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How do you know you're a good parent? - Page 3

post #41 of 51

Yep, i just try to do my best. I like the way i was parented.

post #42 of 51

I wonder all the time if I am a good parent.  I try my best.  I don't use my son's behaviour as a "measuring stick" as he is only 3, He is often social, outgoing, will always go up to people and say hello, very friendly.  So, when he does have outbursts, I blame it on the age.  Kids all need to go through a developmental stage.  One, where they realize, they have their own thoughts that are separate from moms and no one else can read his/her mind.

 

I use how a parent deals with their kids as a measuring stick.  I know some parents can be the worse judge of others.  It's terrible.  And, if another parent gives advice, we get so defensive as if we are bad people.  We spent our whole life's as parents trying to be the best and out do other parents.  Some parents put their kids in montessori schools and keep them busy every day of the week so their kid knows more than anyone else by time kindergarten starts.  I can't afford that, so we only have him in swimming.  I have a lot of boring days, where we don't know what to do with ourselves, as I only get the car two days a week and I live in an isolated area.  I have lots of friends come over to the house to play with my son.  At least once a week, I schedule a playdate.  I don't worry about the house being clean.  I try to play with my son when I can, get him to a park, even if it is just the two of us and my 5 month old daughter.

 

I am guilty of judging other parents.  For example, at the park on the week end, my son went up to an older girl and asked "what's your name?" the girl did not respond, she seemed embarrassed.  She went by her mom and dad with a smirk on her face and looked down.  I thought, well she is just shy.  I did not say anything, because I wanted to see my son handle it, plus, when he starts kindergarten, I will not be there and he will be rejected.  Well, I did expect her mother to say something like: he asked your name, tell him your name, or to say hi.  Instead, she looked at my three yr old and said "what should her name be?" you better believe I judged her parenting.  I intervened quickly and said "Honey, she is just shy and doesn't know what to say.  Daddy will raise you to the slide." he forgot all about it and they ran off.  

 

I used that experience as a measure of good parenting.  I thought, she is not a good mom.  So, how mom's handle a situation is the measuring stick I use.

post #43 of 51

That other parent wasnt so much a bad parent,(that anyway) as just a mean person.  I cant imagine  anyone saying such a mean thing to a 3 yo. 

Using the childs behavior as a way of measuring the quality of your parenting is misguided in many ways. What if the child has adhd?( i mean real adhd, not the over diagnosed version)  Just a thought....

post #44 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post

I guess I feel like a pretty good parent if my kids are mostly happy

I have this same view in parenting!

post #45 of 51

I agree with a lot of others here in that letting go of the measuring stick is the way to a happier life. We all care about our kids and try to do the best for them. THAT is what makes us good parents, not the choices we make at the end of the day. 

 

Teaching our kids that perfection is not something achieved by humans is a better lesson than beating ourselves up over whether we are "good parents" or not!

post #46 of 51

I consciously think about "Will I feel ashamed of having done this" pretty frequently with my kids. I don't have yes moments more than every few months and honestly I think I will let go of most of that guilt over time. How does that rate? Am I a good parent?

 

My kids are clean, well fed, they have many hours a day of free play, they get dirty, they love me and their dad and the other stable people in their lives. They haven't been hit, shamed, called names, or terrorized. (Well, they get really mad at me when I use the diaper sprayer to clean them up when they are muddy. Shanna says that is terrorizing. I think she doesn't know how good she has it. They get even more upset about a shower. I can't win.)

 

I was severely neglected and abused. I would say, "I am trying to do better than my parents" but that's done. My daughter has made it to four without being raped. My youngest daughter has a year to go before she passes the age when I started being assaulted and all signs point to her continuing safety as well. Check. I'm better than my parents. From here on out it seems like I need a better bar. I'm not sure where to find one.

 

I strongly recommend http://www.amazon.com/Your-Two-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506387 this series of books. I feel like a better mother because she very clearly explains all the various hormonal periods and behavior fluctuations. It's like someone has a video camera into my house. She gives me the freedom to understand where and how my children are not behaving the way they do because of me. I am grateful. It goes year by year. I love them. joy.gif

 

It's kind of weird because we tend to think that we are good mothers if our children are clean, well fed, and have a home. But I've seen very good mothers in homeless shelters. I was there as a kid. My mom wasn't one of them, but they were there.

