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Learning How To Parent

Learning How To Parent

The title of this post ‘Learning How To Parent’, is quite uncanny. You would think after almost five years, I would have pretty much nailed it, right?

Wrong.

There have been times over the past twelve to eighteen months where I have really questioned my abilities. Like, seriously. Children are challenging. There is no question about it. It starts as soon as they are born when you are meant to just know what their cry means. You’re meant to just know what they want when they can’t tell you. That in itself is the first hurdle to overcome. In time, for most, this does happen. You’re parental intuition kicks in and you know what to do.

Then comes the toddler years when they can communicate with you better and you have had a substantial amount of time with them by now that you know them very well. But then there are the tantrums to deal with. They can’t tell you why they’re having a meltdown in the middle of a shopping centre, they can’t explain it and you can’t understand it. Yet another challenge to overcome.

It’s at times like these that you start to think ‘when they’re older, it will be easier’. And no one would blame you for thinking this. We all do it. All of the time. But the other day, in the midst of a tricky few days of stroppy tantrums and outbursts, I caught myself saying to myself “I’ve been a Mum for almost five years now, why do I still not know what to do?!”

And all of a sudden it dawned on me. I have been a Mother to a baby. I have been a Mother to a toddler and yes, I think I can say now that I know what to do with children of that age. I know how to handle them and I know how to communicate with them. I’ve raised my child through those years. I have that experience. I’ve learnt along the way.

What I don’t have the experience of is bringing up a five-year-old. I’m not there yet. And that is where we are headed.

Learning How To Parent

What I realised is, is that with each age a child reaches, brings new challenges. New experiences and new emotions. What I also realised is, is that this will never change. Ever.

We will get through the Reception years in school. We will get through the ‘tween’ period. We will reach the teenage years and with each stage of his life, there will be fresh parenting challenges. I get it.

But these kids didn’t come with a Haynes Manual when they were born did they? If only! We weren’t given on the job training and we didn’t have to sit an exam before we were told we were qualified to take on the role. It seems crazy when you think about it. The most important job in the world. The most challenging job in the world and you are given no training whatsoever. You just get on with it like you know what you’re doing. When really, do any of us really know?

I don’t think we do. We go with that powerful gut instinct and do the best we can. Sometimes though, our best isn’t always good enough. Sometimes, hard as we try and with the best intentions, we need to ask for help. This is when we need to decide if we should perhaps learn how to parent.

The stroppy tantrums we’ve experienced recently have eased somewhat because I decided to do just that. I decided to look into different ways to approach certain situations. How to talk to the Little Man, not just when he’s upset, but all the time. All of these things make a difference and I realise that now. I was surprised by how big a difference small changes can make.

It’s so important to be open to learning how to parent. No child is the same and no parent is either. We all do things differently to each other and we all have different patience thresholds. And not one of us is perfect. Far from it.

Children are little for such a short time. We all talk about how fast they grow up and I want to make this time as memorable and stress-free as possible. If that means I have to learn how to parent in different ways, change my approach when necessary and handle situations differently to what comes naturally, then that is what I will do.

To quote the old cliche. ‘No one ever said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it”.

Learning How To Parent

 

How do you feel about learning how to parent? Have you changed your approach to parenting when things have got tough? Perhaps you feel that your way is the only way? Let me know.

 

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19 Comments

  1. 10th November 2017 / 2:36 pm

    It’s funny isn’t, we just get to grips with the stage that we’re at and then things change again! Maybe when we’re 50, we’ll have the answers to it all! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

  2. 10th November 2017 / 4:07 pm

    It’s an utter minefield this parenting lark. I’m at the toddler stage of parenting and it’s hard. I also have an 8-month-old daughter and as you pointed out, because I’ve done it before I find raising her easier and less stressful than her older brother. I guess it’s all about taking things in your stride, while trying to see the bigger picture and being kind to yourself – you’re never going to make the right choice with parenting every time. You only get one shot at parenting your children, we should try to cherish the good times and learn from the bad times! #thatfridaylinky

  3. 10th November 2017 / 9:08 pm

    I think it’s a constant learning curve. I hope that by doing my best with my boys, and recognising them all as individual humans with their own set of thoughts and emotions I’m doing ok by them. Time will tell I guess! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with #Blogstravaganza

  4. 11th November 2017 / 12:42 am

    Love this post. It’s so true – every age and stage of parenting comes with its own challenges. And you are so right – sometimes approaching situations in a different manner often solves the problem. I’m doing the same with my 4-year-old atm vis-a-vis tantrums and it’s working (sometimes)!!!
    #Blogstravaganza

  5. 12th November 2017 / 8:14 am

    Super read yes I guess we never really get it right parenting is a learning curve every day Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  6. 12th November 2017 / 9:40 pm

    Some days I feel like I’m winning and other days I have no idea – I have found three to be so difficult but then I think is it my mindset that has made it harder. I hope that it is easier the second time round as I’ve already ‘been there and done that’ #ThatFridayLinky

  7. 13th November 2017 / 4:03 pm

    My motto is, every day is an adventure! xoxo #ThatFridayLinky

  8. 14th November 2017 / 7:54 am

    My little one is only 6 months old so I’ve still got so much more of this to come, but already I find that the things that worked a few weeks ago to soothe her no longer work and it really makes me question what’s changed and makes you think you’re doing something wrong! #TriumphantTales

  9. 14th November 2017 / 9:25 am

    I’m 15 years in and still learning! Every day is a learning day for me especially the teenage years haha!

    #TriumphantTales

  10. 14th November 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Just popping back from #TriumphantTales After reading this post I took some time out to access how I parent on a day-to-day basis and it helped me look at some things that I could do better. Long story short I’ve made some changes and life is getting easier, so thank you! #TriumphantTales

    • Jaki
      15th November 2017 / 8:04 pm

      This makes me so happy! So pleased it helped you! X

  11. mommyhomemanager
    14th November 2017 / 5:04 pm

    I never realized how many of those old cliches were true until I became a mother. <3
    We're all just learning everyday, aren't we?

  12. 15th November 2017 / 10:04 am

    I have three kids and still don’t feel I have any staged nailed! My eldest really lived up to the old “terrible twos” cliche but my middle child never tantrummed once. Not once! I thought it was clearly my superior parenting skills but my youngest child tantrums like you wouldn’t believe! my middle child was clearly a fluke!

  13. 16th November 2017 / 11:23 am

    This is so true – you never stop learning. My boys are 8 and 13 and it’s not easy – not by a long way. I’ve got one who has the odd tantrum and sulk but is mainly okay but the teen? He won’t talk to me about anything, I’m lucky if I get a grunt most days!
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo

  14. 17th November 2017 / 8:18 pm

    #Popping back in from your lovely, #TriumphantTales xoxo

  15. 18th November 2017 / 9:10 pm

    I mean, you’ve just hit the nail on the head haven’t you? Twice, first up with the fact that I have never parented a 5 year old and so I have no idea what I am doing. And second, that all children are different and so even though I have parented a one year old before, I haven’t ever parented THIS one year old and he is SO different to his brother! Thank you for making me realise all of this! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  16. 19th November 2017 / 8:39 am

    Yeah I can relate to this. I think I have something mastered then boom we hit something new. I think we evolve with hen and learn on the job and having a flexible approach is, To my mind, a really good way to try and muddle through. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  17. 20th November 2017 / 12:11 pm

    Popping in again from #familyfun and wishing you a lovely week. I’m on the catch up already! xoxo

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