I have a friend I talk to often that worries about lots of things in regards to her children, things I have never really given a second thought to. She had actually researched the pros and cons of private versus public schools at some point and I had never even thought to do something like that because the kindergarten I assumed we would just go to is down the street from our house and free. Another dad had even talked to me about scores the schools had gotten in our area and I would have never even considered doing that kind of research. When I see the lengths other parents go to for their children (Pinterest moms, I'm looking at you) I sometimes feel like I might be falling short. However, when someone else feels like they are falling short as a parent, I jump right on the pep talk train. On that note, here is what I think makes a good parent:
  1. Your child has regular meals.
  2. Your child has a home (not necessarily a house) where they can sleep safely at night.
  3. Your child has access to education.
  4. Your child is clean (as in bathed, clothes washed, toothbrush, etc.).
  5. Your child has clothing and shoes.
  6. Your child has been for regular dentist and doctor checkups.
  7. Your child gets lots of hugs and kisses and love.
  8. Your child knows structure and stability in routines and/or discipline.
Anything extra? Is just that. Extra. Your kid has tons of toys? Rad! Your kid goes to the park? Rad! Your kid gets to do fun weekend activities? Rad! Your kid has books and an iPad? Rad! Your kid has a bike and a scooter? Rad! But really? All this is just extra and you're kicking ass.
Your kid saw you and your husband fight? Let them see you make up.
You lost your temper at your kid for something they didn't do? Be a grownup and apologize.
You can't afford that toy? That's life.
I think the key here is parents are human. We're all just doing our best and we are bound to fuck up every now and then. Not that it's my way or the highway, but when my kids see me behave badly, I mostly try to explain why what I did was wrong and why they should probably not do that. I always apologize. I make sure to speak and explain and discuss HONESTLY. I think that's the best I can do and my kids seem to thrive because of it. It doesn't matter if we're talking about death or why Casey can't burp in a restaurant or why cussing is not great behavior. We are open and honest. I feel like as long as this trend continues, we're gonna be A-Okay.

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