Hi there! I’m Rob Youngblood. I’m a single dad with a wonderful seven year old boy. I am a loving, supportive, caring, involved, and dedicated parent – but I am far from a perfect parent. And that is OK. Here are some qualities that make a good parent and why being a good enough parent is pretty darn good!
What Is The Best Parenting Advice?
You don’t have to be a perfect parent to be a good enough parent. I mean, what is a perfect parent, anyway? Let’s be honest. They don’t exist. As long as you are a parent that shows your child you love them and does your best, you are a good enough parent. Don’t beat yourself up!
As I start my writing relationship with Family Focus Blog, I thought I would tell you a little about myself and my approach to parenting. My son Evan is a happy, funny, smart, well-rounded, and sweet second grader. I have had primary custody of him since he was fourteen months old. His mom is great and is very involved in his life but she lives in another state which means he is with me 90% of the time – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I cherish each second with him and we have an awesome relationship. But it has not always been easy to navigate the single parent waters, especially as a single dad.
You Are A good Enough Parent
I will admit that I have had many times in the past six years when I felt lost, clueless, and helpless. There were moments when I had no idea how to handle a situation or how to raise a child. I would talk to my friends, talk to his mom, talk to my mom, talk to myself, and read countless articles and pieces of online advice looking for answers. Sometimes I found answers but, more often than not, I simply figured it out as I went along.
I made mistakes. A lot of mistakes. In the last few years my son has (on many occasions) missed breakfast (or lunch, or dinner), stayed up way too late on school nights, not done his homework, spilled all kinds of food and drinks all over the house (and himself), spent too much time with my iPad, spent too much time with the Disney Channel, pooped on the floor because he thought it was funny (he is a boy after all), uttered inappropriate words (at inappropriate times), not brushed his teeth, not taken a bath, not picked up his toys, not followed the rules, and the list goes on and on.
And guess what? It’s all good. Through all of that, we have bonded. We have laughed, cried, smiled, played, learned, and become one heck of a team. We call ourselves “Youngblood Men” and we always say that “Youngblood Men can handle anything!” That is what we do, we handle anything and everything – together.
What Qualities Make A Good Parent?
Give Your Best Effort
I am not the perfect parent but I am perfect at one thing. Giving 100% to my son. I don’t mean in time or energy or material things. What I mean is in heart, dedication, and effort. My son doesn’t care if I screw up. All he cares about is that I am there for him, that I love him, cherish him, take care of him, and have his back. And trust me, at the end of the day, that is all your child cares about as well. Kids just want you to be present and a good parent delivers on that.
I very rarely get upset at my son. Mainly because he doesn’t get mad at me for not being the perfect dad. So how can I get mad at him for not being the perfect child? (But of course he is the perfect child in my eyes – just as your child is in your eyes!) I let him be a kid and find his way and he lets me be a parent and find my way. Neither one of us have it all figured out yet but we are learning and we are doing it together.
I am very lucky and thankful that I truly do have great son and I often get asked how do I do it? What do I do to get him to be such a decent, respectful, and all around good boy? Most of the time I give the same answer… “Be more easy going with your child and yourself. Be ok with not being the perfect parent and be ok with making mistakes.” Really pretty simple.
That is my parenting advice to you as well. You are not perfect – and that is perfectly fine! Don’t be so hard on yourself. The media, your peers, your neighbors, and perceived ideas of “perfect” parenting give us parents a lot of anxiety and stress. We all feel like we have to make the right decision, and do the right thing, 100% of the time. The truth is that simply isn’t possible and being perfect as a parent is utterly impossible.
It doesn’t matter what your parenting situation might be – single, divorced, separated, full custody, shared custody, sole parent. Whatever the case may be, the advice is the same. Just be involved and give your child the effort. Be kind, supportive, loving, and human. Laugh at your mistakes, laugh at their mistakes, and take one day at a time. Learn as you go and learn with your child. Some of your best times, and favorite memories, will come from moments when you have screwed up together!
You are not perfect and, at the end of the day, your child is perfectly OK with that. You should be as well.
Rob Youngblood is an Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Men’s Life and Style Expert, and the Guy Behind “The Guy Guyde”. You can follow him on Twitter @robyoungblood.