Today, it is common for parents to worry excessively about providing their children with everything they need, on the material plane. However, does being a good provider make you a good parent?
I wish there was a manual for parenting! I have heard this phrase many times throughout my life, and the truth is that it would be a wonderful thing to have the necessary instructions to be able to raise children, know what to do, how to do it and that it is at the right time. But sadly, that is not possible: all parents learn how to do so along the way.
But what does it mean to be parents? Being a parent comes with great responsibility. If you are religious, you will agree with me that God has appointed the life of a small human being in your care, which implies an enormous responsibility, difficult to assume successfully. It is parents who must learn to differentiate the types of crying of the little ones, which in the first months constitute almost the only form of communication that a baby has. But that is only the beginning, as as they grow, the responsibilities increase. Among them is teaching them good habits, helping them to become autonomous people and to recognize their capacities and limits.
In short, being parents means wanting to give the best of the best to your children. It is wishing they were better and happier than themselves, their parents. This task requires constant learning. Some may be by reception but most of these are by discovery. Many aspects must be taken into account for the education and training of a child, but the most important thing about this is to bear in mind that the experience will help us to improve ourselves and be better every day.
Good parents or just good providers?
This function of giving the best of themselves to children often leads to a problem when children grow up: they come to think and feel that it is their parents’ obligation to give them everything they need, want, ask for. Here are a couple of mistakes you could be making that — in your children’s eyes — can make you a good provider, but not a good parent.
1. Happiness is not in material things
Many times, we think that if children are provided with all the material things they want and need, it will be enough for them to be happy. The truth is that no: they will feel good for a moment, because they do not lack anything material, but this temporary well-being can hide gaps: of affection, of time, of limits.
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2. Gifts are not equivalent to love
When talking about love, let’s try to group together several aspects that are very important in the life of the human being; among them we have communication, demonstrations of affection, patience, support, tolerance, trust, understanding, dedication, among others.
When parents become more providers than parents, children have no choice but to seek love in other people, or to assume that the material is equivalent to parental love. This can put children at risk, as it exposes them to people who could take advantage of this distorted perception of love, to harm them.
Read: The worst mistake a good parent can make
So is providing bad?
Of course not. With all of the above, I do not mean that the material is not important or necessary, you simply have to understand that being a provider for your children is only part of being good parents. The material and the loving education have to go together in order to educate the children in the most appropriate way. Some ideas that can help you become a parent and not just a provider are the following:
Be willing to listen to your children, always with interest, affection and a lot of patience. Remember that respect is a fundamental element for good communication.
Taking care of children implies consenting, protecting and also scolding when necessary. Remember not to overprotect, or you will end up doing more harm than good.
Take advantage of all the appropriate moments to hug them and tell them how much you love them.
Correct and educate
Instill positive attitudes in children, teach them that they can make mistakes, but that one also learns from mistakes.
Establish a relationship of trust with the children such that when there is a problem, they do not hesitate to turn to their parents.
Finally, remember that there are no recipes for being parents: we can only learn to be parents along the way, getting it right, wrong, and changing course whenever necessary.
Read: Be the best imperfect parent in the world