As parents, we want to be the dream mentor for our children and ensure we raise them the right way. Being a parent is one of the most fulfilling and emotional experiences a person can have, despite the umpteen parenting challenges that the journey is riddled with. The parenting journey is filled with love, laughter, and tears.
While knowing how to be a good mentor is essential, we also need to be responsible parents. Don’t go down a slippery slope while trying to please your children. Being a dream mentor for your child might require you to take a keen look at your parenting style.
How to be a good parent: Avoid the need to overcompensate for your childhood
One of the biggest parenting challenges is the failure to recognize that our self-identity is often reflected in our parenting style. This becomes problematic for both the child and the parent. We may find ourselves recreating the damage from our own childhood or life experiences, wanting to repair our relationship with our inner child, and using our real children to fix our inner child. This is not healthy for either party and can result in overcompensation in parenting.
To be a dream mentor to your children, you must separate your childhood from your parenting style. It’s important to remember that your own childhood experiences have nothing to do with your ideal parenting style or your relationship with your children.
Our role and responsibility as parents is to provide our children with a loving environment and to teach them life skills. It has nothing to do with all of the parenting challenges others face or your childhood experiences. Helping them deal with disappointments and move forward in life is critical. Dealing with disappointment is a life skill we should teach our children.
How to be a good mentor: encourage your child to create their own identity.
A healthy child is supposed to disconnect from the parent’s identity around the age of 12 to start creating their own identity. As parents, we should be proud of this, as it’s a sign that we have successfully guided them to a place where they are ready to take on the world on their own.
It’s at this point that the relationship between parenthood and child needs to shift from parent to dream mentor. We need to move away from “do as I say” and toward the guidance of “have you considered?”. This type of language helps them learn the rules of cause and effect. Many of us try to parent when our children are in a different phase of development, which can lead to frustration and disappointment for both parties.
Navigating parenting challenges: It’s not about perfection
How do you become a good parent? You must understand that parenting is not about being perfect but about being there for your child. Provide them with a loving environment, and teach them life skills. It’s about recognizing that our children are their people with their own identities. It’s about letting go of the need to control and understanding that our children will make mistakes, and that’s okay. This is what being a dream mentor entails.
Parenthood is a journey filled with a lot of emotions and responsibilities. But most importantly, it’s about knowing how to be a good mentor and being there for your child. Guiding them through the ups and downs of life, and helping them overcome challenges. The ultimate goal is to help them become the best version of themselves.