Parenting techniques can differ for every parent. Likewise, parenting skills are unique for every child, and can be influenced by cultural backgrounds and even by location.

We sometimes question our parenting skills because there is no sure-fire way to know if we are parenting correctly. We often ask ourselves whether we’re on par with what society expects a good parent to represent, including providing love and discipline.

Nowadays, everything in life seems to come with a manual.  Thank goodness children don’t come with a manual since all parents would resemble robots, replicating exact copies of youngsters instead of recognizing each child’s individuality.

In today’s challenging environment for raising a healthy and happy child, most parents are winging it and learning as they go along this journey.

Being labeled as a bad parent can be a demoralizing experience.  I wrote about it in a single-mother blog detailing how I decided to raise my daughter. I was tired of being shamed about my parenting skills because ability is only based on perception. Your competency is not what’s factual when raising your children.

It was never my intention to win the parent of the year award. I was her parent, not her best friend without rules, structure, guidance, or discipline. A little tough love goes a long way in raising a child. My only goal was to inspire my daughter in a positive way so that she would become a productive member of society and discover herself along the way.

If you grew up with Caribbean parents as I did, you understood what was expected of you from an early age, good grades, respect, honesty, and moral values. In my case, the word boyfriend was forbidden in the house.

As a single Mom, my goal has always been to be the best parent for my child. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the benefit of being surrounded by a village in helping to raise her. I did it all alone.

My daughter isn’t expected to follow in my footsteps but rather find her own pathway to success…”

Being shamed for my parenting techniques has been difficult, like refusing to let my daughter date in high school or calling me harsh when I sent her to live with her dad for a month after running up a $700.00 phone bill. I was even shamed for yelling at my daughter.  Would you mind showing me a parent who’s never yelled at their child?

You hear that charity begins at home, which is true when parenting your child. However, there are also consequences for every action, such as morals and values taught and developed during this tender age.

Even though I have a competitive personality, I wanted my daughter to become the best version of her, finding her own destiny by fostering her abilities. As a result, she was raised to be respectful, caring, compassionate, have a great work ethic and a sense that the sky is limitless. This achievement is more important to me than being criticized by others out of touch.

My daughter isn’t expected to follow in my footsteps but rather find her own pathway to success. If encouraging your child to do well in school, get her driver’s license at 16, help her drop off resumes for a job, take her to a job interview or drop her off on her first day at work is being a bad mother, I will gladly accept that label.

I am endeavoring to set my child up for success, never to endure the struggles and pain I suffered along the way. To those who have an opinion about someone’s parenting skills, being a parent is much more complex than a bunch of criticism by people without knowledge or experience.