As a millennial mom, it’s likely that you have sunk your teeth into your fair share of parenting books, scoured the internet for champion parenting tips and solicited suggestions from bushy-tailed relatives eager to offer a helping hand. It’s natural to want to be a hero parent, to get it all right the first time. And while there’s no doubt that you’ll make mistakes and learn along the way, there are some things that you should keep in mind on your parenting journey. Here’s a round-up of our top 5 parenting tips, just for you.
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Establish boundaries and behavioural expectations, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Kids have limitless imaginations and often view the world differently than we do. Just because you don’t see unicorns, warm-weather rainbows and gold shiny stars in the afternoon sky, doesn’t mean they aren’t there. While it’s great to show your little one the more serious side of life, it’s also important to encourage imagination.
Discard Gender Stereotypes
In an age where men and women are increasingly donning gender-neutral hats, the gender divide is narrowing in the workforce. Unlike previous generations, this is an area that you might want to work on in the parenting department. Start by picking out unisex toys, embracing gender-neutral colours and encouraging your child to explore interests unfettered from gendered standardisations. Let your son go for Kathak classes and encourage your daughter to build a superhero collection. The twenty-first century is a great time to be a mom. There’s never been a generation with greater liberty or opportunity.
‘No’ isn’t a bad word. But it can be hard to say to your own child. Nobody knows a mom’s love like you do, and while indulging your child every time can give you a sense of peace and providing, it can actually work against you in the long run. Giving your child too much can lead to overindulgence and be a surefire mould for a spoiled adult. Learn to differentiate between smart parenting choices and wasteful decisions. Ration your ‘nos’ wisely and limit them to situations that could cause hurt to your child or others. This way, your child will understand the seriousness of the word. A good way to automatically bring down the need to say ‘no’ is to childproof your house so that your child has less access to out-of-bounds items.
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Let the Advice Flow
From one ear through the other. Because 80% of the advice that you receive will be from non-parents or parents who have parented a whole lot differently than you plan to. Bottom line – filter everything.
Your Child Isn’t a Picture of Perfection
Rose-tinted glasses can cause blurry vision, alright. Especially if you’re a newly minted parent. But sometimes, it’s important to dust off your glasses and accept the glaring truth – your child isn’t always perfect. Through the years, expect to be dragged through the mud for scenes at the supermarket, tantrums at the dinner table, setbacks at school and just plain preposterous moods. And while the good days will most certainly outnumber the ones you’d rather forget, know that if there were a dictionary for parents, perfection is a word that would likely never make the cut.
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Whether you’re already a mom to a little tinker or have one on the way, keep this manual safe for a smooth ride into parenthood. In time, you’ll see that being a parent is best learned through experiences. And those, you’ll never have a lack of.