We asked parenting bloggers for the 3 best parenting advice they’ve been given. Read and learn.
You may have four kids, but each one is unique. You go through a different set of experiences and challenges every time. So in a sense, all parents, whether they’re expecting their firstborn or their third are embarking on a unique parenting journey each time. With this in time, we asked parent bloggers for the best pieces of parental advice they have been given. After all, parents need the help and support of other parents, and what better way to show support than give advice that has been tried, tested and proven effective, right? We think so.
1. Give yourself room to grow.
As a young parent, there’s so much to handle, and it’s quite common to feel like you’re running around like a headless chicken. I started off my parenting journey feeling like I had to get everything right; I was upright and controlling about everything. It took my husband to tell me to breathe and relax and allow myself room to grow in my new shoes.
2. If you want your kids to have good character and values, model it to them.
We all want our children to have great values – honesty, kindness, generosity, the list goes on. But in order for them to be all those things, they need to first see us, walk the talk. This is one of the hardest things that I’ve had to do, but I keep myself going by reminding myself that the kids need to see me be the best I can be.
3. Prioritise yourself and your marriage. Then you’ll be in the best position to care for your little ones.
Very often, we neglect ourselves or or partner’s needs, because our children’s needs and demands seem so loud, and all-consuming. But when we, or our marriages breakdown, our kids are the ones who will really bear the brunt of it.
-June Yong, visit mamawearpapashirt.com for more of June
1. Most behaviour in a child is determined by how much he/she feels loved.
When a child’s emotional tank is empty, the child cries out behaviourally. In other words, when a child misbehaves, we examine ourselves, and not the child! I read this from a parenting book. This is one of the best advice I was given and it helped me reflect as a parent when I go through a meltdown / tantrum – I learnt the importance of filling emotional tanks by giving my kids lots of eye contact, hugs and kisses, and to focus on giving attention and spending quality time with them.
2. Give a hundred percent by being present.
‘A hundred percent present’ is what my husband and I believe in being. We want to be a hundred percent present while we are at work; a hundred percent present while we play; and while we interact with our kids (even if it’s just five minutes). My husband insisted we practiced this and encouraged me to strive to be a hundred precent present for the kids whenever they need me.
3. This too shall pass.
This piece of advice helps me through the rough patches and tough times in motherhood. It helps me see things from a different perspective, be it a through a meltdown/incredulous situation/illness. Conversely, this also applies to the good times, and its a good reminder that while the days in parenthood are long, the years are really short. Moments of opportunity don’t come by every day.
-Elizabeth, who believes that learning should never take place in a vacuum, and protects her children’s rights to play – she believes that through play, children learn. She is the co-founder of Trehaus and directs plays at Trehaus Kids. Follow her parenting journey at motherkao.com
1. Kids grow fast, faster than you ever think they would!
This was dished out to me by many other parents, but you will not fully understand its significance till you go through it. Trust me; take lots of photographs, savour and immortalise the moment for one day. You will be going through them and wondering where your little baby has gone.
2. Stop and think before you buy.
Parents are often drawn to all things cute; be it that little onesie, the pretty little dress for your girl, or that miniature wellington boot for your boy. Chances are, they’ll be worn no more than a couple of times before your child becomes too big for them! It doesn’t help that clothes for children are often more expensive than those for adults. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for hand-me-downs, there’s no shame in that!
3. Be crazy, be silly (at times).
Let your hair down, play rough, tumble on the bed, roll in mud – get your hands dirty with the kids some times. It liberates you, and for all you know, you might need it more than the kids do!
1. Get the kids to sleep early.
Getting the kids to sleep early is not just beneficial for their development, it also gives every parent more time for themselves. Everyone needs a bit of work-life balance. Couples have more time for each other, and get to build on their relationship when they kids go to bed early.
2. Keep mobile phones away from the kids.
Kids these days love all things digital. They will also be very persistent in asking for that mobile phone. It would be best to delay digital ownership, we want the kids to develop good social skills. Video games and social media should be platforms discovered at a later stage in their lives.
3. Start on the car seat early.
Putting our newborn into a baby seat and making it into a habit will serve you will. It ensures no fights ever break out between you and your kid when they do need to get into the car. The child’s safety is also not compromised during travel.
1. Give the pacifier.
I am so glad that I heeded my mum’s advice to give the pacifier to my children when they were babies. While many may think that pacifiers are a no-no, I feel that they help to prevent the bad habit of thumb-sucking. I did not battle with them over popping their thumbs when they felt like doing the deed. No stress on dirty thumbs, ugly looking fingers or a bad habit that will haunt them till their adult years.
2. Carry the baby as much as possible before they turn 6 months old.
I read that a particular tribe carried and sling their babies from birth till 6 months old! They rotate among the tribe members, never letting the babies go. Babies at this age need lots of warmth, hugs and love. Contrary to have many believe, the babies are not being spoilt, but rather, they gain self-esteem and better health later on in life. I treasure physical contact with my babies, and will hold onto it for as long as possible.
3. Be cool and fret less.
This advice was learnt first-hand. I used to fret over my first born over the smallest of things, at times I’d even ignore well-meant advice given by parents and in-laws. After having 3 kids, I realised that we should not be overly insistent on certain personal believes/practices. Out-of-routine activities or occasional indulge on junk food, for instance, will never pose a danger to a child. In fact, I enjoy motherhood so much more after letting nature take the wheel and incorporating flexibility in my life as a parent.
– Christy Wong
1. You don’t have to feel guilty for having me-time.
In fact, all mothers should try to set aside some time for themselves every week to do something they enjoy and recalibrate for the week ahead. Happy mothers who know how to take care of their own emotional needs are better mothers to their children.
2. Sleep when the kids sleep.
Mothers are often sleep-deprived, especially in the early years of motherhood when the kids are young and needy. Very often, mothers tend to attempt to finish their household chores and complete 101 tasks while the kids are asleep, so much so that when the kids are awake and fresh, the mothers are all ready to crash but can’t. The next time your kids sleep, catch a wink yourself too!
3. Your presence is the most important gift to your kids.
As a full-time mom, I don’t get to spend as much time with my kids as the stay-at-home mom does. I make a point to spend time with them every day, either in the morning before the kids set off for school, or at night before they sleep. Nothing makes your child happier and more secure, knowing that they have you by their side. They feel loves simply by you spending quality time with them.
-Kless, who shares her family’s adventures on her blog babiesinthedaisies.com
Stay tuned for more “3 Best Parenting Advice I’ve Been Given’.