Pregnancy week by week



Parenting tips



Good parenting involves accepting the uniqueness of your child, and helping them develop the confidence to enjoy being themselves. The key to good parenting lies in good communication, showing you love them and that you’ll always be available for them. Each child is unique, with their abilities and strengths and also their weaknesses and faults.
Always be realistic in your expectations and demands.The following are some suggestions that can help strengthen your bond with your child:

  • Wait until you think your child is ready. If you try to teach them something to soon, you will both end up getting frustrated. If it doesn’t work out, leave it for few weeks and try again.

  • Don’t make it into a big deal. Your child might learn to eat with a spoon very quickly but still want to be fed when they are tired, or use the potty a few times then want to go back to nappies. Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you have failed. They too will soon realize that they want to learn to be grown up and independent.

  • Keep it safe. Children under three cannot really understand why they should not fiddle with electrical equipment or pull the leaves off plants. It is easier just to keep things you don’t want touched well out of the way.

  • Be encouraging. Your child wants to please you. If you give them a big smile, a cuddle or praise when they do something right, they are much more likely to do it again. This approach works a lot better than telling them off for doing something wrong.

  • Be realistic. You cannot expect perfection or instant results. If you assume everything is going to take a bit longer than you thought, you can only be pleasantly surprised.

  • Set an example. Your child wants to be like you and do what you do. So let them see you washing, brushing your teeth and using the toilet.

  • Be firm. Children need firm, consistent guidelines. So once you have made a decision, stick to it. For example, if you have started potty training but decided your child is not ready, it is okay to give up and try again a few weeks later. But a child who is in nappies one day, out the next, and back in them the day after is bound to get confused.

  • Be consistent. For the same reason, it’s important that everyone who looks after your child teaches them more or less the same things in more or less the same way. If you and your husband, do things very differently, your child will not learn so easily and may well play you off against each other. Do what is right for your child, for you and the way you live.
  • Do not compete. Don’t worry about what the child next door can or cannot do. It’s not a competition!

  • Praise your child. Praise goes a long way in building and developing a positive relationship and a willing child.

  • Golden rule. You need to be consistent, loving, tough but fair, and set a good example for your child. 

How can I be a good parent?

There's not just one right way to raise children. And there's no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect child. But here are some guidelines to help your children grow up healthy and happy:

  • Love your child and yourself. Show your love. Every day, tell your children: "I love you. You're special to me." Give lots of hugs and kisses. It is easy to be harsh on yourself if you think you have handled something wrong, learn from your mistake and do things differently next time.
  • Listen when your children talk. Listening to your children tells them that you think they're important and that you're interested in what they have to say. Encourage your child to express his feelings. If your child is angry or sad, talk to them, ask why they feel this way.

  • Make your children feel safe. Comfort them when they're scared. Show them you've taken steps to protect them.

  • Keep a routine. Have a set time for bed, for meals, for bath time, or naps. If you have to change the schedule, tell them about the changes ahead of time. It might feel restricting to you, but kids get on better if they have a routine to stick to.

  • Praise your children. When your children learn something new or behave well, tell them you're proud of them. Make the most of the good things that your child does. If he cleans his teeth by himself, praise him. You don’t have to give praise by the way of treats. A huge hug from you is great praise for your child.

  • Good nutrition. Give your child a good start in life with a balanced diet. Plenty of fruit and vegetables is far better than crisps and sweets.

  • Criticize the behavior, not the child. When your child makes a mistake, don't say, "You were bad." Instead, explain what the child did wrong. For example, say: "Running into the street without looking isn't safe." Then tell the child what to do instead: "First, look both ways for cars."

  • Be consistent. Your rules don't have to be the same ones other parents have, but they do need to be clear and consistent. (Consistent means the rules are the same all the time). Both parents need to use the same rules. Also, make sure baby-sitters (or nanny) and relatives know and follow your family rules.

  • Spend time with your children. Do things together, such as reading, walking, playing and cleaning the house. What children want most is your attention. Bad behavior is usually an attempt to get your attention.

  • Be a good role model. Kids at this age will model themselves on you. Whatever you do, your kids will mimic. So don’t do anything in front of them that you wouldn’t want to copy.

  • Accept your child. As your child grows, he or she will display certain personality traits. Some of these are learned, others genetic. Respect your child's developing individuality and don't expect him or her to be just like you. While you're likely to notice certain features of your child's temperament, avoid labeling these features — which can encourage bad behavior. Instead, nurture your child's personality by finding ways to help him or her feel confident. A strong-willed child, for instance, has perseverance. Build on your child's strength by encouraging him or her to play with a challenging toy.

  • Give your child extra time, set clearer limits, be more consistent and shout less.

  • Criticism and blame are often destructive forces that lead only to further difficulties and misery. The key to avoiding these is to judge the behaviour, not the child.

  • There are many ways to build a positive relationship with your child. Play has a vital role in a child’s development, and it is important that you spend sometime playing with your child without taking over.





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