If you’re reading this, you probably fall into one of two camps; you’re either a parent currently or you will be one soon. Either way, you’ve probably realised that parenting isn’t easy. Don’t worry, everyone feels this way and the fact that you’re looking for advice is a good sign! There is plenty of tips and tricks out there so it can be hard to know where to start, which is why we’ve compiled our simple steps to be the most effective parent that you can be!
- Take care of yourself
Your child will need round-the-clock care – especially when they’re young. However, becoming a parent doesn’t mean that your needs magically disappear. You still need to eat well, sleep, and generally take care of yourself. Think about it, if you’re tired, run-down, and not at your best, how can expect to parent at your best? Stress and exhaustion have a nasty habit of snowballing, so it’s important to try to stay on top of these as best you can. In short, taking care of yourself is a way of taking care of your children (This is your permission to take a break, you’re welcome).
- Get technology right
Technology will inevitably play a large role in your children’s lives. So, letting them indulge from a young age isn’t good but neither is trying to hide it from them entirely. Instead, the key is to try and foster a healthy relationship between your child and technology. To do this, think about doing things like using technology for legitimate reasons (more than I’m bored), letting them enjoy the right free kids cartoons, and leading by example.
- Be consistent
Consistency is incredibly important for children, as it helps them to understand the difference between right and wrong, and how to behave in certain situations. For example, if a certain action is punished or condoned one day and ignored the next, can you really blame the child if they continue doing this action? Kids may be fast learners, but consistency helps them learn things faster.
- Get help
Have the heard the phrase “It takes a village”? If you have, it’s because it’s true. The worst kept parenting secret is that no one does it alone and this is because no one can. Teachers, family members, friends, neighbours, and more will all play a role in raising your child. The point is that if someone offers to babysit, cash in that favour. If someone gives you a book (provided it has solid ideas) take the time to read it. If someone offers you old toys or clothes take them. You don’t have to do this alone, so take any help that is offered to you and don’t be afraid to ask for it.
- Parent first, friend second
It’s common for parents to want to be friends with their kids and to always be liked by them. Whilst this sounds nice, your kids will have plenty of friends – they won’t have as many parents. Your kids won’t always like you, but that’s part of the job. Remember that your job is to raise them, not to be popular with them. In most cases, they will forget you telling them to go to bed on a school night and thank you later in life for looking out for their wellbeing.
No parent is perfect, but if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll certainly be heading in the right direction.