Parenting goes beyond the biological process of birthing a child, it is a vocation on its own and like every other vocation, certain things should be done and there are also things to be avoided to get the best results.
When the word parenting is mentioned, the first thought that would cross the minds of the majority is a picture of strict parents dishing out rules and obedient children abiding by these rules.
Or for those who are not so strict by nature- gentle parents raising calm children.
None of these methods are wrong or right as they both produce results but what we fail to consider is what goes on in the process of this upbringing whether strictly or gently, which is the in-between.
In this article, we discuss parenting tips including dos and don’ts you must keep in mind to help navigate you through this journey.
The getting ready period of parenting is usually meant for first-time parents.
When getting ready for the “vocation” called parenting, both parties or person involved needs to get ready for a new phase of their lives. It is not just by being aware of this new phase but by making deliberate efforts to welcome the new arrival.
One has to be mentally, psychologically, and physically prepared for parenting with the understanding that whatever choices they/he or she makes henceforth, directly or directly affects their baby and if one is not properly prepared, the result is thereof a disaster.
It is advisable to get involved in preparatory classes, attend seminars or consult relationship experts who would assist the couple in getting ready for this new phase they are about to enter.
Note that during this period of getting ready, the parents begin to live as though the baby is already born.
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What about Parents Who Already Have Children?
Some couples who already have children may not know how best to raise their children to the standard they want. Or they know but are going about it the wrong way.
As a parent, you have to understand that the child you are raising is not just your child alone but a separate individual on its own.
These children have emotions just as adults do, they have the cognitive ability, and they have a good memory.
They see, hear and feel just like every adult does, and although they may not react the same way an adult would do, whatever they are exposed to have implications on their mental health and general well-being.
When handling a child, it is important to recognize that although they are naive, they are as human as the adults raising them.
So many people ignore this human aspect of them and treat them as “just kids”, saying things that shouldn’t be said, or doing things that should not be done around them because to them, they are kids.
Well, research has shown that kids do not only have a long attention span but sharper memories as opposed to popular belief, and as such parents should be mindful of the kind of things they expose their kids to whether consciously or subconsciously.
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Parenting Tips – Dos And Don’ts
In parenting, certain things are important to the upbringing of a child. These things not only improve the quality of the child’s upbringing but also makes the entire process of parenting worthwhile for the parties involved.
Some of them include; good communication, a conducive environment both at home and their place of study, healthy feeding, the relationship between their peers.
Build Good Communication
Parents should cultivate good communication skills for their children. When a child can understand their parents, they become better at expressing themselves. This helps to boost their self-confidence.
With the right choice of words or facial expressions, they will not shy away from conversations or have any trouble with their speech, except if they have some form of speech impediment naturally.
Ensure Good Conducive Environment
The kind of environment a child is raised in has effects on them, either through their behavioral pattern, reasoning, or health.
A peaceful and clean environment gives room for a peaceful and clear mind. This is not limited to their immediate home even though it is the bedrock, but the type of school they attend, the community they are raised in.
Allow the Child to Take Lead
As a parent, you should spend “child-centered time” with your kid every day. This means putting everything aside (including your smartphone!), and get on the floor, while giving your baby your full “face-to-face” attention, and allowing him/her lead playtime.
At times, you must do what the child wants to do, not what you want the child to do. Although, this isn’t a new thing many parents find this extremely difficult to do.
Try and spend some time with your child even if it’s just five minutes during playtime. If you have more than one child, you should try spending time individually with each one of them and combine their playtime only if they request it.
Ensure a Healthy feeding Habit
“Health is wealth” is a cliché but it is still valid especially when it comes to parenting. Children need good food for their body growth and development.
An underfed child will appear underfed and also function as an underfed child. An overfed child will look and also function as an overfed child. The right type of food in the right proportion is what is best for a growing child.
Offer Praise But Be Selective
Ok so your child scores a 90 on a math test, what will your response be? (A) You’re so brilliant! I’m super proud of you, or (B) I’m glad that you studied hard, keep it up!
Well, for the sake of your child’s confidence and self-esteem, your best response should be option B, since it’s better to give out praise for action than for a result.
Offering praise for your child’s inborn traits, such as intelligence, can make the child self-conscious, which could result in unwanted complexes.
Nowadays, a lot of parents tend to overpraise their kids, so buck the hype and praise the child for the concrete actions and effort because that’s in the child’s control.
You must be patient when dealing with your child’s misbehaviors and mistakes. Your child needs to misbehave and make a ton of mistakes every time to learn.
When dealing with situations like this you should gently call their attention to errors.
You can say something like, “Are you satisfied with the outcome,” or “Do you think what you said or did is good?” This kind of subtle calling attention to mistakes can help the child understand where he/she needs improvement and it will be much better taken.
