Parenting Mistakes to Avoid
If you’re an intended parent anxiously awaiting the birth of your child via the surrogacy process, congratulations! You are about to take on one of the most important, challenging roles that you will ever have in your lifetime– that of a parent. While you are happily anticipating your child’s birth, you likely are worrying about a myriad of things you’ve never had to worry about before. We at Simple Surrogacy want to help make the parenting process a smooth, happy experience for you. That being said, here are some common parenting mistakes for you to contemplate and try to avoid once the baby is here.
Keeping Your Child from Exploring Her Environment
One of the natural mistakes that new parents make is keeping their child from exploring her environment. Yes, it is important to keep your baby safe, to baby-proof your home and not to let your child wander off into unsafe areas of your home, or by herself unsupervised when you are in an unfamiliar area. You do want to give your child a taste of independence, however, to let her try new things and to learn from her mistakes. It might be tempting to run over to your child every time she falls down on the playground and ask if she’s ok. Letting her see that you know she is ok will help to convince her that she is ok. Making sure she gets up and dusts herself off and tries again is one of the best learning experiences that you can give to your child.
Comparing Your Child to Other Children
A little comparison of your child to other children is inevitable, especially as your child grows and is hitting milestone ages. However, you should never openly compare your child to others, especially out loud in front of your child. If your child is not hitting milestones as fast as others in her class, comparing her to those other children will accomplish nothing except to erode her self-confidence. If you are concerned that your child is not hitting major milestones, such as walking and talking, consult with your pediatrician to see if there is a development issue.
Pushing Your Child to Grow Up Too Fast
One of the biggest pieces of advice that seasoned parents give to new or intended parents is to enjoy your baby’s childhood. Don’t push her to grow up too fast. Cherish the wonder of childhood, and marvel at how your child explores, plays, and discovers her world. Allowing your baby to be a baby is just as important as making sure she hits the proper milestones. Good parents keep these two ideas in balance and realize that all too soon, your baby will be all grown up.
Using Threats to Discipline
As your baby grows and becomes a toddler, chances are good that her behavior will change as well. There’s a reason that experienced parents refer to the “terrible twos.” It is true that toddlers will begin to push the limits, trying to see what you will let them get away with doing. Remember when you are disciplining your child that, while it is important to make sure that she follows rules, threatening your child for her bad behavior is as much as form of child abuse as spanking her. Threats from a parent can greatly harm a child’s emotional and mental well-being and cause her to have low self-esteem as she grows up. You don’t want your child to constantly break rules, but you also don’t want her to come to fear you, her parent in whom she should be able to place all of her love and trust.
Pampering Your Child Too Much
On the other hand, while you don’t want to threaten your child, you also don’t want to pamper your child to the extreme. Letting your child think that she is always right and letting her have her own way all the time will create an over-confident, spoiled child with whom other children cannot get along. Teach your child that her mistakes have consequences and affect other people. Your child needs to learn from her mistakes so that she will not repeat them. That won’t be possible if you’re constantly telling her that she’s right, or that she doesn’t make mistakes.
Fighting with Your Significant Other in Front of Your Child
It is inevitable that you will have disagreements with your partner as you navigate the world of parenting together. Try to avoid fighting with your partner in front of your child. Minor disagreements are one thing, and it’s ok to let your child see you and your partner having differing opinions about something. Fighting and aggressive behavior between you and your partner, however, will affect your child’s emotional and mental health and may shape how she acts in friendships and relationships as she grows up. It might also make her insecure as she gets older, constantly worrying that you will not be staying together. Keep any serious disagreements behind closed doors, away from your child.
Not Practicing What You Preach
If you are telling your child to do one thing but then you do the exact opposite, you aren’t practicing what you preach. For example, if you tell your child not to put junk into her body, then you eat junk food in front of her, you are being a hypocrite. If you tell your child not to smoke, but she sees you smoking a cigarette the next day, you are giving her mixed messages. Remember that you are your child’s biggest role model, and that she will follow your lead in many important ways.
Trying to Make Your Child into Who You Wanted to Be, Not Who She Is
Your child is a wonderful, beautiful, unique individual. As her parent, you need to respect her individuality as she grows and matures, and not try to shape her into something that you wanted to be, yourself, but failed to achieve. For example, if you always wanted to play sports but weren’t quite as good as you had hoped, don’t think that you can automatically push your child into playing sports. She might not like sports, but may, instead, have a talent for music. Respect that she may have different interests, talents and strengths than you do, and support her in all of her endeavors.
Becoming a parent brings a whole new set of challenges, many of which are unavoidable. Thinking about some of these challenges now, as intended parents, and knowing how to handle them will help you to be a better parent when your new baby arrives! Remember that the staff at Simple Surrogacy is here to help if you have any questions or concerns, or just need a bit of reassuring advice. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Simple Surrogacy. We are former egg donors, former surrogate mothers and mothers to our own children! We are always here to help.