What Makes a Good Parent?

We all know that parenting is not for the faint of heart. Parenting is a skill developed over time and is influenced by many, many factors. We know families have tough days and we know to take people’s perfect Instagram feeds with a grain of salt. But whether you have kids, are planning to, or are watching from the sidelines, we all have our opinions on what good parenting looks like; and sadly, we are prone to judge.

We look at kids and how they behave, and we assume it’s because of parenting. We may witness a child have a tough moment and depending on how their parent responds, we judge if they handled it well or not. We might even investigate our own childhoods and determine what parental traits are worth keeping and which ones get the boot. But what makes a good parent, really?

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Child(ish) Reads: Good Inside

Last week, a mom on TikTok made a video about the disrespect and harsh criticism she received from her adult child. It turned into a mini rant on how Gen Z kids are entitled and don’t regard their parents with respect after all they’ve done. This video went viral and was stitched many, many times (before it was taken down) from Millennials in particular, explaining their choices to go no-contact with their parents. As difficult as it would be to imagine a no-contact relationship with my girls, my own relationship with my parents makes me feel this can be a completely justifiable move.

I started reading Good Inside with the intent of reviewing it, and be sure this is definitely a book review. But after this video, and in this context, we can very clearly see how Millennial parenting has evolved. We see the need for reflection, not only on how we were raised, but how we intend to raise. We see the importance of providing not only a model for your kid, but also building a mutually-connected relationship with your child through their teen and adult years. We can see how generational trauma has trickled down and how we ourselves need to be cycle breakers.

So with that, here are my takeaways from Good Inside:

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Coffee Chat: Dogs are like kids, right?

My family has been fostering Roxie, a young black lab mix, for a few months now and it’s been hectic. We have had a dog before, but that was when my husband was my boyfriend and the kids were nonexistent. I assumed this pup was going to be like the last one, similar temperament and obedient (silly me).

After watching a ton of dog training videos and using up the last of my patience and understanding, I’m happy to report that she’s becoming a polite pup on leash and at home. This process made me wonder if it’s true what they say about dogs and kids: are they really that similar?

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Coffee Chat: The Parent Test

Last month, I saw an IG promo for The Parent Test on ABC. It’s a competition-ish show, originally from Australia, on 12 different parenting styles and which one is the most effective.

Each week, four of the 12 families are given two filmed challenges. The other eight sets of parents watch and give their critiques based on how the parents handle their kids in the challenge.

Immediately, we knew we were watching and would most likely be cringing for every single episode. A tweet said it best, “This show is triggering, messy, and impossible not to watch.”

We watched the first episode together and the next with our husbands, and so far we’ve been decently surprised. Here are our initial thoughts:

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The Things We Do For Our Kids

I’m openly tactile defensive. Even though my tolerance of certain things on my hands have improved, I don’t actively seek to get my hands dirty regularly. That is, until my bestie and fellow blog writer suggests we go to the SlooMoo Institute for a playdate (enter cringe mode).

Here’s the thing: Even though going to an immersive slime exhibit isn’t something I’d want to do, I knew my 5-year-old would enjoy it. Why miss a new experience for him because I can’t handle a little slime on my hands…or clothes. Agh, I digress.

This post isn’t about me or my dislikes, but rather how many parents do things we avoid, fear, or loathe for the sake of our kids. It’s very common that some parents don’t want their kids to inherit their own phobias, and they especially don’t want their kids to miss out. Whatever the reason, we know that we play a large role in our children’s learning and growing experiences.

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