Hey everyone! Sorry for being inactive the past few weeks. Things have been quite hectic, but I’m back with more of my philosophical rants! The title might have people bit confused. After all, how can a young guy with no kids give anyone parenting advice? Well, to answer your question, I may not be a parent, but being the oldest of my siblings, I’ve had parental responsibilities put on me since I was about 15-16 years old. My parents got divorced when I was 11 years old, so when things got tough, and they both had to work, I had to step in and help out the younger ones when necessary. It wasn’t easy, but it taught me a lot. Aside from that, I’ve also had younger cousins, friends with kids, and witnessed a lot of different family dynamics. I’ve given solid parenting advice to parents whether they were my age or my parents’ age, and I was able to help them understand things that they didn’t understand previously.
The reason why I’m publishing this blog post is that in my work, I’ve seen a lot of people’s mental health disorders root back to their upbringings and how their parents treated them growing up. Being a victim of abuse myself, I resonate with it very well. I’m not here to bad mouth any parents out there. In fact, I strongly believe that all parents do the absolute best they can with what they’ve been given in life and what they knew at the time. One thing I often tell parents who struggle is that in order to be the best parent you can be, you need to be the best YOU you can be. Here are some helpful ways to achieve both.
In order to be the best parent you can be, you need to be the best YOU you can be.
One of the best things parents can do is learn from the mistakes of their parents. I’ve witnessed many people repeat their parents’ mistakes, while others learn from them and do better. The problem is that we’re all limited to our own knowledge and experiences, and many are often unaware that they are doing what their parents did to them. Awareness is the first step to making a positive change. Once a person is aware of an issue, he/she will then know about it and can make a change. Many people, in general, may struggle with having an ego, and I believe that having a big ego can stunt mental, intellectual, and spiritual growth. When it comes to the people we love, especially our children, it’s time to be humble and accept that we don’t know everything. Once we can do that, we can develop the willingness to ask questions and learn from others with expertise.
In addition to that, parents must understand that there is indeed a fine line between discipline and abuse. The purpose of disciplining a child is ultimately to help them, not to hurt them. We discipline our children when they do wrong to properly condition them so they can live a happy, successful, and stable life. It’s all part of growth and development; children must have a solid understanding of right and wrong, and parents teach them that by rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior. The problem here is that most everyone has a sense of right and wrong, but not everyone has the same sense of right and wrong. It’s solely based on the knowledge and experiences of the individuals. When parents cross that line, beyond discipline, where they abuse their children, whether or not they realize what they’re doing, it does the children more harm than good which can escalate later in life. This is why it’s crucial to differentiate between the two.
Sometimes when children misbehave, it can be the parents’ fault, or they might be crying out for help. Children may act out or misbehave due to lack of healthy social bonding between parents and family members, which is why it’s good for parents to be involved in their kids’ lives as much as possible. Children only want their parents’ acceptance. Also, if a child is acting crazy or unstable, they don’t need to be punished, they need to be treated. In other words, they most likely need some kind of professional help for whatever is troubling them. I didn’t start seeking professional help for my mental illnesses until I was 20 years old. Before that, when I was a teenager, my mother would always punish me and make me feel worthless when I acted out as a result of my mental instability. It taught me a valuable lesson though, that parents need to have an open door policy with their children in which children can be open and honest about their struggles. That way, the parents can get them help as soon as possible. If children are afraid of their parents, they’re gonna keep things hidden from them, which can have serious long-term consequences.
In addition to the open door policy, the same thing applies to a child’s education as well. We all know that education is very important, but too many parents put too much pressure on their children when it comes to their grades. Many parents will yell at their children or punish them if they do poorly in school, but little do they realize that this makes things worse. After incidents like that, children are often afraid to speak up about their academic struggles, and they hide things from their parents. My advice to parents is that if your children are doing poorly in school, don’t yell at them or punish them for it. Instead, offer your support and ask them what you can do to help them improve their academic performance. Of course, if they’re slacking off intentionally, there will need to be some disciplinary action, but if they’re really trying but just struggling, please offer to help them however you can. They will do much better in the long-run.
If your children are doing poorly in school, don’t yell at them or punish them for it. Instead, offer your support and ask them what you can do to help them improve their academic performance.
Much like education, parents must be as supportive as possible when it comes to their childrens’ goals, passions, dreams, aspirations, etc. Many parents may not be totally supportive of their childrens’ passions in life, and that can be detrimental not only to their childrens’ mental health and sense of self-worth, but also to their relationships with their parents. This refers back to egocentric bias; many parents want their children to conform to their beliefs because they may believe there is no other way of life. When, in fact, there are infinite ways of life, and everyone has the right to choose the path that’s best suited for them. As a parent, the best thing you can do, even if you disagree with what your children want to do in life, is be as morally supportive as possible, encourage them to succeed in what they love, and accept the fact that you may not know what it actually takes for them to be successful in their niche. After all, you wouldn’t want your kids to lose that drive after being discouraged and live under your roof well into their 40s…
Lastly, I want to remind everyone that it does take two to tango. Like I mentioned earlier, “in order to be the best parent you can be, you need to be the best YOU you can be.” Well, remember that parenting is a team effort, so not only do you need to be the best parent you can be, but you also need to make sure the other parent, or your partner, is also fit to be a parent. The best way to avoid this mistake, if you haven’t already had children, is to make sure to do enough work on yourself, and find yourself before you find love. Also, to make wise decisions (in choosing a partner) based on love and logic rather than lust and emotion. However, if you already have children, and your in a toxic relationship with the other parent, don’t think you need to stay with that person for any reason. Ending that kind of relationship will benefit you and the children in the long-run. All you can do is work on yourself enough so that you can be the best parent you can be, and be part of your childrens’ lives no matter what. They say that when you get divorced or separated, and you have children together, make sure to love your children more than you dislike each other. Remember, everything affects the kids, so please make wise decisions, and don’t get the children too involved with these adult issues.
In closing, I just want to remind everyone that I do not mean any disrespect whatsoever to anyone’s family, country, culture, religion, belief system, etc. My goal is to help parents help their children as much as possible to not only help them succeed in life, but also to strengthen those parent-child relationships. No matter what, parents, always ask yourself these questions. “Do I love my children?”, “Do I want what’s best for my children?”, and , “Would I do anything for my children?” If the answers to those questions are yes, yes, and YES!, you know what to do. Be humble, accept that you don’t know everything, be willing to educate yourself as much as possible, and be as loving and supportive to your children as possible. If you can do that, your children will be happy, successful, and grateful. More importantly, they will thank you and love you forever. Let’s work on improving these next generations for years to come!
Let’s work on improving these next generations for years to come!