Raising kids is one of the toughest and most fulfilling jobs in the world — and the one for which you might feel the least prepared. The concept of having cute little kids may be nice but the responsibility of raising them well is high and commonly overlooked. If you’re an upcoming parent, becoming a parent, or wanting to become a parent but do not know where to start, then you are in the right page. Below are ten easy ways to be a fantastic parent.
Don’t Limit Your Children
Your toddler’s mission in life is to gain independence. So when she’s developmentally capable of putting her toys away, clearing her plate from the table, and dressing herself, let her. Giving a child responsibility is good for her self-esteem.
Don’t Argue With Kids Too Much
Kids can’t absorb too many rules without turning off completely. Forget arguing about little stuff like fashion choices and occasional potty language. Focus on the things that really matter — that means no hitting, rude talk, or lying.
Have Some Father Time
The greatest untapped resource available for improving the lives of our children is time with Dad — early and often. Kids with engaged fathers do better in school, problem-solve more successfully, and generally cope better with whatever life throws at them.
Make Warm Memories
Your children will probably not remember anything that you say to them, but they will recall the family rituals — like bedtimes and game night — that you do together.
Respect Your Spouse’s Parenting Skills
Support your spouse’s basic approach to raising kids — unless it’s way out of line. Criticizing or arguing with your partner will do more harm to your marriage and your child’s sense of security than if you accept standards that are different from your own.
Commend Your Kids
Instead of simply saying, “You’re great,” try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, “Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was hard, and I really liked your patience.”
Share Your Parenting Plan
Mobilize the other caregivers in your child’s life — your spouse, grandparents, daycare worker, babysitter — to help reinforce the values and the behavior you want to instill. This includes everything from saying thank you and being kind to not whining.
Ask Some YOU Questions Daily
The art of conversation is an important social skill, but parents often neglect to teach it. Get a kid going with questions like, “Did you have fun at school?”; “What did you do at the party you went to?”; or “Where do you want to go tomorrow afternoon?”
Let Your Kids Move Around
The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.
Conside the Doctor’s Advice
If your pediatrician thinks your kid’s fever is caused by a virus, don’t push for antibiotics. The best medicine may be rest, lots of fluids, and a little TLC. Overprescribing antibiotics can cause medical problems for your child and increase the chances of creating superbugs that resist treatment.