Thanks to Hollywood and pop culture, being a parent is seen as a glamorous event and learning the ropes of motherhood or fatherhood is an absolute breeze.
Even though the glamorous idea of parenthood is often used as a plot device in both television shows and movies, real life is a bit more difficult. For example, parents of bullied children always win the day and their child is victorious when the bully gets tossed out of school by a sympathetic principal in front of a cheering crowd composed of their peers.
In real life, parents are often frustrated by an uncaring school system and their child is bullied even harder because the perpetrators know that they won’t face the consequences of their actions.
Hollywood also doesn’t prepare parents for dealing with newborns either. Living with one requires a huge adjustment change, and there’s a lot of stress as both parents slowly learn to decipher why their baby is crying or what their body language means.
Unlike the glamorous ideal of parenthood that Hollywood peddles, this list below discusses common parenting hurdles that pretty much everyone will have to face at some point in time and how they can make navigating these challenges just a little bit easier.
20 Parents Not Having Enough 'Me' Time
Female First points out that in the early years of childhood, it can be difficult to adjust because they suddenly went from having time to themselves to now having no time to decompress and relax after having a child. Parents now have to be “on” all day, every day.
Becoming a parent is no joke, and it can often be hard for many mothers to adjust to their new routine of being up at all hours to care for another living, breathing person once their bundle of joy comes home from the hospital.
19 The Joys Of Sleep Deprivation
Today’s Parent writes that dealing with sleep deprivation can lead to stress with one’s partner for new mothers. Ideally, most parents will take turns getting up round the clock when caring for a newborn, but that can be a bit tricky if they have an older child that needs care and attention too.
Being sleep deprived also means that you’re more likely to be cranky and easily stressed out, which can wreak havoc in your relationship by causing plenty of arguments.
18 Having To Navigate Which Parent Does What Chore
Female First notes that one source of contention in relationships between new parents is that it can be difficult to navigate and divvy up which person performs which chore.
In order to try and mitigate any issues when you’re in the midst of raising a newborn, it is best to have a frank discussion with your partner about who will be doing what chores before the baby arrives. This way there will be a smooth transition to the new routine.
17 Dealing With Temper Tantrums
According to Female First, another challenge that new parents face is how to deal with temper tantrums from their child. Little children don’t have great control over their emotions, and they are easily frustrated.
It can be tempting to simply scold a child throwing a temper tantrum, especially if it’s in public and people are staring at you, but it’s better to keep your temper and research more effective communication methods. This way parents can teach them that pitching a fit isn’t going to get them what they want.
16 Whiney Children
Mom Junction points out that a big hurdle that new parents all have to face is how to deal with whiney children. Some kids whine more than others, but at some point in their young lives, they’ll definitely be complaining all day, every day.
Old-fashioned parenting advice used to say that it’s easier to ignore them, but nowadays parenting experts feel that it’s better to understand why you’re child is complaining and have a frank discussion with them about their feelings in order to mitigate the problem.
15 Learning How To Read Your Newborn
Your Tango writes that a major challenge all parents face is learning how to read their newborn and deciphering what they want. No one is born with knowledge of how to read a baby, and it can take a while to figure out that one specific cry means that they are hungry, while another high-pitched wail might mean that the newborn is tired.
It can be frustrating learning to decipher a newborn’s body language and cries, but slowly and surely, it will become easier over time.
14 Children Eating Junk Food
Let’s face it, kids love to eat junk food and often balk at having to consume “nutritious” food as part of their regular meals. Mom Junction says that mothers often get frustrated when their little ones refuse to listen to their advice on how to eat healthy and insist on munching on sugary goodness.
Staying firm and not giving in to their desires to chow down on junk food will pay off in the long run. Try to make learning about eating balanced meals fun! Have them help you research new recipes, so that little ones will be more intrigued by the idea and won’t want to eat fast food.
13 Kiddos Not Wanting To Study
Female First points out that many mothers often run into trouble when it comes to their relationship with their children, especially when they try nagging at them to cut the cord and stop spending so much time online or playing video games.
As children grow up and start to become more independent, it’s often a hassle to train them to set aside time to study for school and finish up their homework. Goodness knows when I was a kid, I loathed being forced to study, but over time and as I got older, it became second nature and I willingly set aside time to prepare for upcoming tests.
12 Dealing With Shy Children
Some well-meaning parents attempt to push their shy kids out of their shell, which trust me, as a shy kid growing up myself, ALWAYS backfires. It’s just not going to end well, and I speak from experience.
Mom Junction writes that it’s better to let shy children be and not try to push them into turning into social butterflies. Try to be understanding and respectful of their personality. Some people are naturally introverted, and that’s perfectly fine. We can’t all be extroverts that are always “on." How boring would that be?
11 In One Ear, Out The Other
Let’s be frank here, as most children grow up and start to assert their independence, anything their mother or father asks them to do either goes in one ear and out the other or they’ll start whining about their chores.
