Books from psychologists, educators, and other childhood experts are an essential source of information for struggling parents. However, even the most well-qualified writer can’t tell the whole story.
Your experience isn’t any less valid or correct if it doesn’t match what is written in the popular parenting books. Here are five of the most important points almost every parenting book neglects to mention.
One Size Does Not Fit All
The authoritative style of many parenting books, combined with the always-impressive list of credentials the writer holds, encourages the reader to accept the author’s word as fact.
The truth is that everyone is different. Your child’s neurology, biology, relationships, and life experiences make them unique. All of these factors affect their reactions. If one solution worked for everyone, there wouldn’t be a need for the thousands of titles available today. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Trust Your Instincts
Parenting book authors position themselves as the ultimate authority on their chosen subject. These experts do spend a lot of time reading, researching, and observing. The results of their dedication are a broad and varied understanding of child behavior.
Despite this fact, these experts do not know your child. You do. Therefore, it’s important for you to trust your parental instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, ask questions.
You Don’t Have to Love Every Moment
When your child is melting down, being defiant, or having a hard time adjusting to new circumstances, you may not be able to find the silver lining on that particular cloud. And that’s okay. It is true that every moment with your child is a gift. However, the value of some gifts isn’t revealed until many years later. Don’t be down on yourself for having a tough time.
You Will Hurt Your Child
Of course, not on purpose! But every parent has accidentally rounded a corner only to run full-speed into a toddler. Or otherwise responsible guardians have been known to leave small hand tools or other dangerous items within the reach of curious little hands, only to have a small disaster occur.
Chances are good that you’ll accidentally hurt your child at some point. Don’t take it personally. Apologize and move forward.
Sometimes You’ll Have to Do It All Alone
Parenting experts emphasize the need for strong communities and support systems. These connections make it easier for parents to get through the tough times. Extended family members, close friends, and educators are essential members of your parenting team.
In the end, however, your child is your responsibility. There will be decisions only you can make. And you’ll have to bear all of the consequences. No matter how strong your team is, there will be times when you will be on your own.
No, books aren’t perfect, but keep reading…
Parenting books are a vital source of inspiration, guidance, and information. They don’t, however, have all of the answers. To be the best possible parent, all you really need to do is stay flexible, prioritize communication, and make love your motivation.