Every day I am learning new things and just when I think I am starting to get the hang of it all, a new age and phase of parenting begins. I feel as though it is getting harder, rather than easier as my kids grow older however there are plenty of things I am more than happy to be done with, nappies being one of them!
So, while I certainly would not call myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I have picked up a few things along the way so so here they are for you now.
- No one really knows what they are doing.
- With young children and babies, sometimes the best thing to do on a difficult day or when they are really cranky is put them in the bath.
- Past the age of about 4, there are no longer “typical” behaviors and developmental milestones. Each child is unique and will present different challenges and skills.
- Don’t stress about the dummy or thumb sucking. They will stop when they are ready. You don’t really have a lot of say in it anyway and if you really want to get rid of their source of comfort, you had better have very thick skin and be prepared to have your emotional threshold challenged!
- They may not sleep consistently through the night in their own bed for a really, really long time.
- If you keep them fed, watered, safe and loved then you are nailing it.
- There is no truer statement than ‘little people little problems, big people, big problems’.
- Every age will feel like the hardest while you are in it and most of the time you will look back and wish you had relaxed enjoyed the previous time more.
- You will never need your girlfriends more than when you are a mother. The really good ones will love you no matter what and will always be there to pick you up.
- You will want to stop them growing up and be excited to see the person they are becoming at the same time.
- You will never be able to watch movies, TV shows or news stories about children being hurt or mistreated again. It’s just too much.
- You will completely fall apart sometimes and there will be days when you just go through the motions and that is okay.
- You can’t control the outside world or shield them from everything. What you can do is give them the tools to handle their reaction to the difficult times.
- A good school is important. Academic results have their place, but much more significant is a school with good core values and a zero tolerance to bullying.
- Don’t underestimate the value of a snack in improving their mood.
- Trust your gut. You know your kids better than anyone.
- Let them try different activities. They don’t have to be the best at everything or in fact, anything.