Instead of barking orders at them, Psychology Today notes that using a firm—but kind—tone and making eye contact when you ask them to do something is likely to go over a lot better. You can also use “I want” statements (for example, “I want you to clean the dishes”) instead of “Will you” statements (such as “Will you clean the dishes?) to get a higher rate of compliance.
10 Kids Telling White Lies
Kids will sometimes tell a few white lies; it’s part of growing up. I know I told my share of fibs to my parents when I was a youngin’ back in the ‘90s.
According to Mom Junction, it can be tempting to freak out and punish your child for lying in order to curb the behavior, but that kind of reaction is only going to make things worse. It’s better to keep your temper and calmly explain why lying isn’t going to do them any good.
9 The Joys Of Sibling Rivalry
When you’re a parent, notes Female First, dealing with sibling rivalry can make you want to tear your hair out from stress. I know my own mother had a hard time with my little sister and I when we were growing up because I told her that I would much rather have a dog than a new sibling to play with.
Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up, but Child Development Info points out that you can mitigate it by not comparing the two kids and don’t dismiss their anger.
8 Having To Deal With A Bullied Child
Female First writes that one stressful situation that often crops up as kids get closer to become teenagers is dealing with bullying. I myself was bullied from second grade until fifth grade by my peers; I switched schools but from sixth through eighth grade I was bullied by the oh-so-delightful math teacher slash principal, who was a really nasty piece of work.
Some parents might a have a knee-jerk reaction to raise a ruckus, while some might be stunned at the news. However, Stop Bullying notes it’s better to stay calm and collected while you talk to the principal of the school and figure out a course of action.
7 Getting To School On Time
According to Female First, one source of stress that can lead to a contentious relationship between parents and their child is the attempts to get your kiddo to school on time.
Children, especially after they hit age seven or so, like to sleep in late and this can be a pain when you’re trying to teach them to get up on time in the mornings. Getting up early enough to have a full breakfast before school is important, after all. It’s a good idea to look into more effective management techniques to help teach kids proper rising and sleeping habits.
6 Keeping An Eye On Their Online Profiles
Female First warns that as children get older and become closer to becoming official teenagers, they’re going to want more freedom online. It can often lead to arguments if their parents are worried about what their children are doing online. It's a delicate dance to try and keep an eye on their social media profiles while also allowing them more freedom.
While it is tempting to want to rule with an iron fist, you’ll have better results if you resist that impulse and simply facilitate better communication with your kids so you can be assured that they are safe online.
5 Having To Navigate Clingy Children
Female First writes at some point in your time as a mother, you’re going to have to deal with clingy children. It can be tempting to push them to become more independent, but that method can also backfire and just make your kiddos even clingier.
Mommy Shorts notes that it’s better to be responsive towards a child’s feelings and give them tasks, such as helping out around the house by setting the dinner table. When they have completed the task, shower them in a ton of praise in order to slowly but surely foster independence.
4 Teaching Children Not To Cuss
Very Well Family writes that a major hurdle almost all parents have to navigate is how to teach children not to cuss. While some parents might accept it from older children as a part of growing up, others are far more strict. As a parent though, they have to resist the temptation to scold them.
It’s hard not to lose one’s temper, but you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. A frank discussion about why your kids shouldn’t use colorful language is going to have a better chance of sticking with your children than a simple scolding.
3 Coaching Kiddos Through Their First Day Of School
In all honesty, what child enjoys the first day back at school? I know when I was growing up, I always dreaded it because I disliked the fact that summer was ending and I wanted more time to go to the local pool club.
Female First points out that many mothers become frustrated and argue with their children because they’re dragging their feet on the first day of school or they are reluctant to buy necessary supplies. Baby Center writes it’s better to nip this in the bud by making sure the kids get to bed early the night before and to make sure everyone’s ready to go the night before.
2 Preparing For Junior High School
No one likes watching their child grow up right before their eyes, but before you know it, they’ll be ready to enter junior high school, which Female First says presents a whole new set of challenges. Not only are they maturing, but they’re going to have a ton of homework and they’re at the age where they also want to hang out with their friends more.
It’s best to nip any potential problems in the bud by coming up with schedules that are easy for your children to follow; schedules that give them plenty of time for studying and hanging out with their friends.
1 Implementing Chores
Implementing chores for children can be a bit of a hassle because sometimes children whine until you give in and finish up the rest of it, writes The Bump.
Parents magazine urges mothers and fathers everywhere to resist the urge to scold their kids every time they slack off on chores. Instead, try making chores fun by turning them into a dance party with fun music or work as a team to get them done and as a way to boost a child’s morale.
Sources: Psychology Today, Today's Parent, Mom Junction, Your Tango, Secure Teen, Female First, Very Well Family, The Bump, Child Development Info, Stop Bullying, Mommy Shorts, Baby Center, Parents Magazine