Have you ever come across common beliefs or gotten advice about parenting that just didn't work for you? Let's uncover the truth behind some common parenting misconceptions.
But before I do, I have a message To those of you who find "You're thinking about parenting all wrong" off-putting....
The statement is intended to provoke thought, encourage reflection, and invite you to consider different perspectives. It's not meant to offend but rather to offer a new way of looking at parenting that can ultimately lead to more effective and fulfilling experiences as parents. My underlying intention is always to provide guidance, support, and insights to help parents navigate the intricate path of parenting with confidence and understanding. My aim is to shed light on common misconceptions that parents often encounter and to provide a more accurate and effective perspective on parenting.
For those of you who don't know me, I'm Mary Kerwin and I work with dedicated moms of grade school kids, who want to create a nurturing and growth-focused family environment where both children and parents thrive.
Myth 1: Perfect Parenting Exists:
This was the case with Anne. She had this idea that she would do everything the "experts" she read told her and parenting would be a breeze. But, LIFE got in the way and chipped away at her confidence in herself.
Parenting isn't and can't be flawless. Making mistakes is a natural part of parenting and can even be valuable learning opportunities for both parents and children. Parenting is not a pursuit of perfection; it's a journey of growth and learning for both parents and children. It's crucial to understand that making mistakes is an inherent part of this journey, and it's okay. In fact, it's more than okay; it's valuable. So, my message here is that parenting isn't about achieving perfection but about growth, adaptability, and the willingness to learn from both successes and mistakes. It's about creating a nurturing and forgiving environment where children can see that making mistakes is a part of life, and it's how we respond to them that truly matters.
Myth 2: One-Size-Fits-All Approach:
Barb thought that she would just do what Carol did. After all, she seemed to have it all together; she did everything right - well-behaved kids, beautiful home, always positive. So Barb mimicked everything Carol told her she did. But it didn't work for Barb or her kiddos and she was beginning to feel like she was a failure as a parent.
I want to challenge the idea that there's a single "right" way to parent. My core message here is that as a parent, trust your own instincts, values, and unique understanding of your child rather than blindly following someone else's prescribed method. Parenting isn't a one-size-fits-all endeavor because every child is an individual, and every family has its own values and dynamics.
It's crucial to remember that while experts and gurus can provide valuable insights and guidance, they don't have an exclusive blueprint for raising your child. Bring Your own morals, core values, and intuition into play then your decisions will align with your family's needs.
You are the expert on your child, and tailoring your parenting strategies to their unique personality, needs, and development is not just valid but will be the most effective approach. Find the balance between external advice and your own parental wisdom to create a nurturing environment where your child can grow and thrive.
Myth 3: You Can Always Be in Control:
This was totally Bernie. She was so used to advocating for her special needs son, that she fell into the habit of trying to control his every move. He was constantly pushing back, especially as he got older, and they seemed to always be at odds.
The idea of parents having control over their child's life is a fallacy. We, at best, may have the illusion of control. One of the fundamental truths in life is that we cannot control another person, regardless of our relationship with them. Every individual has their own thoughts, feelings, desires, and choices. This principle is especially relevant in parenting. We can guide, teach, and influence our children, but, in reality, cannot control their actions or decisions. But that's not a terrible thing.
Parenting isn't about exerting control; it's about nurturing independence and helping children learn to make age-appropriate decisions.
The essence of this myth-busting message is that parenting isn't about controlling a child's life; it's about guiding them toward becoming independent, responsible individuals. It's recognizing that allowing your children to make age-appropriate decisions is a vital part of their development, and it empowers them to navigate life's challenges with confidence.
Myth 4: Shielding Kids from All Struggles and Adversity:
Connie was the epitome of the helicopter mom. Having grown up in a "rough" environment, she wanted to shield her kids from all adversity. because of Her overprotectiveness her kids began to have low self-esteem and seemed to doubt their abilities to handle everyday bumps and roadblocks - running to her to solve even the minutest of problems.
Allowing children to experience manageable adversity is a vital aspect of building their resilience. Facing challenges, even small ones, provides children with opportunities to learn problem-solving skills, perseverance, and the ability to adapt to different situations. These are crucial life skills. Overcoming obstacles and adversity helps children develop confidence in their abilities. It shows them that they have the inner strength to tackle challenges head-on. In essence, while it's natural for us to want to protect our children, overprotecting can hinder their development. Allowing children to face manageable adversity is a way of nurturing their resilience, helping them grow emotionally, and equipping them with essential life skills for the future.
Myth 5: Parenting is Instinctual:
I think of Missy here. She was a great mother to her three kids. She knew her core values and trusted her gut for the most part. But, as her kids went through different ages and stages, she felt unprepared and ill-equipped and her confidence in her parenting started to suffer. She was embarrassed that she didn't know instinctively what to do.
