Whether you are a first time parent or have welcomed an additional child into your family, parenting is a world filled with love, happiness and self doubt. Children, unfortunately, do not come with an instruction manual and it is quite normal to question your actions on a daily basis. Here are some handy hints to help make being a mother or father a little less confusing.
Make sure you listen to what your child has to say. Listening can be anything from listening to them babble as babies, listening to how their day at school went, or listening to their problems. Kids want to know that you care enough to listen to them. If you listen to them, they’re more apt to listen to you.
Try not get your child into the habit of eating fast food frequently. They are going to think this okay, and fast food is very unhealthy. Instead, take them to places that serve healthier foods, such as salads, and sandwiches. When you can, try to make your child a homemade meal.
For men who are fathers, it is important that they spend as much time with their children as the mother does. Children end up succeeding more in life when they have had both of their parents around. Taking them out to a park for a few hours or taking them to a ball game are two great ideas.
When it comes to trying to change kids’ bad behavior, parents should try to “walk the walk” by setting a good example. Just as most parents cannot stand the sound of their children whining, nearly all children can hardly bear parental nagging. Instead of constantly harping on your child, make a positive statement encouraging them to follow through with some action and accompanying it with a brief explanation of the consequences of failure to do so.
Do not be the short order cook for your picky eater. If you make special meals for him every time he refuses to eat the meal that you have cooked for the family, he will not learn to accept different foods. Instead, let him choose from what you have prepared for the family. If he refuses to eat anything, he will become hungry very soon, and will accept other foods more readily in the next mealtime.
If you have teenage children, try to eat dinner as a family at the dinner table as often as you can. Sometimes teens may prefer to eat in front of the TV or at their computer desk. Having dinner at the dinner table as a family gives your children a chance to share with you about their day. This is a good way for you to connect with your teenagers and to show interest in what they are doing.
In the years to come you will look back on your early days of parenthood and laugh at the mistakes and fears. In the interim each day with your child is a blessing and a joy. Cherish them and know that you are not alone in the concerns that you face but will always find support so that you do not have to face them alone.