Parenting Advice I Wish I Had Been Given

Jennifer Bonn
Photo byJennifer Bonn

I remember when my oldest was born, my first thought was oh, my gosh what if I’m not a good parent? I was not one of those women who seem to take parenting in stride and handle every bump in the road without a hint of stress. I was ready to run to the doctor at the slightest irregularity, I was sure I was doing everything wrong because my baby wasn’t on a strict schedule and the first time that my husband went to work I begged him to stay with me; not a stellar start. Of course, my oldest survived and has turned out to be an amazing woman and my second and third child were infinitely easier to raise, but there are some pieces of advice I wish I had been told in the beginning. Here are several bits of advice I learned the hard way.

· Just as the pirate in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean says that the pirate code is just rough guidelines, baby schedules should be the same. Although routines are good for both you and the baby, trying to stick to a rigid schedule for anything is only going to cause stress. Flexibility is going to be a quality that will help no matter where you are in your parenting journey.

· Actions have to receive consequences. Teaching your child early that bad choices will receive a time out or loss of privilege, will save you headaches later. It is sometimes difficult not to give in or deal with the issue of the day but tell yourself your child will be better for it and your life will be easier down the line.

· Time is the best gift you can give to your child. You do not need to buy expensive gifts to please your child, just be there and play games with them, go see their plays, and let them know that you enjoy the time that you have with them. Before you know it they will be gone and you will wish you had turned off the e-mail and been with them more.

· When your child says I hate you, respond with I love you.

· Realize that in order to be a good parent you cannot always be the good guy.

· United we stand is a good motto for parenting. Support each other in decisions regarding your child.

· Boxes are the best toy for children aged one to two years. Put some out and you will see what I mean.

· Don’t buy the Barbies with fancy clothes because they all end up being naked within minutes anyway.

· Most problems can be averted by making sure your child is rested and fed.

· Remember that you are the adult.

· It’s not always your fault when your child does something wrong.

· Make time for yourself and you will be a better parent.

· Encourage your child’s passion and realize that your passion and his does not have to be the same.

· Be your child’s advocate. You know your child better than anyone, stand up for your child when it is necessary.

As you do your best to be a good parent, you will make mistakes, learn from them and try to do what is right for your family.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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