As a first-time parent, you often feel as if you are in over your head. Everything is new and unfamiliar, and when your child misbehaves or something does not go exactly as you would have imagined, you feel lost and frustrated. If you are finding it difficult to be a good parent, get to know some of the changes and adjustments that you can make to improve your situation and make yourself feel better about your parenting skills and your child's future and safety. Then, you will be able to face the challenges that inevitably arise in parenting with confidence.
Read, Read, Read
As cheesy as you may have thought parenting books were before you had kids, now they can be a blessing to you when your confidence is rattled or you are unsure of how to handle situations. Read as many different parenting books as you can so that you are well informed and know of several different approaches you can try with your child. Any additional reading you can do in your spare time will be beneficial.
For example, if your toddler has a problem with biting or hitting other children, there are several different ways that you can approach the situation. There is the tradition corporal punishment (i.e. spanking), the time out approach, or the behavioral scale approach, just to name a few. Rather than throw your hands up in the air in frustration, you will find yourself ready with a variety of parenting solutions to try.
Take Parenting Classes or Go to Parenting Therapy
Sometimes, especially to first-time parents or single parents, the responsibility of caring for your children can seem like an overwhelming task and you worry that you cannot handle it at all. This is a completely normal sensation to have and is nothing to feel ashamed of. However, if it continues for more than a brief moment every now and then, you should seek out some help to get to the root of your anxieties and fears.
This is where parenting classes and parenting therapy come in. Parenting classes are designed to give parents the skills that they need to be good parents including effective communication skills, skills in discipline and boundaries for their children, and perhaps most importantly to give parents a group of peers to talk to about their struggles with parenting.
Therapy sessions are one-on-one sessions between parents and parenting therapists to discuss specific struggles and issues that may be unique to that parent in a safe environment. Parenting therapy is not just about the parent's relationship with their children, but also their relationship with themselves. Oftentimes part of the struggle is that the parent is not taking any time out for their own well-being and mental health, and they need to seek out support and guidance to do so.
Now that you have a few ideas of what you can do when good parenting seems impossible, you can use these tools as you need them. Just remember that you are not alone in your struggles and there are resources available to help you handle any situation that arises.