Not spending enough time with the kids. If you’re a working parent, you get yourself and the kids out of the house in a flash every morning. After a long work day, the hours your spend with them before bedtime can feel short. Many parents feel guilty about what they perceive as a lack of time spent with their children. Did you know that American parents spend more time with their kids than any other parents in the world? Research has shown that the amount of time a parent spends with his or her kids has little effect on a child’s future. Rest easy, and remember that the quality of the time you spend is more important than the quantity.
Shyness. Does your child tend to hang back a bit from the crowd? Does it take him a little while to warm up to the other kids at daycare, at birthday parties, or in his playgroup? Many parents worry about shyness, equating it with unhappiness. Shyness is perfectly normal for many kids! It has very little impact on happiness, as long as you let your child know that being shy is OK. Taking time to get to know others, or making fewer friends at a slower pace than others is totally fine. The self esteem boost will give your child the confidence to be himself, and socialize on his own terms.
Picky eating. We all know a child who only eats chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese. We know another child who throws everything that is green or red on the floor. We also know countless parents who battle to feed their toddlers and preschoolers a well-rounded diet, only to have half of the food they serve discarded. Picky eating is an incredibly common issue for young children, but pediatricians assure parents that their kids will eat when they are truly hungry, and are getting more nutrients than one might think. This is a phase, and giving your child a few tried and true favorites at meals, while offering them the opportunity to try a new food now and then without pressure, will make mealtimes a lot easier for everyone at the table.
Other peoples’ kids. Every parent knows that familiar rising sense of dread. When your 11 month old barely manages to army crawl a few inches, while a 10 month old runs by him, it can feel as if your child is falling behind, literally. These feelings can intensify when some kids learn their letters and numbers with ease while others struggle a bit. It’s difficult not to compare your child’s progress with others. Remember that each child shines in different areas. Not only will your child catch up, but if you look more closely, you’ll see that she’s soaring in a number of ways.
What other people think. Along with parenthood comes a sense of judgment and pressure from other parents. The media enjoys pitting working parents against stay-at-home parents, breast-feeding parents against formula feeding parents, and co-sleepers versus those who embrace the crib and the toddler bed. Yes, some of this judgment may spill over into real life, but as your kids grow and your experience as a parent builds, you’ll find yourself becoming more confident in your parenting and more resistant to the opinions of others.
How do you fight off these types of nagging worries? Is it a struggle for you to stay calm, or do you go with the flow? Let us know, in the comments section!