Parenting, one of the hardest and most scary things any human being does. There are always questions: am I doing the right thing? Did I say the wrong thing? Was I too harsh?
Though my children are still young, and I have only experienced those first years in parenting, I have come to realize that everyone has an opinion. The world is ready to give their every opinion on absolutely and question that has to do with raising children. Every mother (and many fathers too) seem to be experts this area. Whether their opinions are conservative or liberal they all think that they are right. In wading through opinions, blogs, research reports and friends I have learned that I must to what I feel is right.
I feel compelled to write about this topic because over the past year I have had several friends with very strong opinions express their thoughts regarding others' parenting decisions. I don't mind in any way for these friends to be expressing their thoughts, but I have noticed conflicts arising between some of these friends and I hate to see that happen. Parenting is such a touching subject and it is very easy to be offensive to other parents, so here is what I have to say to those friends and any other bloggers out there:
1. In raising a Christian family, we rely on God to help us in every way. The last two years have been filled with trials for my little family, everything from medical issues with our daughter to money and employment problems. And for the last two years our family has seen God working within our family.
I completely understand that not all families live for the Lord, I respect that. Any family, whether Christian or not, should be respectful to the free will that God gave to each and every person on Earth. If not the free will given by God, then the freedoms given by our country.
2. Just because a blogger has an opinion does not make it fact. In this age of technology anyone can be an author. Just because someone writes on a blog and it seems to be a well put together thought does not make it research. Its one thing to seek opinions of other parents, its another to do research conducted by professional educated researchers. And don't forget that whether your information came from a parent opinion or actual research, you have to do what is you feel is right.
While potty training my son, we had issues. I asked for friends opinions, I did some research from documented articles written by physcologists, but in the end, we did what we thought was right. It took a while for him to be fully potty trained, but I don't regret anything we did through out the process. I felt comfortable with everything I did and my son always felt safe in his environment. Even though I had friends that had success in different ways, I still did what I felt was right.
3. If you can't accept another parents opinions, don't share your own. As an adult, there are subjects that I feel very strongly about, knowing that other people have a different opinions about those subjects I don't put my thoughts out there in certain environments. I guess it all falls back to the childhood thoughts of "don't dish it out if you can't take it back".
If you don't want other people to tell you that they think you are wrong and they are right, then don't get into the social network world and express your opinion. Never expect everyone to agree with you, the world of raising a family is tricky one.
So to my dear friends out there who are second guessing their own decisions based on what other people are saying: stop it! You all are doing a great job in your own ways. Our generation is raising a beautiful future. The bottom line is, and always will be: God gave you those children, if you listen to Him, he will give you all the opinion you need.