SURPRISE! It doesn’t exist.
But you should keep reading, because the tips and ideas we’ve compiled to share with you are almost as good as a parent’s guide for raising the perfect child. We promise. We know how hopeless you can feel as a parent. We know how lost, confused, and even scared you may be. All you want is to raise a healthy, happy, good child, but why is it so difficult? And why isn’t there one perfect guide?
Well, there may never be a perfect guide. But there are many ways you can be a near-perfect parent – if you’re willing to follow these steps and think outside the box.
- There is no perfect child. The very first step is to get this through your head. No matter what you see on tv, or how amazing your coworker’s kids sound. No matter how hard you try, how high or low your expectations may be. It sounds pretty self-explanatory, and everyone knows this deep down, but do you truly understand that there is no perfect child? Every single kid, every single person makes plenty of mistakes every day. How often do you screw up? Do you remember being a teen? A key first step in our guide is simply realizing, and most importantly remembering, that it’s difficult to grow up and they’re learning every day. Cut them a little bit of slack.
- Don’t Compare. Once you’re past the idea that your kid shouldn’t make mistakes every day, you still have to tackle the monster of comparison. It’s incredibly difficult to avoid comparisons, but vital for raising a healthy child. Don’t compare them to your nieces and nephews. Avoid comparing them to their own friends, teammates, and classmates. Above all – resist the natural comparisons to their siblings. As soon as you are able to see your child as an individual they will automatically become more “perfect.”
- Customize Your Parenting. One of the biggest mistakes parents make is to create their own universal parenting style that they apply to each of their children. Your kids are all completely different – so why shouldn’t your parenting also be different? Take some time to think about your individual children, and to assess their individual needs, strengths, and weaknesses. If one child in particular is giving you grief – it’s obvious they need a new approach. Don’t be afraid to shake up your parenting.
- Allow them some time to BE. In today’s competitive age it feels like our kids need to be fully engaged in a plethora of activities and tasks to make them “perfect.” Instead, the over scheduling and unrealistic expectations breed burnout, resentment, and self-esteem issues. Let them rest, let them breathe, and let them grow. More about this and other well-intentioned parenting mistakes can be found here.
- Ask for help when you need it. The best way to be a perfect parent is to admit that you AREN’T one. Get help when you need it from friends, family, even professional help if things reach that point. Don’t ignore problems or feel ashamed if your teen needs more help than you are able to give.
At the end of the day, love and effort are all it takes to be the perfect parent, and raise the perfect child.