Parenthood is a mixture of excitement and terror. Suddenly, someone is entirely dependent on you for everything. Their shelter, survival, and well-being depend on you. You’ll be the one to teach your child everything about the world and shape their personality. The pressure to do a good job is immense, and you’re worried about something going wrong. It’s easy to feel burdened with the weight of responsibility, especially if you’re a first-time parent.
You’ll go through many learning curves during your parenting journey before you eventually get the hang of it. Luckily, you aren’t alone and will find a lot of support. Here are some parenting tips that will help ease you into your new role as a parent.
1) Prioritize Bonding
The bond you share with your child is built on an immense feeling of love, and the way you love your child shapes their personality. Bonding is essential to a baby’s effective development. According to a study, children with deeper bonds with their parents grow up to be happy and socially well-adjusted.
Physical contact is the best way to start bonding with your child at an early age. Hug your child as much as possible, hold their hand when they’re scared, and give them kisses for bedtime. Take every opportunity to establish comforting physical touch.
2) Carefully Monitor Your Baby’s Development
It’s essential to monitor your child’s early development to keep track of their health. You should know if your child has special healthcare needs as soon as possible to provide the necessary support. Be aware of the potential health risks your child is vulnerable to, and watch out for potential signs of impairment.
According to CDC, the most common motor impairment for children is cerebral palsy. The symptoms can appear in children at different ages, but a cerebral palsy diagnosis mainly depends on a child’s developmental milestones. You can also observe them at home and monitor your child’s physical actions, expressions, and interactions with others.
3) Model Behavior You Want To Encourage
It’s unfair to expect your child to do something you don’t do yourself. Your child will imitate you, so you should be careful with your interactions.
If you want your child to be respectful, you should speak politely. If you don’t want your child to be aggressive, don’t expose your child to violence. You should monitor and restrict what your child watches on television or YouTube to ensure they don’t learn bad behavior.
4) Don’t Use Force
You are in a position of power as a parent, and your child is vulnerable in comparison. If your child misbehaves, losing your temper won’t do any good. Using too much force will distance you from your child, and they won’t be able to trust you with their problems in the future.
Remember that children aren’t supposed to act like adults and accept that sometimes they will act out. Instead of using force, you can make yourself look as non-threatening as possible. Next, you can gently make eye contact and explain to them that their behavior is unacceptable. There is no guarantee your child will always listen, but there are a lot of different strategies you can try that don’t strip your child of their autonomy.
5) Join Parent Groups Online
You don’t have to go through this journey alone. There are plenty of parents who have once been in your shoes and have overcome similar difficulties. You can join a parent group on Facebook to get golden advice from veteran parents and share your experiences with fellow first-timers.
You can discuss parenting strategies, share relevant information, and trade the best baby food recipes. Joining a group can give you much-needed support and help you gain self-confidence.
6) Give Them Your Full Attention
Your child learns how to interact with others through their interactions with you. It’s essential to give your child all of your attention to show them you value whatever they say. Half of the things your kid may say might not make sense, but they’ll slowly get the hang of it. Your job is to support them through the entire process so they develop the confidence to interact with others.
Allocate a few minutes every hour to play and interact with your child. Don’t be shy with affection, and praise your child whenever you can. Physical affection and words of encouragement will make your child feel noticed and loved.
7) Encourage Communication
Good communication between you and your child is vital to develop a positive relationship. How you talk to your child influences their self-beliefs and affects their confidence. So, it would be best if you encouraged conversations with your child to show them you care about what they have to say to boost their self-esteem.
Ask your child about their day, feelings, and what they want to do today. Listen more and try to lecture less, even if you disagree. You can also encourage conversations during playtime.
8) Teach Through Play
Research shows that regular play is vital to develop your child’s cognition and motor skills and to improve their emotional well-being. When you play with your child, you teach them how to communicate and interact, which can help them be confident as adults. Playing is also great for your child’s physical health and body coordination.
Allocate some time to play with your child daily, take them to the park, push them on swings, or play in the sand. Let your child control the play to unleash their imagination and get creative. You can also use toys like Play-Doh and puzzles to develop your child’s fine motor skills.
Parenting is not about being perfect. It’s about being there for your child, making sure they know you love them unconditionally. The most important thing your child will want from you is your love and patience. All you need to do is want the best for them and put in the effort.
You can use these tips for guidance but don’t be disheartened when things don’t work out. Parents are humans, and humans make mistakes. It’s okay as long as you acknowledge and make up for them. Research goes a long way, but some things you have to learn by experience.