necessary skills. Always keeping your child in sight seems smart but it inhibits their independence. Only allowing them to do what they are capable of seems wise, but if they don’t push their limits they won’t grow in their abilities.
Your job as a parent is to help children realize their potential and strive for it. Even if that means a couple of scraped knees along the way.
How I raise my children is nobody else’s business
This one sounds really good, doesn’t it? Parents love to throw this one around, especially in a country where there is so much criticism aimed at parents who aren’t perceived to be doing the right thing.
I am not advocating that you start listening to every quack who has their own bizarre ideas about parenting. But this individualistic mindset of raising children just doesn’t mesh with reality. Here is why.
The way you raise your children affects EVERYONE they come into contact with! Yes, there is some pressure associated with parenting. You know that by now, if you’re a parent.
The person sitting in front of you on the plane, getting their seat kicked, and getting asked twenty times in a row if your kid can have some of their skittles (I’ve been there). That person is affected by the way you raise your children. It’s become their business (whether they like it or not) how you raise your children.
Your children’s teachers, who see your child every day and either have a delightful time or a hectic time. It’s their business how you raise your children. It affects them.
The people your child comes into contact with later in life – friends, bosses, co-workers, their spouse… All of these people are affected by your parenting. It’s their business how you raise your children.
Parenting may feel like an individual event, but it’s actually a team sport. You may be the star of the team, but you still need support from other players. “It takes a village to raise a child” may be an outdated saying, but there is still wisdom in it.