Children aren’t given a manual on how to be raised before they are born. Because each child is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising them.
There are, nevertheless, some child-rearing best practices. The following are 13 helpful hints for all parents when it comes to kid rearing.
1. Believe in your child
In life, parents must be their children’s biggest supporters and cheerleaders. If their parents aren’t willing to do so, who will?
A parent’s belief in their child’s ability to succeed might inspire that child to believe they can accomplish anything. When a child has supportive parents who trust in their skills, it motivates them to try harder and offer their all.
Parents who believe in their children encourage their children to believe in themselves.
When children have parents who believe in their skills, they learn that they are capable human beings who can attain their goals.
Someone must first believe in them before they can believe in themselves. From an early age, it should be a parent who believes in their child and their skills.
Children can be cruel to one another. They tease one another about their looks, athletic abilities, and other things. What children say to one another can be extremely hurtful and defeating.
Having a parent who believes in them and their ability, on the other hand, can help children overcome the negative of their classmates.
For example, your son might be getting ready for field day at school and is depressed because another student in his class informed him he will lose in the 100-meter dash. You know your youngster has been preparing for weeks and has previously beaten all of his classmates.
To motivate your youngster, all it takes is a memory of previous victories and a pep talk about how hard work pays off. You tell your son that he has the ability to win and that you believe in him.
His demeanor shifts from one of defeat to one of determination, vigor, and optimism. Because you believed in him, he is now prepared to run the race tomorrow and do his best.
2. Let your child get dirty
Allow your child to get his hands filthy. When children play in the dirt, mud, or in nature, they use all five of their senses. Don’t let them lose out on the chance to let their imaginations run wild when they’re out in nature.
Nature is filthy, but that isn’t a problem. They have plenty of opportunities to be sterile and clean throughout their lives. For the purpose of their development, they need to get messy.
For example, you might think it’s a big mess when they’re outdoors playing in a sandbox with mud caked all over their arms and faces and toys are strewn around. To that child, the sand and mud may be used to create an imaginative dinner masterpiece.
The youngster is utilizing their imagination, engaging their senses, and finishing a project that they designed themselves.
Don’t deprive kids of these opportunities for growth and development only to keep them clean. Allow them to thrive by allowing them to interact with dirt, mud, and nature.
3. Child rearing is not a competition
Other parents host the finest birthday parties, some have the best-dressed children, while others prepare three healthy, organic meals a day. Every parent, like every child, has a unique blend of skills and passions.
Make the best decision for your child. Don’t do things just because they’re done by other parents. “Keep your eyes on your own paper,” says an old adage.
Parenting is the same way. Maintain your focus on your own child. Don’t worry about what others are doing; do what is best for your child.
The same can be said for achieving milestones. Some children begin walking at the age of nine months, while others begin at the age of fifteen months.
It does not imply that one of the children will run the Boston Marathon as an adult while the other will not.
It’s quite normal for youngsters to reach milestones at different ages. Every child is unique since they were not created to be robots.
If you’re worried about your child meeting milestones on time, seek advice from professionals rather than other parents. When it comes to achieving milestones, you’ll find that there’s a lot of leeways.
For instance, you have a buddy whose 24-month-old toddler speaks in complete phrases and has a vocabulary of more than 100 words.
Your 24-month-vocabulary old’s is limited to 40 words. You start to think there’s something wrong with your child or that they’re not very bright.
However, knowing that the standard for language development for a 24-month-old is 40-50 words can give you some peace of mind. You’ll make friends with parents who have children who excel in a number of areas.
Some parents will have multilingual children at an early age, while others will have children who can read by the age of three or four.
These kids aren’t your typical kids. Some people are fortunate enough to have gifted children. The norm is what most of us have, which is why it’s termed “normal.”
Because there are others who wish for a “normal” child, celebrate and appreciate your normal child precisely where they are. Every child is unique, with unique traits and abilities.
Concentrate on your own child’s abilities. It’s not a race to be the best parent. Simply do your best when it comes to raising the child you have.
4. Safety first
The first three years of your child’s existence are all about keeping them alive. This is something my mother once told me, and I recognized it was true.
After surviving the first three years with three different children, I realize that the most important thing is to keep my children alive. This means that the most crucial aspect of their care is keeping them safe throughout those formative years.
