Everyone thinks that they have parenting down, until they become one. It is so easy to stand child free in a grocery store and condemn the parents of a screaming toddler. How simple it is to think to yourself that your child would never do such a thing.
The truth is, parenting is not that predictable, and the things you swear your children will never do, often come back to haunt you.
Parenting is messy, because life is messy. There is nothing more amusing than watching the havoc a two year old can wreak on an organized parent?s schedule. Good parenting requires the ability to be flexible.
Children dont always do what you expect them to, when you expect them to do it. You never know when you will have to call on plan B because your daughter got the chicken pox or your son fell into a mud puddle on the way to the school bus stop. They key to parenting successfully, is to learn to go with the flow.
This doesnt mean that you cant give your children a schedule or stick to a bedtime routine, but it does mean being willing to bend rather than break when life throws you a curve. Flexibility in parenting is about learning how to pick your battles and set your priorities straight.
Good parents know that every child is different. It is impossible to expect a child to live up to your time table, yet many parenting articles and websites insist that your baby will walk by a certain age, talk by a certain date, and grow in the same pattern as every other child on earth.
While there are guidelines that can help you know what milestones your child should reach by a certain age, never compare your child to the neighbors kid.
Just because the neighbor boy can count to 60 at age three and your child can count to three doesn?t mean that your child is behind. Some children are just more gifted at certain things and chances are your child is ahead of the neighbor boy in a different developmental trait.
Even in families, no two children are alike. Many parents are surprised to find that their children have such different and diverse interests and personalities, despite being raised in the same family. The basic fact is that every child is different and how you deal with each child even in the same family will often be different as well.
Good parenting skills help you to realize that there are no generic answers to parenting questions. While you may find great advice from experts, friends, and family, you need to make that advice your own so that it will work for your individual situation.