An interesting article that we spotted – by NEIL KEENE From:The Daily Telegraph, August 20, 2012
SOME rules were made to be broken – just ask any parent.
From no smacking to putting a ban on all lollies and chocolates for the first few years of life, millions of mums- and dads-to-be make parenting promises before their baby is born, only to go back on their word when the reality sets in. The huge amount of advice available on the internet and via self-help books could be to blame, according to experts, with new parents frequently setting unrealistically high standards for themselves based on what they read. Parent Line telephone counselling service manager Tarja Malone said many parents ended up feeling like failures when they realised they weren’t sticking to the rules. “We often get parents who are absolutely frazzled because they’ve gone in with a parenting strategy that’s not working for them or their baby,” Ms Malone said.
“The most important thing is that an attachment happens between a parent and a baby, but sometimes the rules are so strict that the parent can’t connect with their child.
“That’s probably more damaging than bending the rules.”
Tresillian family care assists almost 80,000 families each year in NSW, many of whom have approached parenthood with over-the-top expectations of how they will cope.
“Until you become a parent I think it’s very easy to be idealistic about what you are going to be like and how you’ll perform,” acting nursing director Leanne Daggar said.
“Often the reality doesn’t match the expectation.
“You’ve got to have standards, but you don’t want to be so hard-nosed that there is no give-and-take.”
Sydney mum Licia Curro has two children aged five and three, and is 19 weeks pregnant with her third. The 30-year-old said she went into parenthood “with a set of hard-and-fast rules”, but they didn’t last long.
“It doesn’t always end up the way you want it to and I think the textbooks set unrealistic expectations,” Ms Curro said.
Family psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack has urged parents not to beat themselves up over changing their child’s rulebook.
“When we’re immersed in a situation such as parenting there is a whole other reality and a stack of other factors that need to be taken into account,” she said.
“Research might tell a parent something but the reality is that research doesn’t always factor in emotions, sleep deprivation, other people’s advice and all those things that come into the mix.”