Parenting is a work in progress… and it doesn’t have to be New Year for you to resolve to be the best parent you can be. None of us is perfect, so try some of these 10 tips to help navigate family life.
We all want to become better parents, right? The good news is it’s not as hard as we think. It’s the small things that count. Master these top 10 tips and you, your little one and your whole family will benefit. (Maybe you’re doing some or all of these things already, but we all need to check in from time to time to help us to put our busy lives into perspective.)
1. Don’t compare childrenAvoid comparison. Just because your best friend’s little one started walking before your tot it doesn’t mean that your child is behind with their developmental milestones. Each child has their own rate of development and being a good parent is about accepting your child as they are. That means that if they are quiet or shy compared to their siblings or friends, you consider and accept that as part of their personality.
2. Be consistent with your rulesIf you ask your child to act or speak in a certain way, make sure you talk the talk. Children are a product of their environment and may pick up your habits without you realising. If you’re constantly asking your child to mind their manners but don’t even them yourself, then your rules are confusing. As the old saying goes, ‘practice what you preach’.
3. Let your child make mistakesNow and again it’s fine to let your child make mistakes and understand cause and effect. It’s emotionally healthy to let your little one experience disappointment if their Lego tower falls over or their doll falls down the stairs, we need to give our tots the chance to feel and respond. Mollycoddling is not good for future proofing their continuing development.
4. Allow your toddler to be boredIt may sound random, but it’s actually good for your child to experience boredom now and again. Left to their own devices, children often let their imaginations run wild and their creativity flourishes. Instead of trying to constantly entertain your little one, put some pens and paper out in the backyard, sit down and have a cup of tea and let your little one explore his way. He may say ‘I’m bored’ initially but after a couple of minutes he’ll be lost in his imagination. Although planned activities are good, you can plan not to plan, and bring out the inner creative in your little one.
5. Review how you are parentingIf you find yourself offering your little one treats or rewards to comfort their crying, review your choices. If you do this then you are hardwiring your child to believe that a biscuit or toy is more comforting than a smile or hug. Generally your child will cry in attempt to get your attention, but if you end up placating them with a biscuit, you are most probably only dealing with the issue short term.
6. Look beyond bad behaviourYou might feel infuriated that your little one is being constantly naughty, but if you look beyond the bad behaviour you might get to the root cause. Children don’t have temper tantrums to manipulate you, there’s usually a reason behind their misbehaviour. While time out can be appropriate in some cases, another approach is to try a to have a calm rationale conversation with him. Ask him questions and suggest answers, for example, “Would it help if I read you a story?”
7. Trust yourself as a parentWe are bombarded with expert opinion and advice and can feel pressured to overcompensate by dragging our children from activity to activity to make sure they’re stimulated and don’t miss out on opportunities. However, if your child isn’t enjoying dance classes, or responding to her music lessons, trust your gut instinct as a parent as you know your child best. Maybe they aren’t ready yet, or have other interests?
8. Embrace change as your child growsJust because your child enjoyed a certain activity or entertainment in their in the early stages, it doesn’t mean they’ll continue to like it. As they emerge into the later toddler years, if getting them there becomes a battle, or they are badly behaviour during their activity, it might be time to accept that they have outgrown the class.
9. Connect with your little oneWhether you are a stay-at-home or working parent, separation between you and your little one will happen. The important thing is that you stay connected. Take time to hug your little one before you leave the house and, when you come home take 15 minutes to reconnect and talk with one another (the washing can wait). When they go to bed make sure you read them a story and give them another cuddle.
10. Keep parenting in perspectiveRemember there is no perfect child, perfect parent or perfect family. Understand life’s realities and try to keep perspective. Baby steps are better than none.
Have you any tips on being a better parent? Post your comments in the box below.
Extracted from https://woolworthsbabyandtoddlerclub.com.au
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