Be the parent your child needs

I wrote a post yesterday where I touched on this idea of being the parent that your child needs.

I think if I could go back to pre-motherhood me, that would be the advice I would give myself.  Don’t get too caught up on what the books say you ‘should’ be doing, don’t worry about what other people tell you your children ‘should’ be doing.

Just focus on getting to know your child, and learning to be the parent that he needs.

Be the parent that your child needs 

Now that I’m a Mum of two I’m learning even more that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting.  Even within the same family you have to learn what each individual child needs from you, and adapt to become the parent that they need you to be.

See, my children are very similar in many ways.  When you look at their baby pictures it can be really hard to tell who is who.  They were both on the move very early, and are confident in their physical abilities.  But there are more and more differences emerging too.  And, of course, as they get older their individual personalities change and evolve and I have to keep up with the people they’re becoming.

I have to make a conscious effort to adapt my behaviour and my habits to ensure that they get what they need from me.  For example, I discovered when Rhys was a baby that I’m not as naturally tolerant of mess and dirt as I thought I was, and it’s taken me a while to relax and be comfortable with it.  And the main thing I’ve come to realise is that Nerys’ need to get her hands in things, to touch and feel new sensations is more important than my ‘need’ to keep her hands and clothes clean!

See, I’m learning all the time about what my children need from me as a parent.  

They need my love, my attention, my time, my respect.

After those needs are met you have to dig a little deeper.  Listen to your children, and watch them too.  In their own way they’ll tell you what they need.

You’ll learn if they need to be pushed or if you need to hold back.

You’ll learn if they need to be cuddled all day or if they need their personal space.

You’ll learn if they need the structure of routine or if they need more flexibility in their days.

If you trust your instincts you’ll come to realise that they’re your children, no one knows them better than you.  No one else knows the best way to ‘be’ with them.

So, a message to past-me, and a reminder to now-me and future-me:

Don’t worry about being the parent you always thought you’d be.

Don’t waste your time trying to be the parent that others think you should be.

Don’t be the parent to the child you want your child to be.

Get to know the child you’ve been given.  Learn who they are, get to understand the way they think, be the parent that they need.  

Mummascribbles
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10 Comments

  1. 11/03/2015 / 9:45 am

    I love this and think I definitely needed to read this today. I’m always worried I’m not perfect enough as a parent, that I’m not doing enough or I’m doing too much. You’re so right, it’s just about being the parent your child needs, that’s all we should be. If my daughter needs a cuddle, I’m there. If she wants independent play, then I’ll let her explore, if she’s seeking attention, we’ll do things together. You sound like a fab mumma! I’m definitely going to take more of this on board. x #twinklytuesday

    • 11/12/2015 / 2:40 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, and it sounds like you’re a fab mumma too! I think we all worry about being ‘perfect’ parents, but our children don’t need that, they need the things you said, they just need us to be there and respond to their needs. x

  2. 11/03/2015 / 8:57 pm

    Aah this is so true! Books can definitely act as a guide but there’s no substitute for a little bit of mother’s intuition and common sense is there? Thanks so much for linking up with us on #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11/12/2015 / 2:24 pm

      Mother’s intuition all the way! x

  3. 11/03/2015 / 10:15 pm

    Interesting post, I think we’re always learning aren’t we? Like you say there’s no one size fits all in this business! #twinklytuesday

    • 11/12/2015 / 2:23 pm

      Yep, we are all sort of muddling through, learning as we go. I do believe this though, that we need to listen to our children and be the parent they need rather than the one we might want to be sometimes! x

  4. 11/03/2015 / 10:17 pm

    It’s funny because other people (my mum and nursery staff) see Zach far more than I do but at the end of the day, it is me and his dad who know him best. This is a great post that made me realise that. I definitely need to focus on being the mum he needs me to be, I sometimes focus too much on beating myself up for not being around more! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11/12/2015 / 2:21 pm

      I’m really happy that this post might have helped you a bit to remember that you really are a great mum and do know your child best and know what he needs most. x

  5. 11/04/2015 / 12:42 pm

    good advice. thank you. there is so much pressure from everywhere and everyone about being this kind of parent or that kind of parent. It is crippling sometimes. Thanks! #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11/12/2015 / 2:17 pm

      I’m so happy you liked this and maybe found it helpful. x

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