Put a Bib on It

The Best Parent Ever

6 Comments

There's no such thing as the best parent ever!I have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been mentored by some of the best early childhood professionals in the region. And I have been a preschool teacher at a quality rated program and a director at another. Naturally, I assumed since I’ve been giving advice on how to handle children for years that I would be the best parent ever.

And then Ev happened.

Every day I am amazed by what that little boy does and knows. But I am not the parent I always dreamed I would be. It’s even more blatantly clear now that Ev has reached textbook toddlerhood. He is still very dependent, but wants to be independent. He wants to make his own choices and he is very, VERY self-centered. I know from my education and experiences in the classroom that I should provide him lots of opportunities for exploration, sometimes exploring the same thing over and over again and try to give him choices rather than make demands.

But sometimes I don’t have the answer. Like this morning when I gave Ev a string cheese to eat on the way to child care, like I do every morning, and he threw it under the stove. He started screaming, but fortunately my husband was able to distract him by asking him to help give the dogs their morning biscuit (his “job” in the morning and something he loves to do).

When we got to his program, though, he decided he wanted the string cheese after all. I explained he couldn’t have it because it was dirty and we’d thrown it away, and he started rolling on the ground and refused the apple slices they were serving for breakfast. I looked at his teacher and had no idea what to tell her, finally saying, “I’m sorry, I hope his day gets better.”

And by the time I left it was. Ev was happily eating cheerios – a choice given by his teacher – and his apple slices.

So I’m not the best parent ever. Not even close. I often look to others for support: friends and family, and I do a lot of reading. Even though I have all of the right “tools,” I still know I don’t always respond the way I should. Perhaps the perfect parent doesn’t exist. But even if we aren’t perfect, my husband and I are still the best parents for Ev.

6 thoughts on “The Best Parent Ever

  1. Parenting is both the most rewarding and the most stressful of all endeavors. Sometimes there is no good answer so it’s wise to accept that and do whatever you can whenever you can and always do it with love.

    • Thank you Max! I’m the type of person who likes to have the answers and a plan, but parenting has taught me that, it’s not only acceptable to not always know but also, unavoidable.

  2. he is such a cutie! just wanted to say that every one of my kids ended up screaming on the floor, rolling around, at least once; and for all three kids, it happened at church (!) of all places. I don’t think anyone has *all* the answers…just wanted to say you’re not alone. (and isn’t there a quote somewhere about how our kids are so cute so we don’t get too mad at them? — He is a very beautiful little boy…)

  3. Thanks Becky. He is adorable and very very clever. And I am very happy he has developed a mind of his own, so to speak. He just chooses some inconvenient times to be stubborn. 🙂

  4. One of the best things a parent can do is acknowledge that they don’t have all the answers. In fact, one of the best ways we can help parents is also to admit that we don’t have all the answers. It sounds like you are doing a great job at both. I raised six children and have been blessed with 11 grandchildren and still don’t have all the answers, but please don’t tell them that because somehow I’ve convinced them that I do. Wink Wink.

    • Thank you Amy. There is something actually exciting about thinking I’ll experience something new with Ev everyday.

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