1. Your child is not the only and valid criteria for comparison and imitation.
This is very hard to comprehend by the parents of one child. Usually they think that the development of their child is indicative for the development of ALL children and if their son started talking when he was one year old, then all children who display deviation at this indicator, must need a consultation with a speech therapist, neurologist and /or psychologist. The strange thing is that otherwise intelligent people, once they become parents, fall in the trap of “If that is how it is happening with us, then it must be the same way with you.” A wonderful medicine for the “know-it all” and „understand-it-all” conditions is having one more. or even better, 2 more children.
2. Your child is not perfect.
Every person, in order to be a good parent, must accept that he or she sees the child through the eyes of love and quite possibly doesn’t realize all of their shortcomings and areas that need improvement. Not to mention that the way with which a child behaves with his or her parents is different that the attitude towards other grown-ups, contemporaries or younger kids. It is good to be objective and informed to the maximum, in order to be useful for our children in the best possible way. Our purpose shouldn’t be “a child, that behaves well with me”, but a “a person, who treats the others with respect“.
3. You are not the prototype of a parent. You are not perfect either.
You are an intelligent person, who has become a parent and has gone through significant physical, psychological and emotional changes. You think that you have developed, you have enriched yourself and you have grown as a person. This encourages you to give advice freely, to express extreme opinions and openly to disagree with the way other parents raise their children. You often do it with your friends as well. Now think – aren’t these friends just as intelligent as you? Don’t they have one, two or more children as well? Doesn’t that mean, that if they have chosen another way, they have made an informed choice and may be there is something that you don’t know?
4. You can not reproach other parents. Especially using loud voice and in public manner. (unless we are talking about a behavior which endangers the health of their children)
Here the arguments from the previous paragraph are valid as well, and let me add something more.
What do you know about these people? For their fears and problems, for the challenges they meet? What do you know about the health condition of their children - may be the limitations they impose on the feeding habits of the child are not a modern fad, but a medical requirement? May be the worry about the child’s feelings which seems excessive to you, is due to traumatic experience, which you know nothing about. You don’t know the road they have walked, nor the obstacles they have to overcome. If you would like to help – do it in such a way so as the information will be heard. The public parents’ lynch is not the way.
5. Obey the rules of the house, where you are.
Your house – your rules. Other house – other rules. In your place, the game always starts with the youngest person – when you are visiting someone else’s house, the child will have to accept that another person will be the first to throw the dice. Your child is screaming and insisting to choose the movie you are going to watch? It is time to understand that he or she is a guest and the choice belongs to the hosts, unless they give it to the child. For our child, it is useful to know that the world will not conform with their habits and expectations. That every family is a small world with their own rules which deserve respect when we are in their domain.
Very often parents, who are over the medium level of intelligence, fall in to the above described traps. Realizing their own possibilities, they are wrongly convinced that the conclusions they have reached are valid for all. It is very important to remember that whether we breastfeed or not, whether we choose to work or stay at home, we all are the best parents of our children as long as we know them love them and guide them .
Yana Emilova – psychologist