Of course, you must meet their minimum requirements. Feed them, change their diapers, and love them, but make sure they are safe first; otherwise, all of your efforts will be for naught.
If you’re feeding your child in a high chair, for example, make sure they’re buckled securely so they can’t climb out and fall on their head.
Feeding them is important, but make sure they are safe and secure in their high chair first. Safety is always first.
5. Take a CPR and first aid course
Take a first-aid and CPR training. You never know when you’ll need these newly acquired talents, believe me. You must know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Don’t believe you’ll be able to use your phone to look up how to conduct CPR when you need to give it to your child. When you don’t know what to do, panic sets in. Prepare for possible catastrophes by learning what to do in the event of a disaster.
Our firstborn son, for example, had a heart attack one evening. CPR was started by my spouse. He had learned CPR years ago, and I had only recently learned it.
While he was performing it, I instructed my husband on what he should do. While we waited for help, we worked together to perform CPR.
According to the physicians at the hospital, my husband’s CPR saved our son’s life.
We had no idea that we’d ever had to do CPR on our own child. Having the training in our own tool belt, on the other hand, saved our son’s life that night. I’ve had to use the Heimlich Maneuver on my children in other situations, so I’m glad I attended the CPR and first aid classes.
Don’t put off taking a class because there hasn’t been an emergency in your home yet. There’s a good chance that an emergency will happen, whether it’s choking, a gaping wound, fractured bones, a brain injury, or any situation that necessitates a level mind and the ability to respond.
Take a CPR and first aid course to be prepared for these circumstances. The majority of them are only a couple of hours long. On its website, the Red Cross offers a search engine to help you find these classes in your area.
6. Potty train when they are ready
When they are ready, children will begin to use the potty. If you put too much pressure on a youngster to potty train, it is unlikely that they will succeed. To make potty training successful, they must be prepared and eager to use the toilet.
When they’re ready, pay attention to their cues. You may assist children to prepare for the act of potty training by doing a few things, but don’t force the subject.
You can, for example, get them their own potty training toilet so they can practice sitting on it, read them potty training books for kids, and let them pick out their own underwear at the shop.
These items will assist them in preparing for potty training, and they will eventually be able to defecate on their own.
You will be notified when they are ready. They will eventually want to wear big boy or big girl underwear and go to the bathroom. You’re probably wasting your time till they show an interest or desire.
In some circumstances, parents extend the time it takes to potty train since harsh potty training methods have made it an unpleasant experience for them. Do not push your child to use the restroom. It won’t assist either you or them.
Wait until they appear ready, both for yourself and them. When they appear to be ready, encourage them to succeed by using sticker charts, prizes, or other toilet training approaches that have been demonstrated to work.
7. Kids desire structure
Rules, structure, and boundaries are inherently appealing to children. They also do better when they have established routines. This does not imply that they require or desire dictatorial parents with limited flexibility.
Instead, they require clear boundaries and standards to help them grow and thrive into the best persons they can be.
It’s also crucial to stick to the rules. For example, if a child does not have a regular bedtime and is yelled at one night for staying up too late, but is not yelled at the next night and receives no penalty, the child will become confused about their bedtime.
Setting a definite boundary and guideline, such as letting the child know that their bedtime is 8:00 PM every school night so that they may get the sleep they need, helps them be more successful in school.
Setting a fixed hour establishes the rule, and sleep becomes less of a guessing game. Children are curious about what is expected of them.
They also seek routines to which they can respond. Routines provide them with a sense of security. They will be better prepared for adulthood and the real world if they have rules and structure.
When children are deprived of structure, they feel powerless. Anxiety may result as a result of this. Teenagers, in particular, require structure, but many parents believe that this is the time when children require it.
This forbearance, though, might make teenagers feel as if their lives are out of their control.
They require structure and regulations, but they must also realize that the rules are in place for their benefit because you adore them. This is why it is beneficial for parents to explain to their children or teenagers why they have certain regulations.
For example, if your teen asks why you set a midnight curfew for them, you can say, “I am the mom, so I established the curfew, so you must follow.” Such a parental approach is likely to cause them to rebel.
Instead, telling children, “I established the curfew because I need to know you’re home and safe by that hour because I love you,” is more likely to help them comprehend.
