There’s no better time to make changes to one’s self than when a new year begins. To us parents, this desire for self-improvement is not only for us, but also for our children. Being a parent — especially to babies to toddlers — is no easy task, but there’s always room for improvement. What’s important is that you take time to recognise your flaws and think about how you can be better for your precious one.
While there’s no universal formula on effective parenting, there are certain things that are manageable and could help improve the experience for both you and your child. Have you thought about what changes you’d like to make in 2018?
If you’re working, find more balance
Juggling work and being a parent is all about time management. It takes a certain amount of discipline to really stick with your schedule even at home. Don’t read your emails when it’s baby bonding time, especially when you know that re-focusing on work can eat away a chunk of time with your baby. Put a cap on how much time you spend on your laptop.
Make dinners more fun
Babies and toddlers can’t always eat the same food adults are having, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare something special for them. At least once or twice week, prepare some fancy food that your kids don’t normally eat. Pick a good reason to have a “special occasion” like, say, a reward for yourself for a job well done at work, or a reward for your child for having completed a task successfully. Your children may not yet understand everything, but it’s a fun culture to start doing.
Stop saying "don't" — or at least keep it down
It’s very normal for parents to keep telling their children to “not do something” after they’ve done something bad or inappropriate. This year, instead of saying “Don’t hit your sister”, why not say “Please be nice to your sister”? Focus on what you want them to do, not on what they shouldn’t do. This positive phrasing is not only for your child, but also for yourself. When you always say “don’t do this” and “don’t do that”, it causes more mental stress.
Teach your children the value of cleanliness and going green
If you’ve committed to being an eco-friendly person, why not influence your children to become one as early as now? You don’t have to do everything for the all the time; you can teach them to throw away their own rubbish — properly, of course — and always acknowledge them for doing a good job. Make them part of minor home cleaning routines, those which are safe for them to participate in.
Transform simple games into exercises
Enhance your child’s physique this year! It doesn’t have to be a full workout — that’s taking away their right to play and have fun. Instead, incorporate games that encourage physical activity the right way. Do some research on what games you can play and determine what aspect of the child they develop. Then, balance it by playing mental games as well.
Add a little more patience
Let’s face it: not everyone is endowed with a lot of patience to deal with daily parenting. But as you child grows, the demand for patience from you also grows. If there had been times when you’ve become so frustrated with all you have to do as a parent, stretch that patience a bit longer this year. It can be tough at times, but in the end it’s all worth it.
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