Wow parenting is hard, not only do you have to know all the developmental stages of a tiny human, you have to know how to bath this tiny human, feed it, teach it things and try not to make the same mistakes your parents did. Not a great way to start a job that’s basically 24/7!
We give ourselves a hard time when we are parents, this whole notion of having to raise the kids in the right way otherwise we will be the reason they are crying in the corner at 30. How do we raise these tiny humans to be well adjusted, emotionally intelligent, motivated people?
Well with some small things to start with! My best advice to new mums, don’t try to do everything yourself, it’s a waste of time and you’ll be exhausted in two seconds flat. The new Nanny or Pop are dying to help but they are too nervous and don’t want to seem like they are interfering. USE THEM, to hold baby whilst you have a shower, to wash your clothes and hang them out, to cook you a meal or two, to watch baby whilst you go for a walk or a massage, trust me they LOVE IT!
Secondly, learn about your child’s development, what are they learning at the different ages and stages. This way we know how best to help them learn and develop as they go along. This will also boost your understanding around why they have tantrums, emotional melt downs and why they test the boundaries so often!
Nurture them, they need connection, to SURVIVE. Please cuddle your babies and children at every possible moment in their lives, from experience you get about 10 years to get in as many cuddles as you possibly can before it becomes embarrassing to them. On a scientific level, we know that human connection and belonging is needed to survive, unless you’re a Buddhist Monk of course who can sit in a cave for months on end and we are definitely not a Monk. This will form a healthy attachment to you and this attachment will form the basis for your relationship with your child going forward. Having one caring adult in a child’s life is one of the most important parts of them developing normally.
Lastly, be mindful of the energy you bring. Every day we have choices about the way we present to our children. Now I am not saying don’t ever show emotion around them, because that is unhealthy too. I am saying work on your own shit, heal your own trauma so you can help them work through their emotional stuff without being triggered. Know why certain behaviours they display push your buttons, know how to show unconditional love and know how to talk about emotions with your children. Tell them you love them, often. Get help with working out your own healing. Pause before coming home from work to clear the energies from work away, your children don’t need the energy of the 10 clients you spoke to today, and neither do you. Take 5 minutes reset your energy and give your children your undivided attention when you can.
Parenting is damn hard, but with the right tools, a roof over our heads and food on the table we can do it together.