8. Character develops by example
What you do has an impact. Your youngster is keeping an eye on you. Whether you like it or not, you are a role model for your child. Their morality and character are formed first at home. They are keeping an eye on you and your actions.
Be the person you want them to become as they grow up. If you want them to grow up to be good, ethical people, teach them to make good decisions when it comes to character and morality.
If you’re playing a board game with them, for example, don’t cheat. If you cheat, they will learn that cheating at board games is OK. Cheating has the potential to become a slippery slope. It can progress from board games to school or exam cheating.
Don’t set your child up for trouble by being an example of how to cheat. Instead, be an example of integrity and strong character by playing honestly, even if it does mean losing.
9. Let your child be a child
Don’t force your child to grow up too quickly. Allow them to enjoy life at their current age because they are only young once.
Expect them to behave more like children than grownups. Adults and children are not the same. Children are naturally more interested than adults, and they are more physically active than adults. They also require more sleep.
Allow them to be children by keeping your expectations for them in line with the fact that they are not adults. Allow them to run around and play. It’s unrealistic to expect a two-year-old to sit still and be quiet for hours on end.
You might, for example, want to expose your toddler to culture and the arts by purchasing symphony tickets. You take your two-year-old to a three-hour concert one evening and are heartbroken because they refuse to sit still.
To make matters worse, they are loud and obnoxious to other customers. You had wonderful intentions, but a Mommy and Me music class with classical music would have been more beneficial to both you and your child.
In that manner, you can introduce them to the arts and culture in a joyful, child-centered environment where they can be kids. As a result, don’t set yourself or your child up for failure by expecting them to act their age.
10. Use help
Babysitters can assist you in maintaining your sanity. If employing a nanny or babysitter is out of the question, find a friend with whom you can swap babysitting.
You keep an eye on their child while they keep an eye on yours, making it a playdate for your child. This is a win-win situation for all parties.
Parents require time to unwind. If you are a full-time caretaker for your child, take some time off now and again. When you take care of yourself, you will be a better caretaker.
Don’t think that just because you’re a parent means you have to do everything yourself. A village is needed to raise a child. Allow your village to assist you by embracing them.
Take breaks for yourself away from your child so you can recharge yourself. You will come back a better person, ready to parent, and better take on the challenges of parenting because of the downtime you took.
11. Let your child experience failure
Don’t save your child every time they’re on the verge of failing. Allow your youngster to make mistakes. Particularly when they’re young.
Allow children to experience how it feels to fail and how to recover from failure at a young age. Be by their side to guide them through the process, but don’t save them from failure.
For example, your child is working on a school assignment that requires them to build a tower, and you can see how the final product will break apart since the base isn’t sturdy enough.
You tell your youngster that they should strengthen the foundation. They don’t want to do things the way you want. They are adamant about doing things their way.
Do not continue working on their assignment after they have gone to bed. When they get to school the next day and it falls over after they bring it into the classroom, they can try to repair it on their own. You offered advice along the way, but they turned it down.
If you want to keep them from falling, don’t force it. Allow kids to fail because they need to know what it’s like to fail and how to recover.
Will your youngster crumble and cry, or will they pick up the pieces and repair the tower as fast and successfully as possible? You can assist them by asking, “How do you suppose the tower will be repaired if it tips over when you bring it in to school?”
It’s not for them that you’re doing it. You’re assisting them in mentally preparing for the possibility of failure before it occurs. There will be times when you can assist them in finding solutions to problems. This is always preferable to swooping in and saving them.
You won’t always be there to save and assist your youngster. You want to help kids develop abilities like resilience so that they can help themselves if they fail.
12. Don’t miss their childhood
They are only little once. Childhood can’t be repeated. Don’t miss out on their childhood by working too much. Your children want you more than they want stuff.
Make a good balance of work and time with your child so that you are an active and vibrant part of their childhood.
The bottom line
Children develop despite their parents’ wishes. As a result, don’t be too hard on yourself.
As parents, we all make mistakes. No one can claim to be a perfect parent. Kids will grow up in spite of the mistakes we make.
Make errors and learn from them. We learn to do better and be better as parents as our children grow, and we learn to do better and be better as parents as well. Simply do your best, and your children will forgive you abundantly.