UNITED STATES—Let me just put it out there, being a parent is not an easy task. The thing about parenting is, there are countless books and studies out there about things that one should or shouldn’t do with their kids, but at the end of the day does any of that information really matter? Who says a book by Dr. So-and-So has all the answers? Or because a study that was done by certain experts reveals….Nothing is solid in parenting! There is no guide.
When it comes to parenting there is only one person who matters most when setting the rules: the parent. Now, this can be a tricky subject when it comes to the mother and the father. Neither is likely to have similar parenting strategies. One may be perceived as the laid back parent, the one who allows the child to get away with things, than we have the strict parent who sets down the law and does what he or she ‘thinks’ to be right for the child. Parenting is more like an experience; no one truly knows what transpires throughout a child’s life the impact it will have on them when they become an adult. Each child reacts differently to certain situations, certain rules and certain consequences.
I’ll use my life as an example, I have multiple siblings, and the one thing I’ve learned is that as much as parents wish not to say it they all have a favorite child to some degree. I know it sounds bad, and it is, but I think every parent has a liking to one child more than the other especially if there are multiple siblings involved. That alone can create some competition between siblings and sort of create a rivalry to a degree. It creates what we call ‘The Golden Child.’ The unfortunate side effect is all other siblings, but notably the polar opposite of ‘The Golden Child’ having to compete with another relative. That’s not the intention, but this happens when parents set standards too high for one child which forces another child to think he or she has to live up to those expectations. Every family that has more than one child sees this, if someone says otherwise they are lying.
There is no right or wrong way to parent.
The one thing that stood out about me growing up the most was labels. I hated labels with a passion because it's how everyone perceived you and deviating from that label just a bit, caused an uproar, you were expected to fit into a mode and stay in that mode forever, at least it felt that way.
When I went to college, I realized it was a new beginning: none of these people knew, so, I was sort of free to be whom I wanted to be without being judged. In other words, I decided to become a bit of a rule breaker. I chose to do the things that I wanted to do. Did that irk my parents? Absolutely. They questioned who I was becoming, but at the same time, I think they knew I was breaking out of a mold that had been shaped for me. Do parents really mold their children? Yes, but what they fail to realize is that mold at some point changes and they may not like what the end result becomes.
What happens when a parent is too strict? Exactly what they want not to happen, the child does everything in his or her power to disobey the parent. The parent may be firm in their stance, but the child can be just as stubborn as the parent when the need is requested. I’ve learned the more we fight against our parents the more we become them, even if it’s our absolute goal in life to not be anything like our parent. The more we fight it, the more we become it; its like fate, you can never escape.
My biggest argument about parenting is that its trial and error, there is no handbook to being the perfect parent. The key is providing to the child, but more importantly, showing compassion and love for the child. Money is always great, but as I say time and time again, it does not buy love no matter how much you try to think it does. In the end money, is nothing but a materialistic commodity. As quickly as it comes, it quickly goes, and the child sees that more and more as they age.