Parenting Advice

We are first-time parents. We’re excited about this and bit nervous. As the saying goes with every next generation, “things are different from when we were kids!” But I want to raise my child the way I was raised. Is that possible in this era of quick gratification, technology stimulation, and social pressures?

In all my reading during my pregnancy, I came across a good tip here and there about raising a child (below are some I like). But the reality is it’s an on-the-job learning adventure, and we’ll make mistakes, but hopefully we provide the best foundation for her and instill the important values Cody and I share as individuals, as partners, and as parents. I am sure as we travel down the parenting adventure path, much unsolicited advice will come our way and we will have to defend our methods and juggle today’s norms with our values. No matter how much reading I do, or how I analyze parenting styles, I know that ours will be an evolution through the years, and there is no one way to raise a child. I pray that God gives us strength and wisdom to set the stage, to let her fly, and to fall, all while supporting and guiding… and loving, loving so very much.

I read a lot, and from the information I gather, some of it makes sense to me and I will incorporate it, but to the core, I just see myself doing it like my parents did. I may be living in a fantasy world….

“As you travel down the path of laughter and tears, always keep one thing in mind: your child idolizes you from the second they enter your life. What may seem trivial to you is huge to them, and your feedback, interaction, and attention are like oxygen, they need them to survive. You have the power to instill in them a sense of self-assurance and confidence that will benefit them greatly as a child and resonate throughout their life. Just be there.” –Debrief from The New Dad’s Survival Guide

“The days are long, but the years are short… Each day is a new opportunity to show your children you are present, in tuen to them, enjoy their company and love them fiercely. That’s all they really want. It’s never too late to start.”  –Mom blog post

The latest Garth Brooks album has a couple of parenting songs that choke me up every time. Mom, for the obvious reason of being a first-time mama and just recently experiencing birth . But also the song Send Em On Down The Road. The chorus speaks volumes:

You can cry for ‘em
Live and die for ‘em
You can help them find their wings but you can’t fly for ‘em
‘Cause if they’re not free to fall, than they’re not free at all
And though you just can’t bare the thought of letting go
You pick ‘em up
You dust ‘em off
And send ‘em on down the road

For the parents out there, what was one piece of parenting advice that you did receive, solicited or not, that you are glad someone shared with you? Was there anything that really made a difference or changed how you approach parenting?

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