Are you a parent feeling under pressure to do everything ‘right’? Do you feel your children ‘should’ be more developed in certain areas? Do you think they are behind compared to other children?
You are not alone. These thoughts and feelings are more common than you may think.
While I totally understand where they come from, have you ever paused and asked yourself: ‘What really is the right thing to do?’ ‘Who determines what is right and what is wrong?’
We parents are so busy and most of the time we operate on autopilot, so we don’t question or challenge the decisions we make on a daily basis.
We do things somewhat automatically.
We try to measure up to other parents and compare our children to our friends’ children, but often forget that the only people we can compare our children to is who they were yesterday.
‘My children don’t read as often as they should.’
‘Their language skills are not as developed as they should be.’
‘I am not doing enough.’
‘Why don’t they speak two languages like XY (their friend)? What should I do differently?’
All these are very common thoughts. But you may notice it is mostly things we believe we ‘should’ do that worry us.
Rarely, we ask ourselves what it is that we really want. What it is we really believe. Not what someone else wants from their families, but what we feel is right for us and our families.
Do you really believe that your children should speak two languages fluently at the age of 4? Do you really want to spend an hour each day teaching your child the alphabet of your home language? Or do you do it only because your friend does it?
Whenever you aim for a specific goal, ask yourself: Do I really want this? Do I really believe it is the right thing to do?
If the answer is yes, go for it!
But if the answer is no, consider focusing your energy on something else instead. In most cases, whenever we say we ‘should’ do something, it is someone else’s voice talking, not our own. Bear this in mind and try to remember it next time ‘I should’ slips into your thoughts.
Once you stop doing what you ‘should’ and start following your intuition instead, you will achieve much more. You will be aligned with your gut-feeling. You will do more things that bring you joy. You will spend more quality-time with your children. You will see them progress faster in things you want them to progress in.
Once you stop trying to measure up, and start following your gut instead, you step into your full power and everything happens somewhat effortlessly.
Remember that when it comes to parenting, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to any problem. Every family and every child is different and only you know what is best for your children. You know them more than anyone else. You know what motivates them and what demotivates them. You know their strengths and weaknesses. You know what works for them and what doesn’t.
So, try to listen to them instead of people around you. Listen to their words, their actions, even to the things they don’t say... all of this gives you plenty of information you can use to help them reach their full potential.
At the end of the day, that’s what we want the most for them, isn’t it?