So, I was asked to write a blog on parenting. I literally thought the guy was messing with me, I am not the greatest parent and I have one child (not a child, she's grown now) who considers me a devil mom.
Before I write this, I'll add this caveat. I did not raise my oldest daughter, but I raised her 1st child. So Parenting, or good parenting is in the eye's of the child.
There is no book on this. I was raised by wonderful parents, but did not think so until I was older. I swore to god, I would not give my children the rules that they gave me. (this sworn oath lasted all of 10 seconds, if that.) I took one look at my child and thought, oh no; there are bad people out there. I must protect them at all costs.
I have 4 Children, my youngest being almost 16 now. Like I said, I did not raise my oldest, but raised her oldest. I have 3 boys of my own and my granddaughter.
I was married twice. My oldest son's dad and I divorced when he was 2, and I married my other 2 boy's dad by the time he was 2 and a 1/2.
I wanted my children to have the same advantages I had. A home, 2 parents, love, roots, and a rich up-bringing. (Not specifically meaning money) No child is the same. I know many parents that treat their children equally and that to me, is one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make. The 2nd biggest is thinking they are exactly like you. They are not. They may carry similar traits and even similar dreams, but that is not the same.
One of my rules as my children were growing up was, "I meet the parents of friends". They hated this, but what I learned with that rule, is, kids need guidance. This was one of my parents rules. Even though my kids hated this, they did follow it, or they were stuck home. I had several smaller rules also, make your beds, pick up your toys, bring your laundry to the laundry room; ect. Again, all rules they hated, and took their time doing. That was OK. The idea was, they do it. Not in my time, but that it was done; period.
Teaching my kids, responsibilities, integrity, honesty and humor was my main goal. I'll say too, humor is the number one advantage you will have getting through raising children. No matter what, they needed to learn these to become responsible productive adults. There were many trials and errors, as with anything in life, "shit" happens. Making mistakes is part of learning, for you and the child. They are not the mistake, and neither are you.
Being a parent means having an address book full of names like "Lindsey, Ella's mom, it means on-line shopping because kids are jerks in a store, it means endless sleepless nights with sick children. It means, broken bones, emergency rooms, and Christmas mornings with family. It means having the beginning of every horror story start with, "So, I stepped away for like 3 seconds". It means, panic, stress and fear. It also means joy and happiness, Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding things you have ever done, just keep it in perspective. There is no right way or wrong way to do this.
I am by no means the perfect parent, but I gave it the "ole" college try. My kids have grown up beautifully and all have dreams and goals that they are working towards.
I guess the best advice I could give as a parent, is to let your child be who they want to be. It is their life, not yours, and they have to live it. Support them 100%, even if you do not agree with how or what they may be doing. Build their self-esteem, tell them you love them, and let them fly. They will.
And don't worry. It all works out in the end.