Is There a Right Way to Be a Parent? 

When you become a parent for the first time there is no doubt you’re completly clueless, so as new parents we often go off to our local bookstore to buy some parenting books because of course when the baby is impossible to comfort and screaming the place down at 2am you can quickly run to the bookshelf get your parenting book and find the answer! Yes, of course you can, haha!

In my humble opinion as a father of five, these books are not worth the paper they are written on. They really won’t give you the right answers to parenting and here are the reasons why I think that is.

Parenting is a very tough buisness all the way from baby to adulthood, and you really have no idea what you are going to come up against on a daily basis.

My take on being a good parent is quite simple. First of all every child is a very unique human being with completely different needs and demands, and how can you possibly parent via a textbook because the answers are simply not there.

I have always considered instinct as the best answer, whether that is a collective decision by both parents or just one if one of the parents is not around. When a decision needs to made quickly, your mother or mother-in-law, or any other relative will have an opinion. But resist acting on it! 99 times out of 100 they will be wrong. YOUR decision will always be the right one.

I have raised three children to adulthood and they have turned out pretty good I think, with lots of hiccups along the way, but I never once found the answer in a book, it was somewhere hiding in my mind and I drew upon my experiences of life to find the answer.

I’m no way about to change this philosophy of parenting in relation to my four year old twin girls. It’s my way of parenting and I can assure everybody it only works for children, and it’s far from a secret formula because if it was I would be a millionaire, but it works for me.

My only advice to new parents is what I have always said. There is no right way to parent. There is only your way and that will be the right way because NOBODY knows your child like you do. You will always know what to do.

I have always considered being a parent my finest achievement in life (not sure my kids agree though haha!), but it has also been the toughest thing I have done. The reason is that you instantly have a totally unconditional love and you will do anything to make their lives as perfect as possible. The cost of being a parent is of course your sanity “only joking ” haha!

Would love to hear your thoughts.

33 thoughts on “Is There a Right Way to Be a Parent? 

  1. Being someone who is about to welcome her first kiddo into the world (22ish days!), I love reading about how parenting can come down to instincts. Even as someone who reads up on research and does enjoy parenting books, it tells me that I can take it easy on myself because all the answers I might ever need may already be present within myself and within my husband, too. It certainly builds a confidence in me too, knowing that I may not always have the answers. BUT what I will have is the unique and deep relationship with my child that no one else besides her other parent could ever hold a candle to.

    I love this post, so thanks for writing it. Also, your kids look very happy! Looks like you’re doing a great job!

  2. I agree with you on this one forsure. In all my years as a dad, not much of what I have seen could be found in a book. I think the best parenting book I ever read though is my St John Ambulance first aid book, all others didn’t even make it off the shelf haha. At least a book on first aid teaches you what to do when your child is hurt which happens quite often lol

  3. Reslly agree with you on this. Ive googled things loads and usually found the supposed answer on a baby forum wherr there’s nearly always a massive difference of opinion and bitchiness. At the end of the day you know best as a parent and just go with yout gut and we sonehow muddle through. Thanks for hosting #thatfridaylinky

  4. I absolutely agree with you on this Nige, it does come down to instincts. They’re there for a reason, I really believe this. I bought a parenting book when pregnant and never referred to it once my son arrived. It collected dust along with all my other books! Great post as always #thatfridaylinky

  5. I’ve only been doing this whole parent thing for ten months but without my instinct I don’t think I would have made it this far! I do know mums who calculate and time and app and having tried it I went crazy stressing all the time about how things weren’t working out how they should according to the plan. Going with what you think is best at the time is the only way we learn surely? If there were right and wrong ways of doing things, there wouldn’t be such a difference in opinion, and that’s what a lot of this is…opinion. #ThatFridayLinky

  6. Really interesting question and I do agree with you. I think there are obviously wrong ways to parent (abuse and other horrible examples) but as you say every kid is different so there can’t possibly be only 1 right way. I do think the books can be helpful especially as a newbie to give you an idea when you literally have no clue… But even then you have to trust your instinct as it won’t necessarily be right for your child. Nothing counts as much as experience though and even with no. 2 I am more relaxed 🙂

  7. I personally think that if you love and respect your child, you can pretty much work it all out together. What works for one family may well not work for another. Everyone makes mistakes and I think it makes for better parenting if you do. xx

  8. Totally agree with you Nige.

    I wrote a post The Best Parenting Book in the World, that came to the same conclusion.

