Some adults plan to become parents while others are taken by surprise. Whether by chance or choice, life has placed you in the role of a parent raising a child. Though there are many challenges ahead -- and some could be monumental -- keep it all in perspective. There are also a number of satisfying, joyful experiences that you'll remember as the biggest rewards of parenting.
Seeing the World Through the Eyes of a Child
People become parents at different ages, some as teenagers and others wait until their 20s, 30s, 40s or even older. No matter what age you are, parenting often makes you feel young again. This is because you see the world through the eyes of a child, where everything is wondrous and exciting. A simple walk in the park with a child reawakens youthful feelings. The child’s fascination with things you take for granted, such as a dandelion, helps you rekindle the childlike wonder at the mysteries of the universe.
One of the advantages of having a child is that it gives you focus, as stated by the Psychology Today website. Knowing that this little being is dependent on you for at least 18 years gives many parents a purpose in life. They enjoy feeling needed and being an integral part of someone's life.
Shaping and guiding a child in becoming a well-adjusted adult is a full-time job and many parents relish the responsibility. They feel gratification when they assist the child in learning a new skill and watching him finally grasp it. These skills range from simple tasks to complicated tasks, like the child learning to feed himself, tie his shoes, choose his friends wisely, solve an algebra equation or manage his own finances. The pride you and your child feel as he grows older and succeeds at new challenges is quite rewarding. Your child may share many of your same traits and tastes or he may be very different. Knowing that you played a large part in helping to shape this human being is quite gratifying.
The bond you share with your child is likely to bring you great joy. You may have difficulty feeling unconditional love from your child at times, such as during the teenage years, but for the most part, it is a love like no other. The connection between loving parents and children lasts a lifetime. The bond often solidifies and grows even more when the child becomes a parent himself and has his own kids. Although parenting brings challenges and disappointment, it also brings optimism, giggles, liveliness and energy into your home, as well as a sense of satisfaction and most importantly – love – according to the Ohio State University Extension website.