The Top 5 Things About Parenting That You Were Never Told


Parenting Advice That You Were Never Told

Parenting advice is a dime a dozen. Everyone has their opinions on what you should and shouldn’t be doing in order to be a great mom or dad. Do this, don’t do that. Is it any wonder that new parents often feel confused and overwhelmed by the information that they receive?

While some nuggets of wisdom are tried and true, there are other truths that are not as well known. In spite of this fact, these lesser-known truths are as equally, if not more important than some of our stand-by rules for parenting well.

Following are the Top 5 Things About Parenting That You Were Never Told:

1) Be nice to those who take care of your kids- Perhaps one of the most important lessons in parenting is the fact that those who watch our children while we’re away deserve exemplary treatment. Think about it: we have relinquished our responsibility of our most precious assets into their hands as we go about our business, whether it’s for work or pleasure (Date Night anyone?). Yet you’d be surprised at how many people ignore this fact and are, if not dismissive, downright rude to their child’s caregivers. Bad idea, folks. These people will be alone with your children. Do you really want someone who’s irritated, mad at you or someone who dislikes you making decisions for your kid? I don’t.

2) Remember the Big 5 - What are The Big 5, you ask? They’re the must-have items that all parents should have on their person at all times, when traveling outside the home with their kids. Always make sure to carry the following: wipes (regardless of whether your child is in diapers or not), scissors, Kleenex, hand sanitizer and children’s medicine with you whenever you go out with your child. You won’t regret it.

3) Swimming is a life skill, not a recreation- Make sure your kids get lessons and are not fearful of the water.I learned this the hard way when my daughter, then aged three,  went under while right beside me and her father. Thankfully she was okay, but very scared. We signed her up for swimming lessons immediately after this close call. Things can happen in an instant, especially when it comes to water. The bottom line is to make sure your children are comfortable with water and can swim.

4) ALWAYS have the following in your home: eggs, milk, cheese, bread, flour, butter and sugar - These are the staples that need to be in the homes of anyone who has kids. Out of these few items you can make so many meals including: Omelets, scrambled, fried, over-easy eggs,  french toast, pancakes, grilled cheese and more. These meals are perfectly healthy for your kids and will tide them over until you’re able to get to the grocery store again. If you’re vegan, make sure to have the plant-based equivalents on hand.

5) Parenting doesn’t really get easier but it does become more rewarding - People will tell you “it gets better” when you’re in the midst of 4am feedings, spit-up and dirty diapers. When your kids are toddlers, you’ll be dealing with potty training, meltdowns and picky eating. Each age and stage of childhood brings its own set of challenges, a truth that doesn’t abate even when your “baby” is in her teens. Yes, parenting is hard and yes - it’s challenging. It doesn’t get easier, it gets different. As your child grows up, you’ll start to find that the lessons that you’ve tried so hard to instill in her are actually setting in, and that your hard work is being recognized. Sure - you may have to deal with waiting up for your teenager while he’s driving home from a late-night party; a task that isn’t particularly fun, particularly for a mother or father who needs their requisite eight hours of shut-eye. No, parenting doesn’t get easier, but the reward and pride that you’ll feel when your child makes the right choices when confronted with a difficult situation makes all of your efforts worth it.

What do you think? Have I missed any lesser-known parenting-related advice topics here? Leave me a comment below and let me know what other ones you’d add.

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