Becoming a confident parent is one of the hardest things anyone has to achieve, but it’s also one of the most rewarding ones. This is because no matter how many books you read and how much stuff you buy, nothing can prepare you for the confidence you need on the day your baby arrives. If you aren’t scared out of your mind at the thought of caring for another human, then you probably haven’t thought about it or don’t feel it (yet!). You shouldn’t try to hide the feelings you have.
It’s hard to be a confident parent, and no one feels confident when they first learn they’re expecting a child. Being scared at the thought of becoming a parent is completely normal. And you shouldn’t be ashamed that you are scared. The problems most soon-to-be parents face are not necessarily the fact that this fear makes them feel inadequate.
They start to question themselves and beat themselves up over every minor imperfection. They overthink and let every small insecurity overshadow all the skills they have and all they’ve ever learned. Being a parent is intuitive and natural. But most people don’t lean into their innate skills because they are scared their intuition will lead them astray.
Not to mention that many parents lose their confidence in time. For example, many people think they won’t be able to raise their teenage kids properly. So, when their kids reach the age when they become rebellious, many parents lose confidence in their abilities to parent. So, if you’re expecting or just going through a time when you aren’t feeling confident as a parent, here are some ways to change that.
7 Ways to Be a Confident Parent
1. Read Some Parenting Books to Gain Confidence
If you’re about to become a parent, you probably feel lost about what you should do to prepare. Every new parent has been there at some point in their life. If you are lucky, you have someone who can guide you. But sometimes, that’s not the case. An excellent first step is reading a few parenting books to start.
Many parents seem to think reading parenting books is just a way to admit their unpreparedness. But just like you would study for an exam by reading some books, you can prepare yourself for the challenges of parenthood in the same way.
And there’s no shame in researching the topic. Those books aren’t always accurate, but they will help you be more confident. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll at least have an idea as to how you should handle certain obstacles.
2. Take a Parenting Class
This advice is more or less based on the same advantages as the previous point. When you take a class, you are taught things you couldn’t have known otherwise. For example, in a parenting class, you could learn how to put on a diaper or mix baby formula correctly.
And the best thing is professionals teach these classes. So, there’s no way they’ll tell you something wrong. But the real advantage of these classes is that you can join a community of parents just as lost as you are. Seeing that no one is perfect from the beginning can boost you to become more confident.
Plus, you can create true friendships with the people you meet during these classes. And these relationships will come in handy later, especially when your kids are born and you want to socialize them. You can always call one of your friends from a parenting class and set up a play date.
3. Listen to Your Child to Be More Confident
The first two pieces of advice were strictly related to what you can do before your kids are born. But your need to learn doesn’t stop when your kid is born. You continuously need to adjust and improve your parenting skills. And one way to do that is by listening to your kids. Contrary to popular belief, the parent doesn’t need to be a dictator.
Sure, you’ll need to learn how to be firm and flexible. But, as a golden rule, you should always listen to your kids. They usually know how they feel better than you do. So if you want to gain confidence as a parent, there’s nothing better than getting validation from your child.
Often, parents force themselves to know how to juggle everything. They usually take it upon themselves to make every decision. And that means they always have to take the blame for everything that goes wrong. All this pressure can be way too much for any couple to handle. So, to be more confident in your parenting abilities, you need to start listening to your children.
4. Be Compassionate
This is advice that applies both to how you treat yourself and how you treat your kids. First, you need to understand that, as a parent, you’ll make mistakes. And you need to understand it’s normal and shouldn’t make you lose confidence in your parenting abilities. You need to be nice to yourself and acknowledge your self-worth.
No matter what you do, you’ll figure things out if your intentions are good, and you’ll be able to overcome any obstacles. But it’s just as important, if not more, to be compassionate towards your kids. After all, they will make mistakes regardless of whether they are babies or teenagers. And you need to be understanding and let them make mistakes without shaming them for it.
Allow them to learn and express themselves without being judgmental. When you do that, you can have a better relationship with your kids, making you more confident.
5. Spend Quality Time with Your Kids to Build Confidence
Most parents aren’t confident in their parenting abilities because they don’t get the feedback they need from their kids. That’s because kids usually aren’t used to being close to their parents. This often stems from the fact that many families don’t spend time bonding. And even if they do, they usually do things the parents want, which is why many kids dread spending time with their families. No teenager wants to be stuck in a car with their parents for hours.
As a parent, you must do things your kids want you to do. It’s crucial to start bonding with your kids as soon as they’re born. You have to play with them and try to be friends with them. And, as they grow, you have to adjust and be supportive. So be it if that means going to rock concerts with them.
6. Celebrate Your Achievements as a More Confident Parent
Parents are so focused on taking care of their kids that they forget they must also care for themselves. To practice self-confidence, you need to celebrate your achievements and practice self-care. If you aren’t confident and don’t feel good about yourself, you’ll never be able to give your all when caring for your children. Plus, with self-care comes a newfound strength.
The better you feel, the more energy you’ll have, which means you’ll be able to do whatever needs to get done to ensure your kids get the best life. That means that you need to take some time to relax and unwind. And needing that time alone is nothing to be ashamed of. You are not a bad parent if you take a few hours off.
The opposite is true. When you take the time to care for yourself, you recharge to be the best parent when your kid needs you. And in the meantime, your partner or a nanny can look after the kids.
7. Ask for Help When You Need to Feel More Confident
Ideally, all couples would stay together and raise their kids in a nuclear family. But divorce rates are high, and parents often have to raise their kids alone. Having to deal with such responsibility alone would make anyone less confident. If you can, it would be ideal to try and stay with your partner so that you can raise your kids together. This is if you aren’t in an abusive relationship.
But whatever your marital status might be, you should never be afraid to ask for help raising your kids. One of the best things you can do is ask your parents to help. After all, they have a lot of experience and love the kids, so their advice will always come from the heart. Besides asking for advice, you can get them to help in other ways.
They can look after the kids, take them out to the park when they are small, and help them with their homework when they are older. But, of course, if they can’t lend a hand, you can always ask your friends to chip in. After all, confident parent understands that they can’t do everything alone and that it’s no shame to ask for help.
Final Thoughts on Some Ways to Be a Confident Parent
Being a parent is hard work, whether preparing to become one or adjusting to your kid growing up. At any stage, being confident will take a lot of hard work, as the risk of messing up is always high. But what more parents should know is that making mistakes is normal. Just because you are in charge of taking care of a tiny human doesn’t mean that you suddenly become all-knowing.
No adult holds the secret to parenthood. But there are ways in which you can boost your self-confidence. Before the baby is born, it always helps to read parenting books or take some classes. Knowledge is something that will always make you feel more confident. After the kids are born, that’s when things become trickier.
At that point, you’ll need to learn to adapt to your kids’ needs and listen to their feedback. Plus, you need to take the time to hang out with them and create a bond. But you should also care for yourself to be in your best shape. And always remember that it’s okay to ask for help.