You are now the parents of a small child! You’ve spent countless hours trying to figure out how to be the best parent, but you still feel that you might not be there yet.
You are in luck! Here are some tips on how to be a great parent, from experts who have been in your shoes. Read on for some advice on everything from sleep routines and communication styles, to toilet training and nutrition, so your new family can thrive in this crazy world.
Discipline and communication
Stephanie de Montbrial, a French psychotherapist, talks about the importance of communicating with your kids, in a tone and manner that is motivating and nurturing.
“Most of all, we must keep in mind the teaching of empathy, a gift that is the foundation of child-rearing.
” Brilliance Magazine’s, Janice Kaplan-Brais, says, “As parents, we want to make our kids feel happy, safe, and comfortable.
This can be achieved by teaching our kids about the world and preparing them for the challenges of the future.
” Fathering Magazine’s Lauren Carpenter recommends making sure you show your kids how to handle the difficulties of the real world.
That’s the first step to parenting a bright, successful, well-adjusted, happy child.
Nutrition and health
As parents, we spend a lot of time thinking about nutrition.
“Parents should be a key source of information on the importance of a healthy diet for infants and children,” says Dianne Fugelli, Ph.D., RDN, CDE, director of the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at George Washington University and nutrition and wellness lead for the National PTA.
Make sure you are eating right and that you’re making nutritious food choices, too, advises Chantal Petrie, registered dietitian, and coauthor of Mother and Child Food Share, which focuses on making life easier for parents by providing practical advice on parenting, nutrition, and health for families.
“Look for whole, unprocessed foods that are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber,” she advises.
Sleep routines and bedtime
We’ve all heard about the parents who have banned bedtime toys or insisted that they be permitted to come into bed at any hour of the night.
These parents have nothing on the parents who firmly, but lovingly, institute a set schedule that ensures the child is in bed asleep and undisturbed by 9 p.m. every night.
“Parents who have worked very hard to create a consistent bedtime routine have something to envy when it comes to effective discipline,” says Dr. Carrie Barron, chief of child and adolescent psychology at the University of California, San Francisco.
“In a parent-child relationship, there is tremendous potential for missed opportunities for learning and development.” Dr.
Educational activities for kids
“While you may be no doubt concerned about future academic achievements, it’s most important to instill your child with the love of learning and an enthusiastic curiosity about the world.
So your child has an exciting life ahead of him, he is prepared, and he can achieve anything he puts his mind to.
” —Steven Thomas, College professor “Teach your child that words mean something.
To say that broccoli is green is different from saying it is yucky, or that he is sad.
That it is important to practice language fluency with your children.” —Christine P. Grahn, certified developmental consultant “Teach your child how to keep his or her hands and feet safe from harm. Protecting children from a very early age is paramount.” —Kevin R.
The past year has been a whirlwind, but the love you felt for your baby grows every day. Don’t forget to take some time to reflect on all the things you accomplished as a family last year.
You should have high hopes for the year to come, as you move into this new phase of parenthood. Happy new year!