The most common parenting blunders usually are done out of love – and usually backfire.
New parent? Fresh to your diaper-changing responsibilities? Even so, there is no “L” plate when it comes to parenting.
Of course, every parent experiences self-doubt. Focus on your strengths and parenting achievements, not your weaknesses. Stop assuming every other parent is better than you – other parents might look like they’ve got it all together, but what you don’t see are their internal struggles.
After all, this gives you more time with him especially since you get home so late. Parent-child bonding is important, right?
There’s nothing wrong in wanting to have more time with your little one. But, pushing his bedtime back to match your schedule could disrupt his natural sleep patterns. Ensure that he gets enough sleep and is allowed to sleep when he wants, and find opportunities to spend quality time with him when it suits him, like on the weekends.
…when he actually belongs in the car seat.
Safety always comes first before other considerations. Even if the journey is short, that doesn’t mean you should risk it.
Ensure that your kid is physically comfortable in the car seat, and check the seat belt to make sure he’s well strapped in without it digging too tightly into him. If he really needs some soothing, stop the car to stop him from crying or screaming, but never, ever compromise on his safety by taking him out of the car seat while on the road.
They may not pick up a second language as quickly, or be as artistically-inclined, but every child has different talents and will progress at their own pace. If you’re always comparing your kid with others, he’ll eventually sense your disappointment if he’s not as advanced as his peers. Love him for his unique traits and skills!
When simple words of encouragement don’t work, we use incentives like cash or rewards to motivate them to do well.
The problem? You wouldn’t want your kid to grow up too reliant on external motivation. In the real world, hard work doesn’t always lead to results; and, if his reasons for working hard is always tied to some form of reward, it might impair his self-motivation when you remove that incentive.
Change the diaper. Clean the playroom. Stock up on kiddy supplies. While your attention is wholly on the seemingly endless parenting chores, you might just realize you’ve missed all those special milestones, from your baby’s first steps to helping him prepare for his first test.
Make a special effort to observe and enjoy subtle changes in your child’s development. It’s okay to not complete everything on your to-do list today.
…and cannot come to a compromise. There is more than one “right” solution to a problem – meet each other halfway, and recognise that there will be times when a different style may work better.
Most importantly, present a united front. If your child sees that both of his parents are of a like mind, he’ll eventually start to cooperate, and you’ll get the results you hope for.
By Dr Richard C. Woolfson, Young Parents, December 2017
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