There may be a sentence in this next paragraph that will either elate you or deflate you but you have to stand by it as the answer to the question. There is no correct way.
Yup, that's it. Your mother / father did it her way, got a couple of things wrong. Your local shop keepers mother / father made mistakes. That bloke across the street looking at jewelery in the window for his wife, his mother / father, now and again, got lost and confused. The leader of your favorite political party's mother / father sat in total frustration not knowing why their baby was crying. The great leaders of the world's mothers or fathers worried about whether they were doing the right thing. Am I getting this across yet?
On the whole as one body of parental animals, we worry about our little people. Even if the perfect parent exists out there they may be trying to bring up the most imperfect child that making their little person have the most unhappy childhood.
The best advice I have ever taken is … let your child be who they want to be. Trust in the fact that they are quite capable of becoming that which is best for them. This may be quite the opposite of what you desire or expect but, at the end of the day this is not your life it is THEIRS. By all means love, care and guide but guide only if requested.
The truth of the matter is us parents as a whole sometimes forget that children are after all sentient beings that will learn to walk, talk and just be, all in their own time. There is no medal or badge of honor given to those babies that crawl the earliest or talk their words at the youngest age, they just …. do and good for them. On the flip side there are some children that do not crawl until well after 8 months … but they do.
Yes, of course at a young and tender age they will want to be Superman, Fairies, Knights, Princesses, Wrestlers, Ballet Dancers or just invisible and why not? I have a friend who daughter wanted to go to playschool in her fairy outfit every day, so rather than making her conform to what everyone else dressed like, she let her daughter do just that. This little girl has now grown up and guess what, she does not walk around in a fairy outfit, she is a wonderful artistic little being who is at peace with the world and does not judge as in her mind everyone has the right to their own individuality and, if they so choose to wander round the streets in a fairy outfit then good for them!
Having faith in your child's personal ability is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. I met a man in Australia many years ago who had disabilities from birth, his parents were told that he would never be able to walk and would never reach past the mental age of a 5 year old. His parents refused to believe this, and always trusted in the fact that their son, despite his disabilities, would grow up to have a normal and fulfilled life.
I met this man at a friend's house. He was in his early thirties and was sitting next to the pool his walking stick to his left. He had become a molecular bio-chemist, well that was his second degree he was in-fact working in the hospital as their leading gynecologist. Not only was he a brilliant man, but incredibly funny and wonderful company. He sat and told me how much respect he had for his parents as they refused to put him in a "special" school and admitted he went to the local mainstream school even though they knew he might get bullied because of his deformities, but trusted in him and trusted in the fact that he would be fine. And, he was.
The famous author Napoleon Hill wrote about the story of his son Blair, who was born without ears that were told their son was a deaf mute. He describes how …… "the outlook was far from encouraging but DESIRE BACKED BY FAITH knows no such word as impossible …."
And through a series of events he learnt to hear and speak. Blair went to college, stumbled across a hearing aid that worked for him when he was 18, wrote to the company to thank them which lead him to obtain a position within the company reaching out to thousands of thousands of people showing them the technology which in turn helped them.
So, Napoleon Hill writes that although he was told his child may never hear or speak, through his belief in his son, his son endeavored and succeeded in doing both. Blair was later tested by Dr Irvine Voorhees, a specialist who was astounded at how well he could hear and speak, even though an x-ray showed there was no opening in Blairs skull from where his ears should be to his brain.
He put faith in his son, and trusted in the fact that his son would succeed.
Another thing to ponder when thinking about your childrens abilities to understand is how much information a child learners in one month of school, the maths, English, languages, history, science etc., how quickly they learn to play, skip, draw etc. Then you worry about their ability to walk down a flight of stairs! It just does not add up does it.
Recently I was at a skate park with my daughter, while she was whizzing merrily about I heard mothers telling their boys "be careful", "look out" etc. Immediately when you are told to be careful you are looking out for danger, as soon as you focus on danger, you are going to find it, as soon as you find it, it's going to hurt. How about just saying "go and have the best fun you can have" rather than taking all the fun out of the skate park! If you are careful while learning to BMX or skate or board you are not going to get very far. You have to trust in the fact your child will learn how to avoid the dangers.
Children by definition naturally take risks, they do this the moment they decide to flip over onto their fronts and crawl. So at the tender age of / XX / XXX amount of months they were allowed to flip over and crawl, so why not let them, when they want to flip about on a bike / roller blades or whatever just let them try it without pointing out the dangers. Babies do not understand danger this is why they are less likely to hurt themselves when they fall over. Adults expect pain and tension when falling and this is why more adults than children sustain more injury in a fall.
So to sum up, there is no right way to bring up your child, everyone does it differently but one thing is for sure if you trust in the fact your child will be OK, then, they will be. Love them eternally, forgive their mistakes and believe that they will be the best that they can be. Most importantly of all let your child be happiest when they are being themselves.