Effective parenting is a crucial task for every mother. Therefore, it was decided to interview a woman who is a mother of twins as she has acquired invaluable experience in the upbringing of children. However, parenting of twins is a laborious process, which complicates the procedure and requires the application of the specific strategy that facilitates positive results. The paper that includes the interviewee’s answers explains the positive and negative aspects of parenting that can help other parents avoid mistakes and raise the well-mannered generation.
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1. What influences the way you parent your children? a. How does the way you were parented influence your parenting? “Prior to the birth of twins, the home library was filled with books about pregnancy and upbringing. However, the most significant role played the experience gained in childhood. In my mind, I constantly saw pictures that affected my further actions. My parents were quite strict and such experience influenced my parenting methods. I wanted to compensate for this lack of love by showing a warmer attitude to my own children. However, the crucial moment was setting the limits, which despite the favorable treatment did not let them get control over the situation.”
Considering the answer, one can infer that personal experience significantly influences upbringing methods. Nevertheless, every individual has personal convictions and views that help to formulate the most viable parenting strategy.
b. How does your culture (i.e. race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, work, etc.) influence your parenting? “Our family is not rich, which made my parents work hard to maintain the children. Such a situation significantly influenced them and taught not to be spenders. Christian values made the children appreciate what they have, be a good person, and support each other. The religion always taught them to share what they have and not to be greedy. The boys required much love as a lack of care and warmth could lead to disobedience and further aggressive attitudes. . I always considered that my main role as a mother was to never ignore any events that happened in my children’s life and support their first steps. As a result, the boys would never be afraid to share their personal inner thoughts and feel isolated.”
The culture enrooted in family relations has a considerable impact on the formation of the personality. Moreover, it will have further implications for the lifestyle and convictions of an individual.
d. How do your experiences with your child influence the way you parent?
“The fact that parents are the most influential teachers of their children made me analyze my every step. Since my parents were rather strict in terms of raising children, it partially contributed to the formation of my personal parenting strategy that was at first reflected in the application of some forms of punishment. However, the experience showed that all children have individual characters, especially it concerns the twins. For examples, when forbidding to watch TV worked with one boy, his brother protested and cried. Only in a while, I noticed that for him the best solution was a discussion. The gained experience helped me conclude that despite being raised in the same family, every child is an individual and requires the specific approach.”
The analysis of the answer showed that it is not always right to formulate the parenting strategy applying the raw information in the books. Very often, only personal experience and evaluation of the peculiarities of the child’s behaviour can help to devise the most effective tactic.
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2. What have been the most rewarding and challenging aspects of being the parent and why?
“ The hardest times were connected with the illnesses of my children. The twins were born in winter – time of colds and infections. The problem was that they frequently came down with a cold. The days when both boys lied ill were very hard, because each of them required mother’s attention and warmth. However, the most rewarding aspect of being a parent is that the twins bring twice more pleasant moments. One of the most memorable experiences was when the boys became responsible and could support their parents. For example, when numerous problems at work did not leave any strength to make just a dinner, the boys noticed our tiredness prepared muesli (that was the only course that they could prepare at the age of six years) and asked to have a sleep. Such care and love helped me understand that sleepless nights and many efforts gave the positive result.”
Despite numerous challenges, parenting brings numerous moments of joy. However, positive results are only attainable on condition of hard work. In other words, as you sow, so shall you reap.
3. Has the way of your parent changed as your children aged, why and why not?
“When a newborn only requires care and love, a toddler should have completely different relations with hir parents who additionally have to play a role of a friend and booster. The personal change in parenting was reflected in the training of children to be more self-sustained and development of the ability to manage without parental help. The other stage was teaching them to be responsible for their mistakes. Today, both boys study abroad and live in a hostel. The learnt lessons and gained skills made them good, independent, and hardworking people, whose way of life and behaviours make us only feel proud.”
Certainly, the way of parenting varies, because the growth of children presupposes a shift in their requirements and interests. The task of the parent lies in constant observing of these changes and tailoring the model of relations to the needs of the child.
4. If you could go back and change anything about the way have parented, what would that be and why?
“The significant thing that should be changed is to make the family time a priority. A lack of free time and endless house work leaves less family time. My husband had to work hard to maintain the family and came back only when the children had already fallen asleep. Naturally, the absence of family rituals reflected in the behaviour of our children. Today, they are well-socialized, active, and independent, but they feel a bit reluctant to come back home and spend time with us, which estranged them a little bit.”
The significant objective of parenting is not only to raise a kind and respectable child but also to teach them to support family values. Only family members never abandon a person during a breakdown and always accept them they are. Thus, it is important to establish and maintain a rapport with the family members, especially with parents.
5. What do you wish you would have known about being a parent to becoming a parent, and why?
“The personal experience showed that the most necessary thing was the “time savers” theory while parenting the twins. Children are the future generations and the main task of every parent is to constantly talk with them teaching life rules. Kids absorb all information very fast and like to discuss the news with their friends. Usually because of a lack of time, absence of desire to find the appropriate words, or just laziness to explain some specific things, parents give not realistic answers. For example, it was really difficult to explain the process of child’s birth, but eventually we decided to tell them that they were gifted by the good elf. It seemed a normal explanation for a five-year-old child. Once, however, one of the boys came back home very upset and said that the elf did not bring the children. He told that all parents said the truth to their children and only he had the wrong information. The situation impressed him much and he still remembers it.”
The interview helped understand that the truth always prevails and lies will never lead to a positive result. Telling the child incorrect information can only complicate the situation because it requires many efforts to rebuild their trust.
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6. What has been the most beneficial parenting advice you have been given, and why?
a. What would be the one piece of advice you would give a future parent?
“It would be effective to advise the parents to be role models for their children. The most common mistake that parents make is that their words differ from their actions. Parents lecture their children on self-control and appropriate behavior but simultaneously contradict themselves by showing the opposite. For example, teaching the child to say “thank you” after the dinner a parent often forgets to do that. Personal practice showed that if parents are not the role models, the child will never learn the basic principles of appropriate behavior. Parents also should be a booster for their children. The greatest mistake is telling their children that they are the best in the world. Such an approach makes them resilient and helps them to deal with disappointments. The task of parents is to believe in their children and correct their actions at the same time.”
The pieces of advice of parents with rich experience are always valuable. The parents should definitely give the lead to their children, acting in the manner they want their children to follow. It is a well-known fact that learning without practice will produce no results. Support and appraisal of the child is an integral part of the upbringing. However, it is also important not to overestimate their abilities.
The analysis of the interview proved that parenting is a crucial process that parents should thoroughly implement because it is very difficult to correct mistakes. The abovementioned pieces of advice from the interviewed parent were clear and useful. They will definitely help future parents find the right strategy and raise the intelligent generation. The crucial aspect is that all parents should realize that parenting is a constant work that requires much investment and devotion.