    I’ve never looked at a parenting book, and my kids seem to be doing OK.

  9. As someone who is expecting my first baby, this is music to my ears. I have been kindly bought lots of baby and parenting books which have scared the crap out to me. None of it really makes sense as I’m properly clueless. I’m definitely hoping to rely on my instincts, they have served me well so far. Fingers crossed! #ThatFridayLinky

  10. I completely agree with you. So much of what I was reading, being told and seeing around me as a new mum was the total opposite to my gut instinct. Had I not had the confidence to ignore everything else I think I would have gone mad. #ThatFridayLinky

  11. Children sure are all different, just as we learn in different ways. We as parents are to learn to understand our little ones and help them out when we can. #ThatFridayLinky

  12. Whilst I think instinct is important I must give a shout out to the NCT. We attend their birth and baby course and it was amazing. I don’t think I would have been prepared without it and it was much more accessible than a several hundred page book. My wife also made a group of friends she stayed in touch with all through her mat leave and still sees 18 months on. Thanks for hosting!

  13. I completely agree, and as always I have a lump in my throat at what an amazing Dad you are. Your love for your children never ceases to give me goosebumps, I know that all parents love their children but not all parents strive to be the best that they can be for their children, that is the difference. I may not be the best parent in the eyes of others, but I am the best parent that I can be, and I parent my children in the way that is right for our family. #thatfridaylinky

  14. We’re on the same page Nigel! I 100% believe that a parents gut feeling is always best. There’s a special bond that you have with your child and you do tend to just know what to do. It’s mad.

    Although, we could pretend we have the answers, make a book and flog it?!


  15. For the most part I agree. My “technique” is to learn as much as possible, listen to all the advice and do what works best for us, even when it’s 100% the opposite of popular opinion. It’s important to stay true to yourself and treat your child as an individual. #thatfridaylinky

  16. Great post, Nige. And you are totally correct. Parenting our two is different. The approach we take with them is a reflexion of their character and how receptive they are. Books are more generic guides. Have a good weekend.

  17. In comparison to your many combined years of parenting my four are minuscule! But the advice you have given is what I’ve come to realise over the last four years. Whilst I’ve still a long way to go and have a lot to learn I do believe that the best thing to go with is your instinct and intuition. Great post. #thatfridaylinky

  18. Spot on my friend, I absolutely agree 100% with you on this. I never read any books – not saying that to look or sound cool – but for the exact reasons you’ve touched on. To me, a parenting book and all it’s advice is from the authors thoughts & experience (much the same as blogging is) and it works form them. Them! Really enjoyed this post. (Have to show it to The Missus hehe).

  19. A parent’s intuition is the best form of advice! I say follow your heart because you know more than anyone else what is wrong with your baby. I believe that reading said books wouldn’t be a waste of time but it’s merely just their perspective and advice that they would give, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is what you should do #thatfridaylinky

  20. I think you’ve summed this up brilliantly, I didnt read any parenting books and think for a first time mum I’m doing a grand job. (I’ve only been doing this for 7 months so it may be beginners luck).
    Somehow little man sleeps straight through from 8pm until 6.30am and after a bottle goes back to sleep til like 9.30am. Like you; if I knew what I was doing, i would be a millionaire! I know all parents wish their baby slept like Ben!

  21. True about advice from others as well. Kids are so unique you as a parent are best informed about what they need, and others providing unsolicited advice can often just be a nuisance #thatfridaylinky

  22. You have a gorgeous family! Perfectly said, there is no “right” way to parenting. Trust your instincts and do what is necessary to raise and protect them! Great advice! #globalblogging

  23. This couldn’t be more true! I only read a page of the baby book I had and it was a total waste of time. Babies don’t read handbooks of guidelines #ThatFridayLinky

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