Parenting is difficult

@sissy15 (5693)
United States
February 16, 2017 11:44am CST
As a parent I struggle with knowing the right way to handle some things. It's hard to be a parent anymore, because people are so quick to judge you or call child services on you. If you spank your kids people scream abuse. If you don't spank them people think they're spoiled brats, and that you can't handle them. I've learned that no matter what I do someone is going to judge me, so I do my best to do what's right for my son. I discipline the way that works for him. I've found taking things away and giving timeouts work best for him, because he doesn't like sitting still, so it's torture for him. My son is disciplined, and I will discipline him no matter where we go, so he knows not to act up. The end result is that I have a well behaved, polite little boy. He's respectful, and he's honest (usually anyway). I can trust my kid, because he knows there will be consequences if he lies. He knows that if he acts up it won't be tolerated, so he rarely does it. Yesterday we were at the library, and I overheard my son talking to a little girl and I was so proud of him. The little girl asked if he wanted to go play over in an area where I couldn't see him and he goes "I have to stay where my mommy can see me, let me go ask my mommy if we can go over there" and then he came over and asked if we could go over to the other area so he could play, and I told him we could, I was so proud of him. My son was a terror until he hit about 4, before that we always had to get after him, because he was so hyper and didn't always want to listen. We were non stop getting after him and having to argue with him about everything. Finally my strong willed boy learned that he had to listen to mommy and daddy, and that we had rules for a reason. It took us a long time, but we got there. It was us never giving in and sticking through the hard parts, sure we could have given in, but then he wouldn't have learned anything. In some ways it would have been easier, but then we'd be living with a little terror. It's easier when they're smaller and you can still be in charge, but eventually they get bigger and become more than you can handle. I'd rather me discipline my son today, than have to see a police officer do it later. I get a lot of compliments on how well behaved my son is, and that's because we have worked hard to get him to where he is today. Part of my son's charm is because that is part of who he is, but the behavior is because we made sure he was always polite and respectful. My son's teachers have always loved him, and they've always told me how sweet, and polite he is. My son is still stubborn, that's part of who he is, but he also knows his limits. He can be a whiner, but he doesn't get his way, and he's still learning. At 6 years old he acts better than a lot of kids much older than him. He is outgoing, and loves talking to everyone. He understands some people are bad, but says he hopes they learn to be good, because that's who he is. He's innocent and sweet, and part of that I think is luck that that's his personality. The other part is parenting. Most parents have no clue what they're doing, they do their best and hope their kids turn out right, but then you have those parents that just don't care. They do what's easy and not what's right. You have to try to be a parent, it's difficult and we all mess up, but if you're not trying then you can't expect your kids to either. There are times I'd love to check out and take a break, but I can't, because a mom, and this is what I signed on for. It's not always going to be easy, actually if I'm being honest parenting sucks more than it doesn't, being exhausted, hearing your kids call out your name over and over because they aren't getting their way, being thrown up on, being frustrated when they refuse to listen, arguing over their homework, being forced to go to things you'd rather not go to for your children. Most parents don't enjoy children's birthday parties, but it's a sacrifice they make for their children. Being terrified that something bad could happen to the tiny human you love so much. I'm constantly worried about my son. I'm worried if I'm doing the right thing, I worry about his safety, I worry when he's sick. There's a lot of worrying. Never in my life have I had so much to be worried about. But while it's exhausting and it does often suck more than it doesn't, I wouldn't trade a second of it, because one smile from my son, one kind comment about how amazing he is, or just my son being him makes up for all of that. Seeing him learn and grow, it makes every single thing worth it, every single sacrifice is worth it. No parent really knows what they're doing. We are all afraid we're messing it all up, but most of us do our best. As long as you aren't abusing or neglecting your child, and you actually discipline them in the way that works for your child, I think your kid will probably be just fine. The most important thing you can do as a parent is love your child, and let them know that you love them. My son doesn't go a day without hearing how much I love him. When I became a mom for the first time, people were so busy throwing advice at me, but I didn't really hear what I needed to hear. I wish someone would have just said "we're all scared at first, but you'll figure it out" I just need one person to tell me that I was going to be fine, that I would figure it out, instead of a list of dos and don'ts. I picked up everything as I went, and so far my son seems to be fine. I think we all do the best we can and hope for the best. There's no perfect parent, sometimes people look like they have it together, but chances are they don't. I do believe in discipline in one form or another, because without it your child won't learn, but the way you choose to discipline as long as it's not abuse should be up to the parent, because only parents know what works for their children. Parenting is tough, and however we choose to do it, what matters is that our children know we love them, and that we keeping giving them our best, even if our best today isn't what it was the day before, we all get tired, and we give the best of what we can.
7 people like this
8 responses
@stbrians (15893)
• Kakamega, Kenya
16 Feb 17
Having a well behaved child is do rewarding
2 people like this
• India
16 Feb 17
Yes you say good.
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
It's very rewarding.
@pammooratan (4676)
• India
16 Feb 17
As a parent I am totally agree with you. I am also a parent of a daughter and do same as you described in the discussion.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
It's difficult but it's good that you do those things.
