Old before your time
Tired before 11.30 a.m.
Too upset to think straight.
Believe it or not !
The fact is you’re a parent now, and those children are yours. But you’re not alone (lots of parents feel the way you do), and things can get better.
One of the nicest things about being a parent is that you don’t have to know everything. The job, like the child, grows gradually. So take a few moments, just for yourself, and learn how to make the rewards of parenting equal the demands.
Birth to one year
Learn the basics
How do you bathe a baby? Or change a diaper? You can learn! Read, ask an expert, talk to your parents and other parents.
Love your baby
Give all you’ve got! Talk to your baby, touch (hold, kiss, hug), smile and enjoy! It’s impossible to spoil a baby.
Discover what’s what
Pay close attention to all the sounds (cooing, babbling, gurgling, or crying) your baby makes, as well as facial expressions and body movements. Each one means something different.
Never use physical force
The pressures of parenting are very real. You need to find safe, satisfying ways to release them–but never on your baby.
The assault on your house, your personal belongings... this too, shall pass. Right now, to your toddler, everything is new, exciting... and just waiting to be explored.
Childproof your house
Pack away your treasures and lockup dangerous or poisonous items. You’ll be more relaxed, and you won’t have to say “NO” so often.
Keep the rules simple and few
Your goal is to keep your toddler safe. Table manners can wait and so can toilet training..
Check homework, talk about what’s happening in school, ask their friends over, and find time to see your children’s teachers occasionally.
If there’s a single golden rule for parents, it’s this: Talk to your children (and listen, too).
Refuse to get confused
Part of growing up is acting like a two–year–old and an adult, all in the same day. Expect your teen to do this, and be prepared to comfort, reassure and, on occasion, look the other way.
Face the facts
Your teen will probably say “I know that”, when you talk about the facts of life, but do it anyway. As a parent, you're the only one who can share the values that go with the facts!
Let your affection show
Cool the physical demonstrations (especially when their friends are around), but make it loud and clear: You care!
Cut those apron strings
Old values, taught from the cradle, may fade away during the teen years, but they come back – along with grownup children you'll be proud to know. Trust your teens to make it all the way.
Nothing helps your survival as a parent more than discipline. But, to be effective, discipline must teach a child how to avoid repeating misbehaviors and what to do instead. It should also be given in doses that fit the age of the child and the size of the crime.
Babies are never candidates for discipline. They’re too little! All children react better to approval and affection! Discipline only when reasonable expectations are not met. Define clearly, in advance, what you want them to do! Be consistent. Whatever style of discipline you choose, use it in every situation, even in public or when the grandparents are visiting. Review expectations regularly. There are no perfect children, just as there are no perfect parents. If your children are not meeting your expectations, the expectations probably need changing, not the children. Shame, rejection, withdrawal of affection, or preferential treatment of one child over another have no place in discipline.