Finding confidence in parenting: Tips for overcoming self-doubt on the journey of raising children
Discover how to overcome self-doubt on the parenting journey. Gain valuable tips and embrace your unique parenting style with confidence and joy.
Parenting is an act of selfless service and an opportunity to tone our muscles of unconditional acceptance, love, and compassion. Often, we as parents, put up a front of being strong and clear, whilst, at the same time, there is an undertone of self-doubt as well as worry, peppered with guilt. Many parents face self-doubt, questioning their abilities and decisions along the way. From embracing your unique parenting style to seeking support and practising self-care, here are some ways to help you navigate the ups and downs of raising children. Get ready to embrace your inner strength and discover the unwavering confidence that lies within you on this beautiful journey of parenthood. (Also read: Activities for kids that help parents to keep their own mental health healthy )
Tips to Overcoming Self-Doubt in Parenting
Mynoo Maryel, life coach and author, shares with HT Lifestyle, some valuable tips for finding confidence in parenting and overcoming self-doubt.
1. Be a co-creator
As a parent, be a co-creator with your child, in every stage of its upbringing. Shift your behaviour, from being in command and wanting to control, to seeing your child as a collaborator and cocreator, in your journey of parenting. This will transform the communication into more sharing, resulting in joy than anxiousness. When you attempt to be a commander and attempt to control, you will find the child returns this control with resistance in behaviour, adding exasperation to your anxiety. Become a co-creator instead.
2. Spend quality time v/s quantum of time with your child
It is important to plan and share your schedule with kids - segment a time that is, time together, no distractions, just you and the child. The experience is extremely fulfilling to both and the feeling of guilt which at times, as parents and more so, as single parents, we harbour, dissipates. As parents, make it creative and enriching – co-create innovative games or have to make belief storytelling, that the child, can even do in your absence. Going for a walk, collecting unusual objects, curating stories about these objects, having an interesting conversation on a topic of mutual interest, choosing where and how to spend a planned weekend or vacation, will be cherished for long, by the child.
3. Structure and discipline regime
Discipline is important for children and for oneself, as a parent. Leading by example is important here, and choose the approach to cocreate this structure with your child. Good to update it together from time to time. Have understandings, such as - “No go” areas, “Maybe areas” and “Negotiable areas”. Good to also get into having a list of “Must do”, “Star actions” and “Gold awards”. If done, early on, the child gets into that habit of a checklist for every day; end of the week, you can have points allocated, and the cumulation of the points, resulting in unlocked awards! This inculcates a structured approach and discipline, early on.
4. Seven super skills
There are seven important super skills that as parents, if we nurture in ourselves, we ensure, the child too, knowingly -unknowingly, gathering and becoming compassionate, responsible, and contributing citizens of the world. These skills are confidence, creativity, effort, problem-solving, dignity, discernment, and decisiveness. Create a collection of short games and activities for each of these skills and play them regularly with each other, amongst the child’s friends and cousins. A simple example would be a game to share three things, we love about each person in the group, including three things they love about themself. It will impact the child's persona, immensely and brings joy in parenting and happiness and confidence in the child.
5. Embracing failure
Failure is fast forward, a pivotal approach, to have the child develop the attitude of always learning, be it success or failures and mistakes. Have, open conversations about the concerns and an approach to collaboratively find solutions and nurtures resilience. Create a way of communication, such that ‘failure’ is taken as something big has been learnt and it is time to acknowledge what led to the failure, whilst celebrating success. This helps, immensely, in the growing-up years, and as a grown-up, when pressure starts mounting to be a topper, get into a successful career – win in the competitive corporate career, resulting in anxiety, as parents as well for the kids!
Three don'ts of parenting
- Emotional blackmail, is a no-go area, as is passive-aggressive behaviour. Encourage direct communication and cocreating solutions, instead.
- Comparing with other children, highlighting differences is a no-go area. Instead, choose to acknowledge sameness and encourage collaboration.
- Tantrum reaction to a tantrum, an approach where you throw a tantrum when you are unable to control your child’s tantrum; results in multiplying the tantrum. The problem amplifies. Instead, choose to respond, (re-establish your bond) to your child in an adult way. That response, maybe is to simply be there with your child, as they process this tantrum. It gives the assurance, that you as parents are always there with the child, no matter what – and that, will work this through, together.
Feel free to use these tips and enjoy your parenting journey with joy. Count your blessings to have the opportunity to be a parent and you will experience a state of bliss along the way.