1 person likes this
• India
16 Feb 17
@sissy15 It gives a good feeling.
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
@pammooratan It does.
@dodo19 (33612)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
16 Feb 17
I know exactly how you feel. It's not easy being a parent and knowing the right thing to do. But at the end of the day, all you can do is listen to your instincts and just do what you feel is right. That's all you can.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
I agree, it's difficult. I think we all figure it out as we go, no matter how much experience we think we have, nothing really prepares you for parenting, and each child is different from the next, so you have to figure out what works for your kid, not what worked for some other kid.
1 person likes this
@dodo19 (33612)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
16 Feb 17
@sissy15 Exactly. I'm still learning. I'm probably always going to learn. My husband and I have three kids together and they're all different. What may work for one doesn't quite work for the others. It's quite the learning experience.
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
@dodo19 I think we'll always be learning, because our children change with each stage of growing up. I have had a lot of experience with children, I went to school for Early Childhood Education, and no amount of experience could have prepared me for being a parent. I only have the one, but he can be a handful.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37762)
• United States
16 Feb 17
My kids were both disciplined the same and they have totally different with their behavior. My son is developing my depression and other issues so that is causing some extremely difficult days. My daughter had detention one time in elementary school and is in 7th grade now and is a self motivated excellent student. A lot of a child's behavior is due to their parents discipline but there is also the child's personality that has to be taken into account. There was nothing my parents could do to tame me I was wild and defiant. I did not care what consequences came with anything I did. I am truly lucky I never landed myself in jail. I think if I had been out on ADHD medication when I was young and depression and bi-polar meds sooner as a teen I would not have been such a difficult kid\teen.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
I think how you discipline has more to do with it, some kids you need to discipline in a way that works for them. Taking a kid's tablet isn't going to turn them into a monster, ADHD and depression are things that are going to develop if they're predisposed to those things. I have anxiety and my mom has anxiety, I was more likely to get it because I was predisposed to it, it has nothing to do with her disciplining me as a child. Since you have bipolar, and did as a child, that's the reason for your behavior, you're right had you been on medication for it you probably would have been better behaved. It's not discipline that's the issue it's doing what works, and if your children have issues that need addressed that does need to be taken into consideration, which is why I said you do what works best for your kids. Clearly spanking doesn't work for every parent. Honestly my son is hyper, and he listens really well now, but I don't spank him. He gets timeouts and things taken from him, and he learns from those things. If you do nothing your child will continue to act out, and some kids are going to be more difficult than others regardless of what their parents do, and a lot of that usually does fall into different behavioral and mental disorders, which can usually be controlled with medications.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (37762)
• United States
16 Feb 17
@sissy15 I know one woman who has 5 children ranging from adult to infant. She raised her oldest along and spanked him and did time outs ETS. She said she has had the most problem with him over the kids she has never disciplined. That seems absurd to me but I am not there to so it you know so I can't say how they act or not. I just do not think letting kids do whatever they want and not ever being disciplined could possibly be good for them. My kids lose privileges one at a time as they act up. It is pretty effective for us. Spanking did not at all for my son.
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
@shaggin Yeah, I honestly don't see how that could work. Some kids are less likely to act up based on their personalities, I rarely had to be disciplined as a kid, because I was afraid of consequences that I didn't even know existed, I just always thought I would be punished so I didn't do it. I was always afraid of bigger consequences. It was extremely rare for me to be punished as a kid, but the few times it happened I remembered it, but what are the chances of that with all of her children? Maybe one or two. Spanking didn't really work for my son either, taking my son's tablet seems to be enough now. Before he turned 4 it was usually timeout, and that worked. A kid that has to be moving doesn't like being forced to sit still. My son is extremely strong willed, if I never disciplined him I'd hate to see what he'd be like now. There's no way not doing anything about it would have worked. He was a spitfire as a toddler. I hate to imagine what he'd be like now if I never disciplined him. But I've always said what works for one child doesn't work for all children, that's why I believe that discipline should be left up to the parents who know their children so long as they aren't abusing them.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22484)
• Canada
16 Feb 17
It sounds like your hard work is paying off. Enjoy your well behaved son!
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
Thank you, I will.
1 person likes this
16 Feb 17
It's a really complicated job. And there is always something new to be learned or taught.
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
I agree.
1 person likes this
16 Feb 17
@sissy15 But it's a rewarding job.
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
@TheInvisibleMan It's very rewarding.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Feb 17
I am quite glad my parenting days are over. I wouldn't like to be bringing up a child today. I admire all young Mums.
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
17 Feb 17
It's not easy, a lot of things my parents did with us when I was a kid would get them in trouble today.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134917)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Feb 17
@sissy15 Same here - the odd smack on the bottom being one of them.
@jstory07 (69923)
• Roseburg, Oregon
16 Feb 17
That is great that you raised a well behaved child.
@sissy15 (5693)
• United States
16 Feb 17
Thank you, it's taken a lot of work.