 

I think that being a good mother means that you raise your kids to understand that they are a piece of the puzzle--an important piece. They need to take up exactly the right amount of space in the world. It's not a small amount. They need to watch how they are impacting the people around them. Their impact is positive *and* negative and it's good to try to be polite. Like, friendly little kids are usually awesome to have around. There isn't much that makes life more sweet than an upbeat, friendly three year old. (I think.) But sometimes you aren't in the mood. And the three year old has to kind of learn how to navigate "good target" vs. "not good target". But they are three. They make mistakes. They have to learn sometime and when is a better time to make a lot of mistakes than when you are three? Low stakes.

 

Every age and every stage has unique new things to learn. The best approach to learning in the world is to make a lot of mistakes as fast as possible. So I don't expect my kids to be perfect in public. :) But my job is to be an adult in the world modeling appropriate reactions--including to rude little brats who kick me in the face. Ahem. Not that my kids are brats. But being kicked in the face sucks. How do you deal with it?

 

I don't know. I don't know if I am a good parent. I am very insecure. But I'm trying. I'm trying really hard.

post #47 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post

 

 

I don't know. I don't know if I am a good parent. I am very insecure. But I'm trying. I'm trying really hard.

 

You're a good mama.  

post #48 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

 

You're a good mama.  

 blowkiss.gif

post #49 of 51

I'll admit, I haven't been an excellent mom in the past..I am finally letting go of my previous freedoms that I held onto so tightly like playing on the computer for an hour or two or watching a movie uninterrupted, or grocery shopping without a kid screaming..I used to get pissy and irritated at the fact that my life is different now and I don't have any freedom anymore. After realizing that my son's issues with hitting, and acting like a baby and screaming and throwing tantrums(he's 3 1/2 now) were because I wasn't giving him enough attention(playing legos or jumping around or playing cars are so boring to me), I decided to just ramp up and give in. I now have a great routine where my day is completely focused on the kids and their needs..the cleaning, cooking and free time fits in around the child-raising and nurturing instead of the other way around. My children are much happier and my son doesn't hit nearly as much, not as much screaming, and is much more even tempered, because he's getting his needs met and feels happier I think. I'm not yelling at my kids all day and all of the chores are actually easier to get done now. My daughter is the same way. I can't say I'm a great parent, but I feel like I'm doing my best now. I didn't always feel that way, to be honest though.

post #50 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBone View Post

I'll admit, I haven't been an excellent mom in the past..I am finally letting go of my previous freedoms that I held onto so tightly like playing on the computer for an hour or two or watching a movie uninterrupted, or grocery shopping without a kid screaming..I used to get pissy and irritated at the fact that my life is different now and I don't have any freedom anymore. After realizing that my son's issues with hitting, and acting like a baby and screaming and throwing tantrums(he's 3 1/2 now) were because I wasn't giving him enough attention(playing legos or jumping around or playing cars are so boring to me), I decided to just ramp up and give in. I now have a great routine where my day is completely focused on the kids and their needs..the cleaning, cooking and free time fits in around the child-raising and nurturing instead of the other way around. My children are much happier and my son doesn't hit nearly as much, not as much screaming, and is much more even tempered, because he's getting his needs met and feels happier I think. I'm not yelling at my kids all day and all of the chores are actually easier to get done now. My daughter is the same way. I can't say I'm a great parent, but I feel like I'm doing my best now. I didn't always feel that way, to be honest though.

 

 And I'm glad that works for you.  But sometimes we need time to ourselves to recharge and therefore be a better parent.  What works for one person may or may not work for someone else.  We're all different.  

post #51 of 51

Oh, don't get me wrong. I need time to myself too..it's just that in the past, I was rarely giving my children any uninterrupted time..I always had the computer in front of me, an ipod, etc..and he could tell I wasn't paying attention to him. I knew what I was doing wasn't in the best interest of my kids, but I couldn't seem to get out of that rut. Now, I have 40 minutes during the day at nap/quiet time where I can be in my room, alone, on the computer or reading or taking a short nap, and when that timer goes off, back to mommy duty. I usually get 1-2 hours in the evening for me time as well. And I go out alone on the weekend. I just had a hard time finding balance with it all and now I do, that's all :)

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