I generally steer away from sharing parenting advice; 1. I only have 4 years experience so who am I to dole out advice, 2. I am a really “mean” mom and so I’m sure my techniques would really ruffle some feathers, 3. no one listens anyway… But, I am going to go against my better judgement today and share with you once piece of parenting advice that has changed my life as a mother.
The internet is a great place to get bombarded with “how to’s” for parenting. How to potty train, how to sleep train, how to deal with picky eaters. There are endless amount amounts of “mom groups” on Facebook where you can find moms asking a question about every single decision they have to make. “When should we switch to solids?” “How do I get my kids to sleep in their own bed?” “Why does my child always throw a tantrum at Target?” And then the answers range from “spank them” to “distract them” to “give them an iPad.” Even more, you can ask Google, search BabyCenter, read blog post after blog post, spend hours on mom forums. It is overwhelming the amount of advice, in my opinion mostly bad advice, that you can find on the internet. I am going to tell you right now, stop seeking the internet for parenting instructions!
Don’t get me wrong. I love mom groups, I have my own mom group that you can find here. I just think these groups are better for sharing stories about our families and seeking opinions on which stroller to buy, rather than major parenting decisions that will shape your child’s behavior. Instead of seeking important advice from a bunch of moms you don’t know, who have kids that may or may not behave well (sleep well, eat well, potty train well, etc) themselves. Seek advice from someone that you already know, already trust, and has raised kids the way you want to raise your kids. What?! You mean I need to interact with someone in person and find advice the old fashion way? Yes! That is exactly what I mean. Find someone from your church or in your family or who lives in your neighborhood who has children that are older than your children and are models of what you want your children to become, ask them how they did it and then do that.
I personally have always been very stubborn and it was no different when it came to parenting decisions. I pretty much knew my parenting end goal and how I was going to get there before my daughter was even born. But of course I dealt with unknowns and variables that I couldn’t plan for, and around the time my daughter turned two, I was really winging it and desperately needing guidance. I considered my good friend Facebook, but instead, God provided. God must have known what I needed (of course He knew what I needed) and He sent me two amazing moms, with amazing children, to teach me a few tricks of the trade and my parenting life has been back on track ever since.
I often get compliments on my children’s behavior (not bragging, just being honest) and when people ask “how I do it” I tell them two things… 1. I’m a “mean” mom. 2. I am constantly seeking wisdoms from moms who have raised their children the way I want to raise mine. I don’t seek advice from random people on the internet, I don’t seek advice and then not follow through with what I was told. I seek wisdom from moms that I respect and then I actually use the knowledge that was shared with me. It’s that easy.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.