Here I sit, almost ready to pop with my fifth baby in eight years. Yes, I am tired. Yes, I am basically touched out, and yes, I am done being pregnant. But I am also pretty confident in my parenting skills at this point. I’ve transitioned from a crazy first-time-mom to a much more laid-back parent. If it’s not gushing blood, swelling fast, or life-threatening, I’m pretty calm. So read on as this Mum of 5 (almost) shares everything you need to know about parenting, and believe me when I say I have pretty much seen it all!
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I completely understand why first-born children are labeled as they are; it’s all the parents’ faults! It’s the same reason that the ‘baby’ in the family is typically more relaxed and go-with-the-flow. But we can’t help our nerves and parenting intuitions with that first baby. It is all just so new! But don’t worry, it gets easier over time.
No matter what child number you are welcoming, there are a few parenting basics that should be respected. These may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at how often our society lacks this characteristic!
The Do’s of Parenting Basics
Hold Your Baby at Every Age.
This includes saying I love you. This includes saying nothing at all. This includes knowing when it is not the right time to lecture, but instead to just hold your baby-toddler-young child-tween-or teen.
It could be a skinned knee, a lost toy, a mean friend, or a first heartbreak, but the role of the parent is the same: unconditional love.
Parenthood is not the time for self-consciousness. Allowing your little one to see you be goofy, be real, and make mistakes will grant them the permission to learn who they truly are and explore their abilities without fear.
Talk Honestly and Openly
Children need to understand the value of money, the concept of anger, acceptance and forgiveness. Hiding things or treating things as if they are not important can make a child feel devalued, or even worse, they learn to mimic the behaviour and hide things from you.
Let Your Child Explore
Whether it is barefoot time in the grass, exploring in the woods, or testing boundaries, exposure to freedom and the world is what will open your child’s eyes to find and pursue a passion.
Research says that we should read to our kids out loud every day throughout their entire childhood, not just until they can read themselves.
Discuss thoughts, dreams, and fears regularly: This includes your own as well as your child’s.
Allow Your Child to Follow Their Own Path
Blue hair? Sure, just invest in a dye that washes out!
Start Chores Young
Toddlers can help pick toys up and load a dishwasher. By the time a child is five, they can vacuum and help with just about everything!
Introduce the Potty Before Age One
The key to easy potty-training is to have a child know what a toilet is and to not fear it! Of course, your 10-month-old won’t pee on it regularly, but sitting on it every day in the morning and after a nap will help them to transition out of diapers easily.
Model Kindness and Respect
Our actions speak louder than our words. This is true in every aspect of child-raising.
The Don’ts of Parenting Basics
Don’t Strive for Perfection
Don’t strive for perfection n Parenting or with your child. Seriously, relax and let mistakes guide you to become better over time.
Don’t Leave them to Figure Things Out Alone
Don’t let your child figure out what they did wrong alone. Sitting alone behind a locked door doesn’t teach a lesson, but you sitting with them, calmly talking does.
Don’t compare your child to another, this will only end badly for your relationship with your child and the relationships your child builds with others.
Don’t Ignore Your Gut
A parent’s instincts are pretty strong. Go with your gut every time.
Don’t Buy Gifts to Make Up for Lost Time
Missing life cannot be made up for with things. This drives children toward materialist happiness instead of actual joy.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Dictate a Situation
It’s key to take a parental time-out to cool down before handling many situations. Our emotions can drive us to impulse actions that can leave horrible lasting effects.
Don’t Believe that Silence is Golden
Silence normally means the toddler has snuck out the door or is quietly destroying something. And as they grow, silence can be a cry for help.
Don’t Expect Anything to Go as Planned
Life is messy. Kids are very messy. You will not be on time to everything and the best laid plans will go awry.
Don’t Overuse Technology
Don’t let technology babysit for too long each day. Yes, we all do it, just be smart about it.
Don’t Forget that a Child is a Person
Your child is a person with feelings and should be treated as such: We are not more important than our children. We are equals, and it needs to be understood that a child’s feelings should be respected and considered just as an adult’s would be.
You see, parenting does not come with a true guidebook to follow, and every family will raise their own children in ways that work for them. But these parenting do’s and don’ts can be respected within every home, no matter the parenting style. We are all trying our best and learning as we go; give yourself grace and love through your journey.
Do you have any extra tips to add to the parenting basics list? Please share them with us in the comments box below.