Parenting is the most important job you’ll ever do. Because you care so much and want to get it right, it’s natural to sometimes feel anxious or make comparisons.
But, chances are, you’re doing a lot more right than you might think.
Every child and parent-child relationship is unique. Here are some ideas for how you can increase your confidence in your own parenting.
INCREASING YOUR CONFIDENCE AS A PARENT
- Celebrate yourself as a parent! As your child gets older, remember you’re gaining more parenting experience. You are learning and growing along with your child.
- Play together. Spending time playing builds your relationship with your child. The better you know and understand your child, the more confident you’ll feel in your parenting choices.
- Listen to your child and trust your intuition. By observing your child’s behavior and listening to what they say, you’ll gain a better idea of how to best support them. Know that you are the expert on your child.
- Be consistent. Set expectations that are fair and realistic for your child’s age and follow through. Explain your expectations, and teach your child the skills to be successful. Use natural consequences and positive guidance during challenging moments. For example, if your child spills milk, they can help clean it up (a natural consequence). Or, if your child has a meltdown, you can acknowledge their feelings and help them find solutions (positive guidance).
- Take a parenting class or workshop. Parenting classes or workshops are a great way to gain support and knowledge, as well as increase your confidence. Understanding how children typically develop can reduce a lot of worry too.
- Avoid comparison. Comparing your parenting style to other parents is like comparing apples to oranges. Everyone has a unique style of parenting based on a number of factors. Instead of comparing, talk about parenting challenges and share your ideas and successes. Create a supportive community you can lean on.
Remember that confidence in your parenting grows over time through experience. It’s OK if you make mistakes or don’t have it all figured out. Observe and listen to your child, trust your gut, and build a village of support.