Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Parenting your way

Everyone has their own way to parent and they should. People around us always have advice or criticism. I remember being bombarded by family, friends, and even strangers when I was pregnant with my daughter, and even moreso after her birth. Everyone has an opinion, and it's okay... you can weed out what is useful and what is not and move on.

The bottom line is that as long as you are not abusing your child, you should be able to raise your child in the way you choose. How do we do this because there are so many books, experts, advice columns, grandparents, and parent groups to choose from. One important piece of parenting that needs to be remembered is that you have the right to honor your family culture. Family culture doesn't mean parenting from your ethnicity's culture per se, it means all the aspects that creates your own family culture. It ranges from the type of music you prefer to your morals and values.

An excellent book by local Santa Cruz authors, Janis Keyser and Laura Davis, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, is a sourcebook with Early Childhood Education strategies.

The most important piece of parenting is going easy on yourself and being real with your children. Parents are human beings too. We all make mistakes. We trip over words or yell when we're overwhelmed. As long as our kids can see that we can come back, apologize and take responsibility for our actions, we provide a healthy model for their own development.

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