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CurlyStache | How to Evaluate Your Parenting Skills: Parenting with Aplomb

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How to Evaluate Your
Parenting Skills:
Parenting with Aplomb

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What parent can honestly say they haven't questioned how well they are parenting their teen? It doesn't matter if you are a worrywart or a Mr. Know-it-all. All good parents want to do the best for their children. This article will introduce a foolproof way of removing bias, prejudice, and bigotry to allow you to step back and view your relationship with your teen from the outside in. In addition, this Raising Teens blog will also present ways to realize your strengths and weaknesses fully. This will further empower you to encourage and humble yourself as a parent striving to give your teen the best you can.
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Written By: Daniel Currie
Published: December 18, 2023
Cover photo for "How to evaluate your parenting skills: Parenting with Aplomb"

All parents occasionally wonder how well they are doing in their parenting quest as they guide teenagers from tweens to young adults. On the one hand, some parents worry, frantically darting from thought to thought, in fear of failing in every aspect. They think they are perhaps the worst at parenting, doing virtually everything wrong. As thoughts race through their head, the parent relives every nervous flashback of their supposed parental blunder with what could have been riding parallel. "I shouldn't have punished them for that; they're only teens. They missed lunch; they always complained they were hungry. She seems to be an outsider looking in; how could I have not helped? He wore shorts in the middle of winter because his pants weren't washed, and he didn't have anything else." Every mishap. Every self-conscious parenting decision rides in agony on the parent's thoughts during their time of reflection.

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On the other hand, many parents sit and contemplate and ask, "Am I nailing it? Doing an awesome job overall? Such a good job that other parents wish they could be as good as me?" As they sit and ponder their own question, they begin reminiscing over all the great things they've done for their kids—even if their teens don't realize it yet. As the parent enters their state of daydreaming about how good of a mom or dad they have become, they start thinking about how their teen has all the necessities. A roof over their head, a warm bed, year-round clothing for all the seasons and weather, and food daily. With a goofy grin, they begin to realize all their accomplishments, thinking, "Yep, I gave them most of their wants too, like that cool Playstation that he had no idea he was going to get; boy, I don't think I ever seen him so shocked and surprised before. Not to mention, I made all the varsity games that he's involved in, supporting him. I think his friends and girlfriend even like me—oh, and to top it off, I made sure I engineered an epic moral compass and belief system for him to live by; the proof is in the pudding; just look, he is such a great kid."

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Clearly, these two different mindsets are both based on the parent's prejudice and their outlooks. How can you know for certain that you are doing the best job possible, meeting the parenting goals you set out for yourself regardless of how you feel you are doing? If only a magic meter could tell you how you are parenting, negating any bias (Perfect idea, right?)

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Suppose you're the parent constantly worrying and thinking you are failing. You could actually be doing a fantastic job. Obviously, there could be many reasons for this feeling. A primary reason for many parents in the United States is the fear of failure (Atychiphobia). In this scenario, a person typically looks for problems and issues before the good in the situation. Why? It's simple when you think about it: you can't fail when there is nothing good or positive to work or begin with.

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Now, say you are a parent who feels confident in their parenting skills and that other parents should follow your lead. How can you be sure you are that remarkable parent since you identify as one of the best and have nobody to compare yourself to as the greatest? If you feel this could be you, I strongly urge you to check yourself. Numerous parents believe their way is the leading method when parenting but, in essence, have over-confident or narcissistic tendencies—in either case, this could put their view on how well they parent into question.

How do you know if your parenting goals match your parenting actions without bringing any bias into it? Via a simple, funny-looking word that is not used nearly as much as its synonym cousins: Aplomb. When Googling it, aplomb means self-confidence or assurance, especially (when) in a demanding situation.

I'm not saying you should be strutting your stuff, thinking you have all the self-confidence in the world when it comes to raising teens today. I am saying that given your current circumstances, whatever they may be, you should feel confident and content in your parenting. Key words are "current circumstances." It won't always be pretty, but as long as you can rest your head at night knowing you did your best. If you can do that, you should confidently say, "Given my circumstances, I'm parenting with aplomb!"

Parenting with aplomb is only one half of the equation. The other half is your teen. How are they responding to your parenting? Without directly asking them, how are they doing? How are they feeling? Do they have problems that they shouldn't have and that you could remedy for them? It's crucial not to ask them outright because it could open up bias from your teen. Whatever your teen feels in the moment is most likely the response you will get, not necessarily how life is treating them overall—or it's possible they may not tell the whole truth.

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Cover Photo for the CurlyStache Blog, "How to Foster Positive Relations with Socially Awkward Teens"

Instead, observe. Given their age and circumstances, does your teen appear happy and content (for a teen, anyway!)? The usual teenage problems, if any? When observing, it is essential to ensure they have an excellent support system and social life, but remember that friends and social lives can take many forms and mediums (see our other blog for more on this, including tips, cues, and connecting: How to Foster Positive Relations with Socially Awkward Teens)

If everything seems reasonable, asking questions to quash suspicions is okay. There is no need to let them know your intentions unless you choose to; you are just casually asking in passing to make you feel better and to be present and involved in their life. Once you are confident they aren't hiding anything that could be emotionally damning or otherwise hurtful to you or them, you can take a sigh of relief and proclaim my kid is doing the teen thing with aplomb.

How did you do as a parent? I am willing to bet that many crushed it. When you remove the personal bias and self-doubting or over-confident factors, you will find that as long as you can be content with your parenting in whatever situation you find yourself in, you aced it with aplomb. Given your teen is living a healthy, happy life, with their typical growing pains and rites of passage, there is no need to question how good or bad of a parent you are.

Have faith and confidence in yourself. There is no such thing as easy parenting. Furthermore, there is no "neat and orderly" version of parenting teens. It is often sloppy and messy, with wild twists and turns. Embrace it. That will bring character, wisdom, and a strong bond to your relationship with your teen. Lastly, those qualities will improve your parenting methods while bringing you and your teen closer together, enriching the quality of your relationship tremendously.

In Conclusion, always remember,

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CurlyStache | How to Evaluate Your Parenting Skills: Parenting with Aplomb

CurlyStache Blogs: A division of CurlyStache, www.curlystache.com. | Raising Teens Today: Guiding Teenagers with Essential Parenting Dos and Don'ts

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