Becoming a parent is probably the biggest adventure that you could ever have in life. It’s the most important job in the world and yet, you have no formal training! You are thrown into the deep end and expected to raise fully functioning human beings without qualifications – it’s tough. Most people scour every piece of literature that they can to take in as much information and knowledge as they can about how to raise a baby. When you decide to have a child, you are taking the responsibility of another life into your hands and leading them into independence; it’s a big deal and raising the new baby in your life can be very overwhelming. The thing is, parents may be the people in charge of raising a child, but we are all human and we all make mistakes.
Slipping up as a parent occurs daily, and it’s our own childhood experiences that influence the way we parent our children. The way we react to situations with our children can help us to learn what works and what doesn’t but as a parent, you are the person who will be giving your children the biggest start in life. The way we behave in pregnancy and those early days has a profound effect on our children, so it is vital to enable our children to achieve their full potential. The first five years of a child’s life will set them up for the remainder of it. The way they experience their first relationships, the way they view their environments and the experiences that they are a part of all dictate the way that they develop and how they develop their opinions. We spend a lot of our time raising babies based on the research that is available to us as well as the influence that we have had from our own parents. We – whether consciously or not – end up repeating the patterns from our own childhood, and this isn’t always appropriate. Even worse? Sounding like your own parents when you are disciplining a child you are raising.
Giving your child the best start in life is going to include avoiding those phrases that you swore that you would never say. Two parents – together or not – that are actively involved in raising their children with strong communication and a ton of love are the ones that are going to raise secure, successful and happy little beings. By working together, they are far less likely to pass on bad messages that will give children a complex and make them feel unworthy. By aiming to give children the best life from the very beginning, there is a common and achievable goal ahead. It’s the little things that make a big difference when it comes to parenting, and you have to be willing to implement the little things so that you can see the big changes. Below, we’ve got different ways that you can concentrate on being the best parent possible, so that your children get the start in life that you have always hoped that they could have.
Unstick The Labels
Taking the time to give your children the best advice, habits and lessons possible is not always easy, but everyone wants to be able to be that parent; the one who tries hard to do this. The best parenting happens in the moment, without thought and without planning. It’s spontaneous and reactive to the situation and it’s unplanned. The trick is ensuring that you recognize when you react in the wrong way and rectifying that for next time. It’s difficult, but the one thing that every parent should avoid is comparisons and labels. Just because your next-door neighbor’s cousin’s daughter has an 8-month-old who can walk, it doesn’t mean your 10-month-old is behind because they like to speed crawl everywhere. Comparing your child to another is not going to make your child do anything faster, and it’s only going to stress you out. As they get older, it’s easy to attach labels to our kids. ‘Little brainbox’, ‘little athlete’, ‘little artist’ – all sound like lovely compliments, but the problem with labels is that children will then think they have to live up to those labels and own them in their entirety.
Get Them Healthy
The health of your children doesn’t just happen when they’re running around and avoiding sugar. Maternal health is imperative in the overall health of your children, and that means that you have to begin their healthy routines from the womb. Having a healthy pregnancy is not easy if your craving is to chew on pork rinds. Their health doesn’t just end with birth, either, as you have to consider how you feed them and what they should eat when weaning. You also have to consider their dental care; from their very first tooth. Checking out blogs from MommyMandy as well as health articles can teach you exactly how to go about caring for the teeth of your little people. Don’t forget to practice what you preach, as well. You need to show your children that you are living your own example. When they eat, you eat, and eat the same foods. Raising them on broccoli and chicken when you wean is going to be a better example than giving them oven baked ‘kids’ food. Children watch and emulate your every move: if you are healthy, they will be healthy. There’s no need to panic about their sugar and salt intake if you know that the food that you are cooking is as healthy as you possible.
Allow For Mistakes
As an adult, you make mistakes. You are allowed to make them, because you learn from them and grow. This is no different to your children. Watching your children like a hawk is natural but stopping them from making mistakes is not okay. It’s nice to be able to jump in when they’re pretending that the floor is lava and they jump from furniture piece to furniture piece, so that you can save them from jumping too hard or falling the wrong way. The thing is, they need to be able to take a few of those falls so that they can learn from them. Children need to experience a few falls every now and again so that they can adjust themselves for next time. It’s exactly the same as you making sure that you can learn from your mistakes; they need to learn from theirs. Making the mistake is a better lesson than anything that you could ever explain to them. Cause and effect is a good lesson and it’s going to be good for your child’s emotional health to let them be disappointed sometimes!
Let Them Get Bored
One of the biggest stresses for any parent is keeping their children occupied, entertained and busy. The thing is, it’s GOOD for children to be bored sometimes. They don’t need to be occupied with technology and set-up board games every minute of the day. They need to be allowed to run their own imaginations and create their own little realities and games. You do not need to get yourself flustered by trying to micromanage every minute of their day, and nor should you try. Children are inspired by the little things in life. A tea towel becomes a flag. A sheet becomes a sail. You name it, children can create it.
Look Beneath The Bad
All children misbehave. They are smaller versions of us, except that their emotions make no sense and they collide. Often, they can’t communicate their needs straight away. Always look beyond bad behavior for the root cause. Of course, not every single tantrum will have an underlying issue beyond the fact that they didn’t get what they wanted. Misbehavior is the result of misunderstanding emotion, and it’s up to you to react appropriately to that behavior and it’s up to you to teach them how to react properly, too. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t discipline your children and correct behavior, because regardless of why they misbehave, any behavior that results in violent outbursts should be corrected. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot be compassionate.
Lastly, you need to trust yourself as a parent. Giving your children the best beginnings in life is going to be littered with overwhelming emotions, mistakes and worry that you won’t anticipate. But it’s going to be the best journey you could ever go on in your life, and you will encounter changes at every turn. A parent’s role is going to be to help their children evolve, and the shock factor is that you will be evolving along with them. Give your children your time above everything else and you can ensure that you have healthy, happy and secure kids who just want to do well in their life. Have the biggest hopes and dreams for your children, and you can watch them grow into the adults you’ve always dreamed them to be.