Increase your self-confidence as a parent

Being a parent is a tremendous responsibility. Parents are expected to feed and clothe tiny, helpless human beings, to teach them to get along in the world, and to encourage them to like themselves and others. These and many other responsibilities often lead parents to question
themselves and their abilities. Many times, parents feel they just don’t measure up to the job they’re required to do.

Sometimes these feelings can chip away at parent’s self-confidence and affect their ability to interact with their children. Therefore, one of the most important things parents can do is build their own self-confidence.

One way to help improve self-confidence as a parent is to evaluate realistically the job they’re doing.

Here are three steps to help improve self-confidence:
First, don’t expect yourself to be perfect. The picture of a “perfect parent”—one who is always kind,
patient, loving, intelligent, in control, and so on—is impossible to fulfill. For example, parents who are always patient may not be preparing their child for a world of impatient people.
Failure is difficult enough to deal when it is real. But trying to be perfect is simply inviting unnecessary failure. The important thing is not perfect behaviour at all times, but growth toward doing things better more often.

A second factor in realistic self-evaluation is to compare your behaviour as a parent to your own past performance rather than to some other person’s parenting. Instead of feeling like a failure
because you did not spend three hours a night working or playing with your children like the parent next door, praise yourself for spending a half hour more with them this week than you did last.

Finally, be specific about your self-evaluation. If you try a new method of discipline for a week and
it fails miserably, do not simply decide that you are a failure as a parent. Tell yourself that you did a good job of sticking to the new plan or that you are a pretty good parent for caring enough to try something new, even though it did not work. Make your failure easier to accept
by praising your success.

GROWING CHILD Inc., and is distributed free, courtesy of:
2, Springrowth House, Balliniska Rd.,
Springtown Ind. Estate, L’Derry BT48 OGG
Tel: 028 71365363. Fax: 028 71365334.
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