I look forward to having kids someday; the whole shebang, you know? Until then, I’ll be living vicariously through my friends and family who are on the journey already. I heard from my cousin, a 1-month-old new mommy, what it’s like navigating the road as a new parent.
Being a new parent is both thrilling, exciting as well as demanding. You and your partner go from just looking out for each other, to now nurturing another human. It’s a whole new world on its own.
Several things affect one’s perspective about parenting, some of which are childhood experiences, your own parents’ style of parenting, societal expectations, etc. However, it is important to set your own goals as a parent and determine the style you want to adopt in training your children.
Remember, no one is perfect. Hence, you might not be perfect as you think your parents were. It’s however still important that you give parenting your best shot.
Without wasting any time, let’s go on this ride and explore these eight tips I gleaned that are said to help boost your parenting power!
Set Reasonable Expectations
Like every other endeavor, you can set goals for parenting. You can determine what you want to do at this time, how you want to react in certain situations, etc. However, it is important to always set reasonable and realistic goals, which are achievable. Setting a goal to have your 10-month-old baby use the potty independently is surely a wild and unrealistic goal. Give your child space to grow at their own pace, and let them experience life easily. Don’t be unrealistic with your expectations of them!
Be a Worthy Model They Can Follow
A fantastic way to be a great parent is to be a worthy role model who your children can imitate. Children learn more by what they see you do than by what you tell them to do. So, if you want to make your children exhibit certain behaviors, and build up certain habits, you have to be willing to model those habits to them. Studies have shown that children who hit others usually have a role model for aggression at home. This means that children pick up both good and bad habits. If you want your children to read, just take a book and do so, and they would obey you when next you ask them to.
Show That You Genuinely Love Them. Don’t Only Say It
Love is more felt when expressed in actions than when said in words. It is easy peasy to say you love your children, but do you express it to them? Do they feel loved by your actions? The littlest things can go a long way in making your children feel loved by you. Hug them, listen to them, don’t neglect them or be insensitive to their feelings, correct them in love, create a positive experience that they would forever remember, make out time for them, etc. These things may seem usual, but to children, it makes them feel loved, seen, and appreciated.
Be Firm and Discipline Them, When Necessary
Children cross the limit at times, and they need to be corrected. As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your children the difference between right and wrong. To get this one, you’d have to discipline them when they do the wrong thing. Create limits and boundaries, explain to them why these things are like that, and make sure to correct them when the line is crossed. Another important thing to put into consideration in disciplining your child is to be consistent with discipline. When they do something wrong, correct them and if it is repeated, discipline them again. This would help them know that the standards have not changed, and would help them do better.
Foster a Close Relationship
Communicating well with your child is another fantastic way to help you and them too. Communication is the bedrock of every relationship, and the parent-child relationship is not exempted. Make out time to speak to them, listen to them, be readily available to be there for them when they need you. This would help them feel loved and would help your relationship with them grow more intimate and beautiful. Make communication a priority!
Pay Attention to Your Wellbeing, Too
Another way to be a better parent is to pay keen attention to yourself. As much as it is good that your children need to be catered to, you also need to be cared for. Don’t neglect your spouse because of your child; still have your dinner dates like you did before the child came into the picture, discuss with your partner tips to use in training your child, etc. Make sure that other aspects of your life are also functional. Pay attention to yourself, if not, your child would also suffer for it indirectly.
Be Flexible and Open to Change
There are no hard and fast rules to parenting, and no method fits all situation. Be flexible with how you approach your children, rather than get fixated on a method that is not working. You can gain more knowledge on parenting by reading a book, taking parenting courses, etc. In all, be open to learning and evolving. Don’t stay stuck in the past.
Boost Their Self-Esteem
Another great tip to help you in this parenting journey is to always boost and improve your child’s self-esteem. Children want affirmation from their parents or anyone who stands as a parent figure in their lives. Hence, it would do a lot of good if you show your children that you see them as valuable, and positively affirm them. Show that you believe in them. Don’t criticize them when they open up to you about an issue; rather, use kind words. Don’t compare them, rather praise their good attributes.
I’m sure this list is not exhaustive, but this is all I have for now. Anybody found any of these tips useful or not in their real-life experience? Are there any more gems that would be absolute life-savers for a person going on the parenting journey for the first time?