Instincts play a vital role in parenting, and trusting your instincts is key. However, parenting is a multifaceted endeavor with many challenges and nuances. Instincts alone may not always be sufficient in addressing the diverse needs and personalities of children. Learning and growth are ongoing processes that can benefit from guidance and support. Think of athletes who have natural ability. They still seek support and coaching to better hone their skills. Viewing parenting as a learning process encourages us to seek knowledge, whether through books, parenting classes, trusted sources of advice, and/or me😉.
This willingness to learn can lead to more effective parenting. Parenting is an ever-evolving journey. Children change as they grow, and so do parents. Embracing this ongoing process of adaptation and growth allows parents to become more confident and skilled over time.
Myth 6: Perfect Kids Reflect Perfect Parenting:
Many of my clients bought into this myth. They blame themselves for every misstep - big or small- that their children take.
The myth that children's behavior directly reflects perfect parenting is just that—a myth. It's crucial to understand that children are unique individuals with their own personalities and life experiences. Genetic factors, peer interactions, school experiences, and other external influences also impact a child's behavior.
Kids' behaviors are influenced by a complex interplay of factors, and it's not a direct reflection of parenting skills. And recognizing and respecting a child's individuality and experiences and building and keeping the lines of communication open are both crucial for fostering a healthy parent-child relationship and guiding them towards positive behavior.
But Parenting isn't always a smooth journey, and even the best-intentioned parents face challenges. A child's behavior can sometimes reflect their own struggles or reactions to external factors and have very little to do with how you parent.
Myth 7: Parenting Ends at Adulthood:
I found this out by living it.
Parenting is a life-long journey with no expiration date. Responsibilities don't conclude once children reach adulthood. While the dynamics may change as children grow and turn into adults, we, as parents can continue to offer valuable guidance, support, and maintain meaningful relationships.
And, speaking from experience, maintaining meaningful relationships with adult children can be an immensely rewarding part of the lifelong journey of parenting.
By addressing and dispelling these common myths, I hope to help you free yourself from unnecessary pressures and expectations, and embrace a more adaptable and effective approach to parenting and empowers you to make choices that align with their unique family dynamics and values.
Now I'd love to hear from you...What is a commonly held belief that you've found doesn't quite match your parenting experience?
And, as always, if you need support to dispel some of these myths and achieving success in a way that aligns with your unique family dynamics, let's connect. Schedule a BREAKTHROUGH SESSION today. During our session, we'll explore your goals, tackle the challenges you're encountering, and pinpoint any opportunities that might have been overlooked. Additionally, we'll uncover any hidden issues that could be hindering your desired outcomes. By the end of our session, you'll leave feeling revitalized, re-energized, and motivated to achieve results more swiftly and effortlessly than you ever imagined. Plus, you'll walk away with a concrete action plan to make it happen.
There are three ways that parents typically work with me:
1. Schedule a BREAKTHROUGH SESSION today. We'll look at your goals, the challenges you're facing, opportunities you might be missing. We'll also uncover hidden problems that may be sabotaging your desired results. You'll leave the session feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to get results faster and easier than you thought possible. And you'll have a plan of action to do just that.
2. ENCOURAGE GREATNESS 6-MONTH PROGRAM. A hybrid program that combines the benefits of targeted, individual, private mentorship and the support of a small group. To maintain the program's integrity and emphasize personalized attention, there are limited spots available. Click here to start the process
AND BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND:
3. Three spots per month are opening up forTHE QUICK FIX VIP day - a 1/2 day private, intensive virtual meeting with 2 follow-ups. The Quick Fix is designed to work through and put a plan in action to solve one pressing parenting issue. We'll not only have a plan of action; you'll have implementation steps, accountability, and support to see it through. It all starts with a phone call. Click here to start the process
"Action is the foundational key to all success." Picasso
Lastly, my friend and colleague, Deborah Chelette-Wilson (Therapist, Life Coach, and author) is teaching a free global online training called 3 Keys to Living from Your “Soul-Full Self” and is offering it to you.
Deborah says, "What would your life be like if you maintained the delicious connection with who you truly are… your “Soul-Full Self”? There is a flow to your life, a felt sense of peace and joy with yourself and others. Your intuition is online and you are content with where you are, and where you want to grow. The problem is, it doesn’t typically last."
"If you are feeling overwhelmed and need some support in the parenting department, Mary Kerwin will help guide you. She’s an educator with decades of experience based in NYC but she has online offerings too. Check it out. She’s pretty awesome." .~Claudia L., mom of 3 and entrepreneur