After nine months of being one with your baby, be prepared for another task: taking care of your baby. Caring for yourself with your baby inside of you is very different from taking care of a child as a separate individual. Your child will establish his/her individuality by going against you pretty early in their life (crying, fussiness, not sleeping, etc.). First time parents find it difficult to understand their babies because they do not know how to communicate. That’s just a fact!
Sounds discouraging doesn’t it? You’re probably thinking, “Well, how do I figure out how to parent this tiny little human?” It’s actually not that hard, believe it or not. It begins by applying some very simple, yet important, guidelines to help you, and your new child, achieve maximum health:
Let Go of Singularity.
In adjusting for parenthood, you have to condition yourself that your baby needs you all the time and asks for your full commitment. You have to let go of your regular night out with friends and spend nights taking care of your child. It’s time to grow up! You simply can’t make a mistake and get grounded for it anymore, like you did when you were a teenager.
Don’t Panic Over Anything and Everything.
Children, especially newborn babies, have no idea how to communicate with you. Don’t panic though. It’ll take some patience on your part. You must learn to interpret which cries need your immediate attention and what actions you need to take. It’s helpful to get advice from seasoned parents on how to deal with your newborn and how to deal with toddlers who are throwing constant tantrums. Seasoned parents have been through the ringer more than once…remember that!
Establish Ground Rules.
Children, at an early age, should be aware of certain rules that must be followed in different settings. Cover the basics and get your children involved in writing them down. Go for positive reinforcements like “Place your toys inside the toy chest after use,” instead of “Don’t leave your toys on the floor!” The rules should be more of a “to-do” list than a list of restrictions.
Discipline Your Children.
There are many different discipline strategies to choose from. A natural consequence is letting nature take its course and allowing your child to learn from it. A logical consequence is setting up a consequence when your child misbehaves. Withholding privileges when your child misbehaves is a restriction like reduced television time or restricted play outside. And Time-out is simply giving your child time to cool off and reflect on his/her behavior. All good discipline strategies. You just have to choose the method that works best for your personal situation.
A toddler’s behavior may be hard to control, especially when they reach full meltdown. The key is to avoid it. One sure way of dealing with toddler tantrums is to bring the toddler to the nearest commercial playground. A child’s happy place is having a little time on the playground. This is beneficial in dealing with toddler tantrums. Distract the child with playtime in the playground to curb a tantrum. You also form deep bonds with your children as you approve the playground equipment they choose.
To Err is Human.
Keep in mind that your child is one young soul and they are still learning. Avoid punishing every single misdeed. Sometimes they may not intend to misbehave, or certain circumstances have pushed them to that point. On the other hand, it’s not bad to praise the good deeds you see them do.
Quality time with your children will greatly reduce aggressive, troubled, or negative emotional behavior. Sometimes throwing a tantrum is their way of getting attention. Spending time with each other will improve the communication between parents and children.
Get Your Husband Involved.
Remember, you didn’t bring your child into this world alone. You have a husband who can help you with your child. Instead of neglecting your husband, get him involved in actively raising your child.
Have Some “Me” Time.
Last but not least, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Ask your husband or someone in the family to take care of your child so you can have a break. New moms are overly attached to their new babies but it would not hurt to have at least an hour for yourself.
Remember, every child is different from one another and these tips are simply guidelines. They might not be applicable for all children. Make sure to keep a healthy relationship not only with your child but with the whole family.
New or seasoned parents- what else would you add to this list?