Raising children is one of the hardest yet fulfilling jobs. Yet, it is one that new parents may be least prepared for. Many parents experience moments (sometimes months or even years) of feeling overwhelmed. There is a lot of information out there about what we ‘should’ do to raise ‘good’ kids. In reality, there is no fixed formula or characteristic of successful parenting.
Parenthood requires some planning and preparation. This is because having a baby changes everything – your lifestyle, your finances, your personal time and space, even your body shape. It could change your relationships. Those who are already parents will tell you that there is no yellow brick road to being a parent. But, there are some fundamentals that you can consider.
Start Parenthood Education Early
In early childhood education, kids start as early as 18 months and they are encouraged to explore and manipulate objects and materials in their environment. The same principle applies to parenthood education for those who are about to become parents. Enrol yourself in a course like Alvernia Childbirth Education (link to Parentcraft services) to learn everything from antenatal care to childbirth to breastfeeding and post natal care. It is very useful especially for first-time parents because it also includes options and tips that parents can choose from to tackle a situation.
Support Learning At Home
Research has shown that a child who hears his parents reading will develop the largest oral language and once the child learns to decode, their oral vocabulary will become his reading and writing vocabulary. Even after the child attends school, the home continues to be one of the most influential systems for young children. The other being the school system.
Parental involvement is also about learning together so that the child does not feel that he or she is doing this alone. Some tips to supporting learning at home includes creating an environment that encourages conversation, working with them on their school assignment, doing things together where appropriate such as a hobby or physical activity. Look for opportunities to learn together at home like reading food labels, numeracy, counting money during shopping trips to the supermarket and understanding instructions.
Transfer Of Character
Literacy is not the only essential ability that is strongly influenced by parenting; character traits and beliefs are also transferred one generation to the next. In 1972, Dorothy Law Nolte wrote in her poem “Children Learn What They Live” as children mirror their parents. Parents who are confident, motivated and feel good about themselves, translate positive behaviour towards their child. Consequently, the child who lives with acceptance learns to love. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
At the end of it all, parenthood has its own unique perks. For a start, you can always wake up to learn something new or start searching on Spotify for the latest song recommended by your child. They entertain you with anecdotal stories from teachers and friends over dinner. Best of all, they ask you what you think of their choices, which is truly a priceless moment, well worth the demands and efforts of being a parent.