From letting your kids eat candy to bribing your kids to behave, it seems that every parental decision you make has you feeling guilty. But, you may just be a victim of parenting myths. “Parental anxiety is the driving force behind acceptance of misleading myths,” assures behavior therapist and author Kirk Martin, celebratecalm.com. “We want to do what’s right, but our anxiety or guilt cause self-doubt.”
Before you sign up for an online parenting class or personally declare yourself last runner up for parent of the year, discover these five parenting myths busted and watch your mommy-guilt melt away.
Myth #1: Parents should be in control all of the time
No matter how much patience you have, you’re bound to lose it once in a while. Once you’ve calmed down, take a deep breath, hug your youngsters, and apologize. It’s okay for them to learn that mommy makes mistakes, too.
Myth #2: Bribery is bad
Bribery is a negative word, but the good news is that it is okay to use candy or rewards for behavioral goals, like using time wisely or potty training. Just be cautious not to use it as an incentive for every move they make.
Myth #3: You should never argue in front of your children
Arguing is a healthy part of a loving relationship. So long as it does not become emotionally or physically abusive, and is not about child rearing, it is okay not to shelter your kids from every little disagreement. Just be sure that your kiddos see you make up once it is said and done and understand that parents sometimes disagree but that you still love one another.
Myth #4: You have no time to yourself once you become a parent
No matter how much you love being a Mommy, motherhood does not need to be martyrhood. So long as your kiddos have food, water, shelter, safety and love, it’s okay to do things that aren’t directly related to being a parent, like hobbies and date nights. So, take a break — you and your kids will be better for it.
Myth #5: You should treat all your children alike
Each child is different. Try as you may, kids do need to be treated differently, provided that you treat them with the same fairness. Giving older offspring more privileges or tending to younger tot first is normal. However, explaining why may cut down on sibling rivalry and resentment, but the phrase “I never said life is fair” may also come in handy.
Remember, it is not your job to be perfect as a parent, just a good one. Although there is probably no such thing as guilt-free parenting, cutting down on the mommy-guilt is easier when you remember these 5 parenting myths have been put to rest.