From staying up all night with a crying child to staying up all night worrying when he's a teen, having some patience with your kids is a must. Remember that they'll make mistakes, try to defy you and sometimes drive you just plain wild, but nothing will break your loving bond.
If you thought dealing with men made you more understanding, you'll need to take it up about 100 notches when dealing with children. Some phases will annoy you and some habits will drive you nuts, but if you channel that inner strength toward understanding, you'll build a closer connection. Don't forget that, when you were young, times seemed pretty tough for you, too.
For whatever reason, most parents have a pretty difficult time trying not to harp when their children have made mistakes. The fact is, if your child's made a big one, she probably already knows it and feels terrible. Don't make things worse by rubbing it in, even though it'll require tons of patience and understanding to resist -- but in the long run, they'll appreciate not getting lectured.
No matter what, your kids will grow up. And no matter what, they will make mistakes and bad decisions and get hurt. Try to accept that fact now, and remember that people need to fall if they're to grow and learn from their mistakes. This doesn't make you a bad parent; it's okay to guide your children, but you won't be able to protect them from harm forever. An overprotective parent often produces a rebellious teen.
Sometimes it's just to be spiteful, and sometimes it's just a learning process, but whatever the reason, your children will test your boundaries. Toe the fine line between being an authoritative figure and making your kids understand the limits. This can be a frustrating process that takes inner strength to get through.
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