I am a big fan of websites like “Grown And Flown” and “Scary Mommy”. They are filled with smart, funny and insightful articles about all the Mommy stages raising kids in all kinds of situations. However, if you search the interwebs and read the article titles on raising kids, teens, college kids and young adults, you will lose your ever-loving mind.
Advice from other parents on how to parent can only go so far. YOU, as a parent, need to have some sense to raise your own kid, your way. What works for others, may not work for your family. And judging from the article titles, there are some major HELICOPTER parents out there!
So as an expert parent myself, I am going to give you the best advice out there. STOP reading the bullshit. Just stop. Your kids will be fine even if you dropped them on their heads getting them in and out of car seats when they were toddlers. Maybe you lost your kid in a department store and had to have the manager page them from the loudspeaker. You found them crying in the toy section of Target. I bet they are doing just fine. Hell, my kids had to page me in Target. I was crying in the electronics section because they didn’t have what I wanted! I’m good. No therapy needed!
Stop trying to be the best mom. You never will be. Stop trying to follow them around everywhere. They will show up when they get hungry or run out of money. So what if they are picky eaters. They won’t die. Let them sleep in on the weekends. Play video games and drink sodas. IT WILL BE OK! Give them privacy, freedom and trust. You are not their friend, so tell them that. Tell them you love them everyday no matter what. Tell them they can talk to you about anything without judgment. But don’t stifle them.
Don’t compare your kids to others. Accept that they WILL screw up and be there when they do. Let them fail and be there when they need you. (Just don’t let them get out of control and go to jail). Give them confidence but teach them it’s different from arrogance. Let them see you helping others and sacrificing for them.
It’s what they see YOU do as a parent that will guide them later. Most importantly, teach them to laugh at themselves. Show them the glass is full. That life changes all the time giving them the opportunity to start over everyday. That even on their worst days, they can learn and move on.
If your child has depression, addictions or other life threatening issues, seek professional help immediately. Don’t trust another mom to tell you what she would do if it were her kids. Because it’s not her kid.
Raising kids no matter what their age is HARD. If you don’t think so, you’re not doing it right. But being a kid is hard too. Remember middle school? OMG. You know what I mean? Sending them off to college is hard too. But treat it as a positive thing. They need to know you will miss them but you are excited for the next stage in their life. Don’t HELICOPTER them to death.
You don’t need to know everything about your child. You don’t need to stress over everything. If you do, you might consider therapy for yourself. So what if your toddler eats his boogers, is bossy to other kids or eats nothing but mac & cheese every single day. Just guide them to get past it. Don’t let another mom tell you your kids is weird or there is something wrong with them because they sniff another kids hair all the time.
Trust your parenting, trust your intuition, trust your self. Don’t search the web for answers and then freak out because of what you read. Just because a mom wrote the article doesn’t make her an expert. Remember that. If you know of a mom going through a rough stage because of their kid, be there for her. Let her cry on your shoulder, offer support and your therapists phone number, or better yet, make her a margarita. But don’t tell her what she should do. Just be there.
Stop reading those crazy articles. It will only make you feel like a bad parent. And I can almost guarantee you are doing a pretty good job of parenting yourself. You just don’t see it yet.