Starting a family can be the most rewarding thing you do in your life, but also the scariest. You’re tasked with making sure another person is properly trained to be their own person for 18+ years. Caring for another human being, especially babies who can do so little, is a daunting task. There are millions of parenting books on the market but parenting advice is always changing.
If you decide to parent your child one way, while someone else says it should be a different way, then it’s totally okay. There is no perfectly right way to start or raise a family. Just ensure that all of your children are given love, compassion, and support.
For those wanting to start a family and looking for a little parenting advice, here are nine tips to consider for your parenting techniques.
1. Connect with Your Children
When you’re a mother, you may feel like you’re connecting with your child all the time. You’re constantly with them and taking care of them. You have to be connecting, right? Not necessarily so.
You want an allocated amount of time that is specifically dedicated to just being with your child. This way you know that it’s all about them. No business calls, no doing what you want. Your child calls the shots during this time.
2. Have Control Over Your Emotions
Don’t ever lash out at your child in anger. The temper tantrums, bad grades, or refusal to eat certain foods are almost always temporary. It’ll pass but their memory of you being angry will not. At times it can be tempting, after all, they should know better, but you always want to calm yourself before intervening with your kid.
Step away. Take a breath. What they’ve done probably isn’t that bad anyways. If you find yourself constantly irritable, however, and you know your child isn’t the problem, it might also be time to look other factors in your life that might be affecting your emotions. Maybe you need to start exercising and facilitating a better overall health with protein powder to elevate your day-to- day mood. Or maybe it’s time to ask for a vacation and just get away from work for a while. In that case, get out the suitcases, pack your essentials, invest in a compact hair dryer, and grab a couple books or a tablet and set out for a few days. Whatever the source of your foul mood, what’s important is that you learn to identify the cause of your stress and manage it, rather than taking it out on your child.
3. Set Limits But Don’t Command Them
Your kid should listen to you, but you don’t want to seem detached or commanding. When you ask them to clean up their toys or get ready for bed, don’t yell it from another room. Go to where your child is and kneel down to their level. Don’t rush them through what they’re doing.
Instead, talk to them about what’s going on with whatever they’re playing with. Then ease into talking about bedtime. When they see you’re interested in what they’re doing, they’re more interested in what you’re asking them to do.
4. Avoid Shutting Down the Conversation
Sometimes your kids will say or ask something ridiculous. They’ll ask why they have to go to school and exclaim that they hate history or math. When they do this, you can’t simply dismiss them and tell them they have to go to school.
You know they have to go school, and they probably know they have to go to school. In times like these, it’s usually a deeper issue eating away at them. Ask them why they hate the subject and ease them into telling you how they feel.
5. Let Them Know It’s Okay to Cry
Apart of parenting is helping your child deal with difficult emotions that they feel. They need to know healthy ways to manage them. Showing them that it’s okay to cry every now and then is vital.
When kids erupt into tears, parents often react by quickly trying to calm them but kids benefit more when you do the opposite. It shows them that anger and hurt aren’t dangerous emotions. Most importantly, show your children empathy and compassion.
6. Enjoy the Humorous Moments with Them
Children love to laugh, and hearing their laughter can brighten your whole day. Set aside time to be goofy with your kids. A little bit of roughhousing can make them feel safe and be therapeutic for you. Or discover how to sing in tune with Music-Ic and make it a fun learning experience for the whole family. Whatever hilarious way you choose to spend time together, it’s important to just loosen up and have fun.
7. Try to Avoid Power Struggles
As a parent, you want to feel in charge. It’s supposed to be your job after all, right? Kind of.
If there’s an argument between you and your child that has no benefit on who is right, don’t get stuck on showing them that you’re the boss so it’s what you say. It doesn’t matter. If your son doesn’t want to eat dinner at the time you assigned but wants it a little earlier or a little later, is it the end of the world?
8. Don’t Take It Personally
When your child is angry or upset, don’t feel bad if they lash out at you. It’s probably not about you anyway. Again, control your emotions and don’t lash back in retaliation. Approach the situation with empathy. Let them know they hurt your feelings and get to the root of why they’re upset.
9. Make Your House a Home
Beyond the ways in which you can develop healthy communication skills and learn to grow with your children, you also want to raise them in an environment that helps them to flourish. This might mean moving out of a cramped apartment and seeking out a mortgage lender, so you can acquire a place that your child will come to know as their childhood home. On top of that, maintaining a house isn’t easy—you have to find reliable plumbers, outfit your home with blinds and other home decor, provide a comfortable mattress to support your child’s growth, and so much more. But while tending to all the details that make a house into a home can be overwhelming, the payoff of being able to provide a loving and comfortable environment for your child will ultimately pay off as you see them develop into a happy and well-adjusted child.
The relationship that you form with your children is a special one that needs to be nourished and not taken for granted. Once you start a family, enjoy your time with them before they grow old and leave the nest.