If you are a new parent, you may be worried that you won’t be a very good parent to your child. And if you are a parent to an older child, you may worry that you have made mistakes as you parented your child. The fact is that parenting is a very important job, but it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. It is a skill that often takes time to learn how to do effectively.
If you find yourself worrying about your skills as a parent, it’s important to relax and realize that other parents often find themselves in that situation. So don’t be afraid to ask for help from other parents or to look for resources that can help you to become more confident of your parenting skills.
Because there are many different parenting styles, parents have to figure out which style will work best for them. The first step to figuring out which parenting style will work for you and your family is to recognize that parenting does matter because it is proof that you have an influence over your child.
If you have a current style of parenting and it is not working, seek extra help or advice from friends or family members or your child’s pediatrician or seek information from books, websites or parenting classes.
You will know if your parenting style isn’t working if your child is consistently doing something on a regular basis that you do not like and would like to change. If that negative behavior is continuing, you will need to look for a different method for dealing with the situation.
As you develop your parenting style, make sure you take the time to find parenting methods that correspond to your beliefs and values as well as with your temperament and that of your child.
Susan Matherly is director at A Children’s Place, a service of Ephraim McDowell Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science and a master’s degree in public health. She can be contacted at (859) 236-7176.