I am notorious for reading books and researching information on how to do…well, anything in life. As soon as I find myself not knowing the answer to something, I quickly revert to the internet or to my bookshelf to find it. The process of searching, reading, analyzing, synthesizing, and arriving at a well-thought-out conclusion is so comforting to me.
This logical way-of-life doesn’t always work with parenting, because kids simply aren’t logical, nor is the process of parenting.
Many times I have said to myself, “this doesn’t make any sense,” or “the book says I should be doing this,” or “the article I read explained this will happen if I do this.” It makes me want to curl into the fetal position because I desperately NEED things to make sense.
Many parents find themselves approached with problems such as:
- Poor eating choices
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Screen time
- Choosing friends
- Grades and school work
- Managing emotions
- Lack of confidence
- Sibling rivalry
The world wide web and the vast majority of books will have many answers as to how to solve each problem, and the more I read and research, the more overwhelmed I begin to feel when the knowledge I gained does not match up with my practice I put into reality.
And then my head goes into a tailspin.
There are millions of books and articles and podcasts that we can listen to that will give us good advice on how to do this parenting thing the right way, but not all ways will fit the mold of what would work best for our children and our families. Although searching for answers from reliable sources and gaining knowledge from people of esteemed degrees can be a good thing, it will never measure up to the instincts we were gifted with the day we became a parent.
Our gut instincts are a great tool to use throughout this journey of parenthood.
When things start to become nonsensical with my child, I stop myself when I reach for a book or my computer and search inward to recognize what my gut instincts are telling me.
So give the books and the internet a rest. Tune into your instincts and trust your gut that you are making the right decisions. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you or anyone on the sidelines watching, your gut may know something that your brain won’t understand.