It’s easier than ever to look around and be bombarded with the perfect families in your community that seem to swing through life with ease. The pressure to raise intelligent, well-adjusted, successful children can weigh greatly on families and steal their joy.
Along with that internal (and let’s be honest, sometimes external) pressure comes a level of parental guilt that, if not confronted, can be hard to live with. But the truth is, parenting is a difficult journey for everyone, you’re not alone. And since we’re all in the same boat, why not release that pressure valve, and work toward reducing your guilt so you can enjoy your family even more? Here are some parenting tips to help you raise a guilt-free family.
Stop Comparing Yourself
As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” We’ve all experienced this phenomenon before, and whether we're comparing ourselves to other parents on the playground, colleagues at work, or celebrities who we’ll never meet, it’s dangerous to compare our lives and our families to others. Just imagine the advice that you would give to your own children who suffer from the comparison bug, and then repeat that wise advice back to yourself. If scrolling through Instagram looking at picture-perfect families makes it hard to appreciate your own life, just put the phone down and walk away.
Create Healthy Boundaries
Between soccer, piano lessons, youth group, and all of the other activities your children love, you might find yourself and the rest of your family running on fumes. And while enrolling your children in select extracurricular activities can help them develop their skills and talents, too much extra can start to feel more like a burden than a joy. One of our top parenting tips is encouraging families to work together to create healthy boundaries. If you can handle each child playing one sport and one instrument a year, draw a line in the sand and politely decline any extra. If you know that your child requires lots of sleep set a firm bedtime and say absolutely no to weekday sleepovers. Every family is different, what’s most important is that you work together to make the best choices for yours.
Do Your Best With What You Have
Most often our parental guilt is irrational. It’s based upon an idea that we can be perfect parents and give our children a perfect childhood. And while that’s a lovely sentiment, it’s impossible to actually achieve. Your job as a parent is to do your best for your kids with the resources you have. After that, all you can do is follow your gut.
Remember that parents have been raising children for thousands of years, most of whom had fewer resources and education than you do now. When it feels like the weight of the world is on your parental shoulders, take a deep breath, follow these parenting tips, and work toward a guilt-free parenting future for you and your family. Follow along for more parenting tips, or contact us today for more information about how to join the St. Barnabas family.