It’s hard to believe that my wife and I have had an addition to our family for 4 years now.
It sure doesn’t feel that long…and yet it does.
So much has happened that it’s hard to keep track of everything.
Thankfully, since my son was born I have been keeping track of his “big” events; trips to the doctor, first experiences, arguments, new vocabulary, accomplishments and the like.
Now while I’ve only been a parent for 4 years, I have been an educator of young minds for more than 20 years and over that time I have seen what works…and more importantly, what doesn’t.
For one reason or another parenting isn’t something most people study.
I guess they feel that it’s just something you learn as you go.
But that’s what so many salespeople, marketers, athletes and pretty much anyone in any field says, too.
What those people forget is the power of knowledge and experience.
Regardless of how stressful or difficult your life may be right now I assure you that there’s someone out there that has been in a worse situation and overcome it.
And here’s the good news – many of them have taken the time to share their stories of failure and success with which other can learn from.
I guess I’m preaching to the choir here as the people who read this site understand this, but it’s well worth remembering.
There are fabulous books on every imaginable subject matter which can help give us a leg up on the competition, parenting is no different.
That being said, each author has his or her own take on things so you have to find someone you can relate to.
And with that, let me share my 17 survival techniques for young parents out there.
- Be silly – kids are, join them and they’ll love you for it
- Answer questions (to the best of your ability) – kids have inquiring minds and we should nurture this
- Be creative – kids love new things
- Be active – kids thrive on energy
- Be spontaneous – keep them on their toes
- Love them – it’s like fuel for their soul
- Play with them – kids have their own world, join them (you’ll be surprised how much fun it is)
- Stimulate them – TV, games, parks, adventures…kids are sponges, soaking up everything and anything you give them…give them more
- Laugh – it’s good for the soul and a great way to get rid of stress
- Be strict (but fair) – teach them the importance of keeping their word, cleaning up after themselves, helping others, picking up trash, eating well, etc
- Have Mum’s days and Dad’s days – we all need a little time to ourselves now and then
- Travel – show them the world and what’s out there
- Listen to them (really listen) – the greatest gift we can give our children (anyone for that matter) is our attention
- Give them hope – kids have a long life ahead of them, hope is a critical tool for dealing with the trials and errors of life
- Challenge them – kids are smarter than we give them credit, test their limits physically and mentally
- Give them space – never smother them
- Smile – life does get us down but give your children the best of you, they deserve it
I live by these principles each and every day and it shows in my son’s actions.
He may not want to go to sleep on time or eat his vegetables but what kid does?!
Children become mirrors, reflecting back to us our best and worst points, which is why we must always remember to set an example for them to follow.
My son is a sincere, polite, caring, energetic 4-year-old child and most importantly, he’s happy. I attribute this to these principles which were instilled in me by my parents.
One final thing – regarding challenging children, one of the big mistakes I see many parents make is dragging their children to study Karate or some other activity rather than doing it with them.
If your kids want to do, then great. If not, make the activity a family one and your kids will love you for it.
Children aren’t just our future, they are also our legacy.
We should never forget that each and every day we are molding them ever so slightly by what we say and what we do.
Young children don’t need expensive toys or gadgets; for them their parents are pretty much their entire world.
For them the time spent playing with mom and dad is as good as gold. Apply these principles when you’re with your kids and you’re sure to win big.