Tips to keep in mind as you're raising your children.
Parents offer feel pressured to be "perfect" and compare themselves to their peers, but it's important to remember that every single family is different.
Here is my guide to the core ingredients of 'good' parenting that can help all parents acheive the best they can no matter their circumstances:
Their is no greater gift you can give your child than unconditional love. This doesn't mean you have to like them at 3am, or be their best friend and not set boundaries, but it does mean that they need to feel that you accept them for who they are no matter what.
2. Keep them safe
This doesn't end by babyproofing the house and nor does it mean you need to be a helcopter parent. Just stay in the loop with where your child is and with whom and what they are doing online – that is your job as a parent, even if at times they resent you for it.
3. Be consistent
From setting ground rules, to bedtimes and amount of screen time, children need and respect structure.
4. Lead by example
If you want your children to share, show them how to do it. If you want them to grow to be respectful, kind, thoughtful, and giving even when pushed to their limits – let them see you try! You are the greatest teacher they will ever have.
5. Open and honest communcation
Be open and honest with your children even when life isn't going well. It will show them that you are a person as well as a parent. Teach them by example that they can talk to you about what is happening in their lives.
6. Be fexible
Understand that your children have their own personalities and ideas from when they are very little. What worked with one child may not work with another. Nurture the person they are – not the one you would like them to be.
Be interested and involved in your children's lives and encourage them to be in yours. Ask them about friends, teachers, and what they did at school. Know when their deadlines are for work. Share your life with them too as you are setting the tone for how they will relate to you forever.
8. Encourage their independence
There is a well known quote that there are 2 things we can give our children. One is roots and the other is wings. Start with little chores around the house, and then ask them to help you with things. Finally, work up them doing things without you. This will build and respect their independence and autonomy, and their privacy that may come with it.
Congratulations to you all for doing the best you can at the hardest job in the world!
I've lost count of the number of long-haul trips my eldest (now aged 5) has made (about 5 maybe?), but along the way we've picked up a few tips and gems of advice about surviving long-haul trips with small children.
There is a taboo about the ‘M’ word. People try to avoid it, or they downplay it, or they just pretend they didn't hear it. The reality is that the ‘M’ word is a reality for 1 in 4 of us and we need to talk about it. We need to be allowed to talk about it. We need to be allowed to feel pain when someone talks about their healthy pregnancy when we lost ours.