I think my baby was about 10 minutes old when I started worrying about parenting tips. Was I doing everything right? There was plenty of advice to be had – in books, by other parents, and by other folks who weren’t even parents(!), but here are all the tips I wish people had told me! Here’s 10 Positive Parenting Tips Every New Parent Should Know – tips to reassure you that you’re doing just fine.
Going Home with New Baby
As I walked out of the maternity ward with my little bundle, I looked back to make doubly sure that no alarm was going to go off. I had somehow managed to avoid the incompetent parent alarm system! I nervously stared at my little person’s moves around the clock until I began to learn to breathe out.
Is he colicky, teething, cranky, does he have a temperature? How many ounces did he drink? Has he had enough? Is he heavy enough? Is he too heavy? Is he developing properly? That nappy looks weird, nobody told me about green stools!
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Am I Doing it Right?
I can reassure you that most of the tips that I got were not positive parenting tips – they were suggestions on how I could improve my performance and perhaps do it a bit better. There are very few people who will reassure you and tell you that you are doing it right.
Is he too big for that car seat? Is he too small for that buggy? Is his back supported in that shopping trolley?
As he got older it never stopped, I googled all kinds of forums for reassurance.
“We never did it like that in our day” I heard my mother say.
“Well latest research states that you should “………said the public health nurse.
“Don’t pick them up every time they cry “said everyone.
I read various parenting books, each with conflicting advice. I asked other mothers, and all their children seemed to be sleeping round the clock and have a full set of teeth from birth!
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After that I welcomed guilt into my life, guilt at going back to work, guilt at cutting corners on things, when I was exhausted, guilt at my own impatience, and guilt at occasionally wanting a bit of time on my own. Could I tell anyone these things?
When I look back with the wonderful gift of hindsight, these are the bits of advice that I would have given myself, and would now give any new Mom.
If you are worried whether you are doing it right or not then that is a good thing. It means you are being responsible, cautious and trying your best to do a good job.
2. Doing A Good Job
Nobody will tell you that you are doing a good job, least of all your children. If you slip up in any way they will tell you with gusto. They will say they had the worst lunch in the school while all the other children dined on organic foie gras with lobster and pureed strawberries flown in from France!
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3. What Kids Remember
If you are early for 10,000 pick up’s and drop offs it will go unnoticed, but miss one minute and that is the memory they will throw at you.
4. Listen To The Small Stuff Now
When you are having a hard day remember that sitting listening to” Let it Go” for the 50th time is significant, because if you listen to the small stuff they will want you to listen to the big stuff when they are older.
5. Try Be Objective
Listen objectively to a report where your child is the injured party. You know how capable they are of giving a rose-tinted version when they squabble with their siblings or friends.
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6. Let Them Resolve Their Own Fights
When they fall out with their friends let them sort it out themselves. They usually do so with a lot less fuss than when parents get involved.
7. Trust Your Instinct
Trust your own instinct. People tend to dismiss worried first time parents as being overly cautious but it’s better to err on the side of caution than to dismiss something important.
8. Don’t Worry Unnecessarily Either!
They will probably want to eat their own sock at some point and you may turn up for events with a one-socked baby, don’t worry it happens other people too.
9. Enjoy Every Hug
Take all the hugs and hand holding and their sitting on your lap that you can get! One day they won’t want to and you won’t even notice the last time they held your hand or volunteered a hug.
10. Be Proud of Yourself
Take pride in their little successes, first steps, toilet training, being able to reach things, being able to strap their own car seat. You walked them, trained them, helped them grow and taught them. (Don’t underestimate your leadership skills.)
So are you doing it right? Who knows?
Did I do it right? Who knows? I didn’t read the manual after all. I just tried my best and listened to as much advice as possible and tried to keep an open mind to the fact that everyone had something different to offer, some of which was right and some of which was wrong.
Guess what? You’re doing fine.
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Over to you! Let us know what tips you would give new parents in comments below.