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Parenting Responsibilities: 10 Things You Are (and Aren’t) Responsible for as a Parent

by Sara Bean, M.Ed.

These days, we’re bombarded with mixed messages about how to parent “the right way.” It’s easy to buy into advice from the media, relatives, and other parents and start to worry that we’re doing something wrong. Part of the reason this is happening is because adults, just like kids, are over-stimulated. We’re more wired and connected, which means we’re receiving more outside input than ever before. We have easy access to advice (good and bad) on the web, to information about how other parents are doing things, and to each other through social networking sites. This means we’re also more actively comparing ourselves to others—and getting more judgment and criticism from others as a result. We’re on an informational and emotional overload, which is causing many, many parents to feel overwhelmed and confused.

Your children are not puppets and you are not a puppeteer. There is just no logical way that you can control every move your child makes or everything your child says, especially outside of your home.

Related: Exhausted from parenting an angry, defiant child?

On our Parental Support Line, my advice to callers was to trust your instincts as a parent—you know your child best, and in the end you’re the one making the decisions about your child’s future. In the Total Transformation Program, James Lehman says you have to run your family like a business. You’re the chief executive officer of your “family business” and as CEO you have to learn how to set emotions aside and to parent as objectively as possible. Forget how guilty you feel, forget that echo of your sister’s advice in the back of your head—you need to do what is best for your business. You can ask for advice, but in the end, you know your family best.

One of the most important ways to clear through all the clutter of advice, guilt and comparisons to others is to understand what you are and aren’t responsible for when it comes to raising your child.

What you are not responsible for:

  1. Making sure your kids are always happy. Don’t get me wrong—it’s good for your kids to be happy overall. But that means there will be plenty of times, especially when you’re parenting responsibly, that your kids will be furious with you when you set limits or give them a consequence. That’s part of your job description as the executive officer—not to make decisions based on what your kids will like, tolerate, or be okay with, but to make the decisions that are best for them and your family business, then follow through.
  2. Getting the approval of others. Rationally, you do not need other adults in your life to tell you that you are doing the right thing. Parenting is not a popularity contest in your family or in your community. Sure, it feels great when other adults, such as your child’s teachers, tell you your child is doing something well, but it’s not necessary in order for you to run your family business well.

Read more here: http://www.empoweringparents.com/parenting-responsibilities.php?&key=Effective-Parenting

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