The key point here is that most mistakes can be tolerated with a smile, the damage done by scolding or yelling at the child is worse than the damage done by the misbehavior!
Avoid Rowdy Environment
A dirty and noisy environment cannot give a clear mind. Parents should make proper research on the condition of schools before enrolling their children and also create a serene environment at home for them. This can be achieved through proper cleaning of the house and avoiding noise.
Watch Out For Unhealthy Relationship
An unhealthy relationship between peers can create a toxic mindset in the child. As a parent, you must not ignore any signs of any toxic traits your child exhibit. Most times, these ill traits are traced back to their peer groups.
It’s good to get acquainted with your kid’s friends to understand the kind of home they are raised in.
Having regular conversations with them will help expose any underlying danger which could be emanating from their peer group and avoid them.
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Just as there are things to be done to make parenting worthwhile and childhood memorable, there are also things to be avoided which may be catastrophic if not avoided and they include
Poor Communication Skill
Some parents lack good communication skills to communicate with their fellow adults or spouse and they tend to extend this to the children. While an adult may well interpret a certain time, a child may not.
It is good for parents to try to communicate with their children with less attitude than you do with grownups.
Do not criticize and compare, rather say something nice to the child when he/she puts away his toys, and always hold your breath when your baby doesn’t want to share with his little brother.
You must speak to the child in a language that will not shatter his/her self-confidence or make them afraid of speaking or confiding with you.
Don’t Protect Your Child from Failure
For most parents, this is the most difficult thing to do, it is healthy to let your kid make his own mistakes and learn from them.
This will help them prepare for tough situations, and also help them understand that life comes with a lot of ups and downs.
For example, if your son repeatedly forgets to take his lunch box to school, allow him to manage for himself in the cafeteria one day. If he is finding it difficult to get along with a teacher or a classmate, allow him to try and work it out first.
You must avoid being a helicopter parent, who hovers around or swoops in each time to rescue your child from difficult situations. Instead, try and adopt middle-ground tactics for parenting.
You can stay around but not too far away and watch the situation closely, this is to allow him to develop his autonomy, if the baby seems to be struggling you can then dive in and assist him with the situation.
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Don’t Go Back On Your Word
As parents, sometimes we make a lot of promises to our children either to motivate them or deter them from certain attitudes – and very often, we fail to fulfill the promise.
Most times the child may not say anything, but sometimes they may ask “So can I have my toy now?”, but either way, our lack of follow through on what we have promised sends mixed messages to our children about virtues like trust, honesty, and integrity.
Therefore, always make sure you follow through on what you have promised. When the child behaves well, give them the reward that they deserve; if they act out, mete out discipline as you should.
Do Not Fight or Argue in Front Of Your Kids
You must avoid arguing or fighting with your partner in front of the kids no matter what the case may be. Even minor arguments can traumatize the child.
Children are not mature like us, they lack that maturity and wisdom to think, “Ok daddy and mommy are just having a little argument right now, and I’m sure they’ll make up and get along fine later.
Arguing with your partner in front of your children can be a scary scene for them, they usually believe that mommy and daddy is likely going to break up and they’ll get abandoned!
I’ve had a couple of kids who have told me this especially after daddy and mommy has fought! They usually feel they are the cause of the problem why their parents are fighting which creates low self-esteem.
To avoid situations like this, each time you and you’re is arguing, turn on the TV loudly and go behind closed doors.
This might be a bit difficult to do once passions flare-up, but trust me, it will help you and your kid much unnecessary stress and harm.
Avoid Micromanaging Your Child
A lot of parents a guilty in this area. Avoid issuing out too many rules, commands, and limitations. Over controlling and micromanaging your child will cause more resistance, rebellion, and tantrums, and will affect their confidence and self-esteem.
How would you feel if your boss works in and gave you an order every five minutes? Of course, kids are no different they will resent being bossed around each time because they’re humans too.
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Don’t Hide the Negative
It is encouraging to share positive stories with your kids, but negative stories are just as — if not more — effective because they show perseverance.
Negative stories enforce the idea that families can stick together and be victorious through good times and bad times. Life will always come at you with its challenges no matter how healthy or wealthy you are.
This is why you should teach your kids how to deal with life challenges. Help him/her understand that he’s part of something bigger than himself, like family.
Share stories about your family with him, whether the store is about you, your spouse, or extended relatives. This storytelling doesn’t need to be formal.
You can engage them during dinner time or family gatherings. Your child’s happiness is tied to the depth and breadth of his/her social relationships.
We hope this article, has given an in-depth knowledge on parenting tips to keep in mind as you welcome your new arrival.
Overall, good parenting involves putting the needs of the children before everything else because as parents, your actions and choices play a huge role in their general upbringing.