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Parenting is the most important job in the world, and yet we are supposed to do it without a definitive hand book and without a test run! To make it even more confusing, exciting or scary (which ever way you look at it!) our babies and children don't have a manual either to work from either.
Parenting is different things to different people: it's not just telling off the children when they misbehave. Parenting is a blend of the love, shelter, food, care, fun, teaching, learning, discipline and sharing you give your children. It's also sharing with them your experience and wisdom, and dealing with problems together.
It's not always easy to get parenting right. An important element of parenting is disciplining your children and it's vital to be consistent over time and to follow up threats that you have to make. If you threaten that you'll leave the playgroup if your little one keeps smacking another child, and they do it again, you must follow through the threat and leave.
The thing about parenting is that it's up to you! However, it's worth taking a moment to think about your parenting style and perhaps assessing whether you might do things a bit differently.
Think about these questions:
- Overall, how would you describe your parenting style? Are you a:-
- Seargent Major?
- If you are offended, how do you react? Do you:-
- ...forgive if you get an apology?
- ...ignore and keep the argument going?
- ...get emotional and cry?
- ...stand and fight and shout?
- How do you respond to the children bickering? Do you:-
- ...shout at them and punish them?
- ...explain the reasons to play nicely?
- ...remind them of the rules?
- ...respond quietly and calmly?
- What type of games to you like playing with your children?
- Role play and acting?
- Board games?
- Hide and seek and physical games?
- Do you have time to play games with them?
There are no right or wrong answers but we must be aware that parenting is something that involves us in more ways than one. The children watch and learn form us even when we are not really aware of it. So, if we respond to situations with a moody reaction, or if we shout when someone annoys us, our children learn this as the right course of action and will do the same. Without necessarily realising it, our children are watching our behaviour and for them, what they see makes a far greater impression that what they are told!