There are so many studies out there aimed at trying to help us as parents; however, many leave us feeling angry, guilty or concerned that we are doing something wrong and somehow endangering our children. If you’ve ever felt like this, then perhaps this advice from leading parenting experts across the world will help.
Trust me – you are doing everything right.
Eleven parenting experts, including prestigious parenting hot shot and author of The Parents Ten, Dr Robert Epstein, recently evaluated the the 10 parenting skills needed to raise happy, healthy children. The data was collected from more than 2000 parents who identified both the outcomes of their children (health, happiness, success) and how closely their parenting related to these 10 skills.
Before you roll your eyes, have a read through. If you can tick off five of these things, then you’re doing it right.
1. Love and affection: Time spent one on one, exhibiting physical affection.
Do you love your kids? Great. You’ve got the first one.
2. Stress management: Parental ability to manage their stress.
Do you exercise, escape the house, hide in the pantry or drink wine to help cope with today’s stress? Good. You’re doing it right. And, if not, then take a bath or have a glass of wine. The experts tell us it’s okay.
3. Relationship skills: Parent’s ability to maintain healthy relationships inside and outside the home.
If you have friends, if you have family and if you have a support system you can trust, then you can check this one off.
4. Autonomy and independence: Treating your child with respect and encouraging independence.
Are you encouraging your children to pick up their own toys, to take their own water bottles out of the fridge, to walk the two steps to get the television remote? Do you pretend not to hear them when they repeatedly scream from the bathroom, “MUM come and wipe my bottom,” until they give up and do it themselves? Perfect. Keep it up.
5. Education and learning: Providing opportunity for your child in education.
Did the kids go to school today. Check another one off your awesome parenting list.
6. Life skills: Having a steady income and stable home.
Do you and/or your partner work? Do the kids have a roof over their heads? Nailing it.
7. Behaviour management: Discipline techniques, both positive and negative.
Did you yell at your kids today? That’s another check mark for you. Well done, Mum.
8. Health: Access to healthy foods and exercise.
Did you attempt to feed your children three dinners tonight? Did they agree to eat none of them? Did you succumb to butter on toast or Weet-Bix followed by a few laps around the house, chasing the kids to get in the bath? You’re doing it right.
9. Religion: Supporting “spiritual or religious development.
Did you swear to God that if your kids didn’t behave you were going to take a toy away? That’s another tick for you.
10. Safety: Keeping your child safe from harm.
Did you keep the kids alive today? Perfect. You’re doing it right.
See, even if you don’t breastfeed them, you had a drink while pregnant and you work 40 hours a week, it’s okay. As long as you love them, educate them, discipline them, feed them and keep them safe, you’re doing a great job.
This is one study I’m actually happy to agree with. How about you?