I know I tend to blog mostly about all the fun I have with my three children. About places we enjoy together, or the holidays we take as a family, or some of the funniest and poignant moments with them. I do this because quite simply, there is no other job in the world like being a parent.
Of course, there is always the other side of the coin because all parents are well aware, the exercise of raising children will forever be the hardest endeavor we will ever undertake in our lives. It IS hard work. But if you are a parent, you already know that don’t you?
So for once, I thought I would take this opportunity to list a few of the more challenging aspects of raising my children. If nothing else, to prove that I can talk about the difficulties as well as the good stuff. And they will probably even sound familiar to most of you as I believe they are hardly unique to my experience.
Providing Consistent Discipline
My 9 year old is beginning to revel in talking back to me and trust me, it can get really trying at times. And who are the ones who mentioned that older children will be easier to reason with compared to say, 3 year olds? Speaking of 3 year olds, they can be super cute. Especially if they are girls. Good luck in trying to provide a consistent message in the face of “Please Daddy, I won’t do that ANYMORE.” and I think you know what I am talking about. I give in a lot more than I know I should, but when I have to hold firm I find it one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with.
Making Sure They Get Enough Sleep
I once read that the most significant benefit to the mental development of young children was making sure they got enough sleep. Every since my children were born, the wife and I always tried to ensure that they got the proper amount of rest. That includes giving them the opportunity to nap every day, and getting them to bed at a decent hour each night. But with the chldren getting older, there is the perpetual protest of attempting to sleep late with a dismissive “But I am not tired!” nowadays.
Teaching Them Proper Stranger Caution
My children are rather sociable human beings. And while it is adorable to see them say hello to strangers, often bringing smiles to their faces, we also have to teach them to have a proper amount of caution when it comes to strangers. We have to consistently remind them that it is only okay to talk to strangers when they are with a trusted adult and not when they are alone, even if the strangers seem to be nice and friendly.
Dealing With Rejection
This one is probably the toughest for me to navigate as a father. During the course of any given school day, children will meet with a number of challenges and even setbacks. They may struggle with some schoolwork, they may not do well in a test and they may not be picked for a game that they wanted to play. So therein lies the challenge for me to build and maintain my children’s confidence levels to help them get through the rough times.
So there you have it. The aspects of parenting which I find most difficult at this juncture. And I still do not have the answers to all of them. But I’m sure they will change and evolve as my skills and experiences as a parent do as well. They don’t at all tarnish the joy I get from being a dad though, they are simply part of the package.
This article first appeared on www.maybebaby.sg/blog/, as part of my regular monthly contribution to the website.