Do You Have What It Takes?

I have talked with literally thousands of parents over the years and the one question they are all dying to ask me is:
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Last Updated
April 22, 2019
posted on
September 28, 2015
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2
Minute Read

I have talked with literally thousands of parents over the years and there are questions I see on their faces that they never ask. One that circulates in the minds of mothers and fathers alike is, “Do I have what it takes to parent my child well?”

I have asked this myself- particularly when one of our children was going through a hard phase. I wondered if I was patient enough, attentive enough, smart enough and even in good enough physical shape to be a fun mom. I have a hunch that you’ve asked this question of yourself so allow me to take a stab at answering for you: yes, you do have what it takes to parent your child well. Here’s why I say that.

Children tell me what they want, need and like from their parents. So in many ways, I get a peek into your children’s minds and hearts so I can tell you what they say. It might surprise you. First, they tell me that what they want most is for their mother or father to give them attention and listen to them. When they see their mother turn off her phone, sit down and look them in the eye, they feel like a million bucks. Can you do that? Yes.

They also tell me that they want to know that their parents like being with them. Now you may answer that of course you do, but that doesn’t mean your child feels this way. Communication is a tricky thing when it comes to parents and kids, so you may need to shore this one up. Children want to know if their parents: want their company, like the person that they are and respect them as individuals. Can you do these for your child? Yes. Ask your daughter to join you on errands. Ask your son to go for a bike ride.

Children also want to know that they are the apple of your eye- not because of what they do, but because of who they are. This can be difficult to get across to your children successfully. Telling them that they are great at soccer, dance, the violin or school works against this principle. Why? Because having a parent admire your performance doesn’t cut it. It makes children feel like marionettes. So, can you successfully show your child that you adore him/her simply because he/she exists and is your child? Any parent can. Stating that you love your son or daughter because they belong to you is a great place to start. If you do this over the years and really meant it, they’ll get it.

To find out more about how to parent from a different perspective visit Thestrongparentproject.com and look for The 12 Principles of Raising Great Kids.

Dr. Meg Meeker, MD

Practicing pediatrician, parent, grandparent, coach, speaker, and author. Say hello @MegMeekerMD

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