Parents often wonder if they’re parenting right, if they’re giving their kids what they need, or if they’re just screwing their kids up for life. Here are 3 things you’re doing right:
We all have days that are off the hook—someone woke up late, a lunch box was forgotten, a work emergency happened 5 minutes before the end of the work day – but being consistent with a routine is priceless for children. Consistency allows a child to know what to expect, in turn reducing fear-based reactions to the unknown (i.e., temper tantrums, melt-downs, aggression, clinginess) and easier transitions for them and you.
Not hurting your child physically, emotionally, or sexually? Not hurting anyone else in the house physically, emotionally, or sexually? Not exposing your child to violence? Good job. Creating a safe environment allows tiny brains to develop appropriately. Chronic threats produce chronic stress which can cause a host of problems, one of which is the underdevelopment of the brain. You are giving your child the best chance to be healthy, socially adjusted, and successful by creating a violence-free and safe home where your child feels nurtured, protected, and loved.
Providing stability means providing permanency: permanent housing, permanent food supply, permanent adult relationships. Having a strong family structure and living environment with infrequent life changes is correlated with positive long-term outcomes for children.
There are a thousand and one right ways to provide consistency, safety, and stability, so don’t compare your parenting to others and think you’re doing it all wrong. There also are times you’re 1 for 3 for the day, but if you’re 3 for 3 most days of the week for most weeks of the year, you’re getting it right and you're well on your way to being parent of the year.
- Erica L. Daniels, LPCC-S
Pediatric Mental Health Counselor
Child Counseling Place