If you type parenting books into an Amazon search, you get 194,201 results.
That’s a lot of advice.
I’ve been a step father since August 2007 and a father since Nov 2008. In that time I’ve had to deal with tears, tantrums, accidents, injuries, Autism diagnosis, hospital stays, fussy eating, potty training, weaning, starting nursery, primary school and secondary school.
The realisation that Santa, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy aren’t real. Ive been pee’d on, puked on, pooed on.
Sat in A&E for way too many hours, cooked a thousand dinners that have ended up in the dog. Flushed a few fish down the loo and bought a live one before school finished. Watched school shows, plays and sports events.
Attended parents evenings, helped with spellings, tables and other homework. Been told I love you, I hate you, go away, come here, tied a million shoelaces, washed a billion pairs of socks.
Been on day trips, visited caves, zoos, theme parks. Flown on planes, been on boats and driven Lord knows how many miles and hoovered just as many crisp crumbs and jelly tots out of the car.
I’ve rung my Mother a million times to ask advice. Ive spoken to other parents, online and offline.
I’ve watched Super Nanny, Dr. Phil and Jeremy Kyle.
BUT the most important thing I’ve learnt from all of this, is that every child is different. There is no one size fits all when it comes to parenting. Some children thrive on independence, doing it themselves and asking for help when they need it. Others need more one on one time, more encouragement.
Buddy is happy out there just doing things. Every now and then he will want to show me something new he’s learnt. Stepson number one needs more attention. Little Miss OMG wants me beside her in new situations but then is happy wandering around doing her own thing.
So what is this magical parenting book that makes me such an awesome parent?
There isn’t one! I’m not an awesome parent. I make mistakes, I get things wrong. No one is Perfect!
I do what I think is best for my children at that moment in that time. Yes sometimes, like a referee I make the wrong call or the wrong decision. I admit it and we move on.
I worked for years in a call centre and was bloody good at what I did and I’d see people come in with pieces of paper from colleges and universities stating they knew how to manage people. They didnt have a clue.