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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

10 Things YOU Can Do to Be the Perfect Parent

I read an article today, providing 10 tips for raising children.  While I agreed with most of the article, I found my mind wandering to the hundreds, if not thousands of published articles available online, detailing how to raise perfect, healthy, happy, successful, social children.  Most contain SOME good information.  It is important to remember, however, that the internet is a huge place, where anyone with an opinion is allowed to tout themselves as expert.

I met with our pediatrician for my son's one-year well child exam.  We covered several things, most of which I had already heard with my daughter, but some was new.  The world of pediatric recommendations is ever changing, and part of the reason I like our doctor so much is because he acknowledges this.  I boldly told him that, while the recommendations are great, I feel Mother's intuition and a bit of common sense goes a long way.  He agreed.

I think we, as mothers, are trained to second-guess ourselves, lay guilt upon ourselves, and believe we are not measuring up to the other mothers we know or encounter on our parenting journey.  We need to be a little kinder.  We need to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect parent (or child).  We also need to realize that each child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

In my household, I try to remember to stay positive as much as possible.  It's very easy to wrap up in the negatives of the world, and the difficulties of raising a family while working full time.  I try to give myself a break and focus on the things that are important, which sometimes means my house isn't spotless, but my children's laughter during our shared experiences more than makes up for it!  I try to model healthy habits, including a healthy relationship with my husband, in hope that my kids grow up to learn to take care of themselves and their relationships too.  I TRY to do these things, and I don't always succeed.  We have our good and bad days, but we have a lot of love and laughter in our home.

So - in my NON-expert opinion, find what works for your family and do the best you can to make it happen each day.  Be kind to yourself, your partner, and your children.  Make love the priority (tough love included!)  Have FUN with your children, and do not expect perfection under any circumstances....the good stuff resides in the imperfect!

Our perfectly imperfect attempt at a Christmas family picture.

There is no magic method.  If there were, a whole lot of internet "experts" would be out of a job!

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