The KP BTDT Squad will be sharing their experiences and answering two questions per month. Each parent will answer the questions if they can and their answers will be compiled into a feature post to share with readers. These will be general questions that many parents will wonder about as they raise their children. The BTDT Squad will be talking about subjects like potty training, how they dealt with picky eaters, their most favourite family adventures, and how they managed to ever sleep through the night!
Today’s post is “A Parent’s Best Advice”
Don’t listen to advice. Or books. Listen to your baby. And your intuition.
Well, I think that I have 2…#1 in those moments when you are a new mom and you feel like you don’t know if you’re doing the right thing I had a friend tell me not to stress out about it because even though I had not been a mom before, my baby had not been a baby before (ha ha!) So, to do my best but not stress over it because it’s not likely my new baby is going to look up at me and say “my last mom was waaaay better.”
#2 It is always more important to spend time with your children than, for example, sweeping under the kitchen table.
“This, too, shall pass!” This is valuable in the good times and the bad. In the bad ones – this will end, eventually. In the good ones – cherish it!.
The best piece of advice that I ever got was from my Mother, who told me to trust my own instincts. Children are not from a mold, and what works for one child may not work for another. No one knows your child better than you do, so you need to trust that you will do what is best for them.
As a routine-drive, Type A personality, the best piece of advice I got was BE FLEXIBLE! I still struggle with that today, as it seems just like we’ve got a good system going – with naps, eating, etc… – then things change! I try to keep this advice in mind when I start panicking if things change!
A nurse in the NICU told me, “You know all of the things that you said you would and wouldn’t do as a parent? Don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t follow them.”
I also had wonderful advice from my mom when I was complaining about how naughty my girls were being one day. She said that I should just be thankful they are healthy enough to be naughty. It put everything into perspective.
The greatest piece of parenting advice I ever received was: No matter how you choose to parent – whether you mess up or not – your baby will not judge you because you are the only mom he/she knows. So however you decide to parent is the right way. I found this advice helped me (mostly) eliminate second guessing my decisions or questioning my parenting style.
5 minutes makes all the difference in the world to a child.
Kids’ concept of time is totally different than ours and in the grand scheme of a day what is 5 minutes? I have learned that taking a breath, a step backward or pausing for a moment may seem like a big deal to me when I want to get somewhere but it’s an even huger deal to my learning to cope child when I do.
The best parenting advice I ever got was “Say what you mean, and mean what you say.” It is great advice because it applies to all ages, and all situations. Discipline is an easier road to navigate when children know what consequences to expect for misbehavior, and it is helpful for the parent as well so they can act according to what they said they would do, rather then how they feel in the moment.
On the other side of the coin, if you said in the morning that you are going to take them to the park in the afternoon, then take them to the park even if you get tired and don’t feel like going anymore. You need to demonstrate that your word is reliable.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say” helps parents engage in thoughtful dialogue with their children through the day and prevents them from making empty threats or promises.
I have been given so many wonderful tips on parenting. I think the ones that really stick out to me are the simplest ones…. Hold your babies lots and keep your children close.
I received the best words of wisdom from my doctor, who has two children of her own. The piece I lived by was that you can not possibly “spoil” a newborn. For at least the first six months, just do whatever feels right for you and your baby. If baby is hungry, feed her. If she wants to sleep in your arms and you have time, let her. If she is crying, pick her up. Simply give her all the love and affection you can and she will settle into a good routine.
Just go with it- each phase and stage will pass!
There is no way to be a perfect Mother and a million ways to be a great one” That one I clipped from a magazine and kept on the fridge.
“A Mothers intuition is more valuable than a dozen “how to” books” Not sure where that gem came from but I have found myself repeating it and following it.
“In ten years they won’t remember what was on the table but they will remember the time we’ve spent together” Now this one may seem odd but to me makes perfect sense….it is something was said by my Mom as she was raising my 4 siblings and I through those cash tight ’80’s. Basically she figured as long there was food enough to keep us full the real nourishment came from sitting together and spending time as a family. I think of that now while on a tight single income budget I may not feel like I have the means to get my kids everything that I would like to they do get Mom at home and lots of quality family time.
I’m not sure if it’s the greatest piece if advice but it’s the one that has resonated the most with me.
Never be the one to let go when a child hugs you, hold the hug as long as they need, until they let go.
“Pick your battles”. I can’t remember if it was marriage advice or parenting advice, but it works for both. As a parent I feel my job is to keep my kids safe, help them grow a strong sense of self and build a solid set of values to navigate the world they live in with respect. That’s a tall order. So, I turn a blind eye to wearing wearing pajamas to the grocery story, a filthy face for a visit to grandma and a trail of play dough on the living room carpet.
Trust your mommy instinct!
Being a parent only accounts for 10% of who a child turns into. It’s good to remember that no matter what I do, it’s not all down to my parenting skills to determine the success or failure of my children. I’m not saying I think parenting isn’t important, in fact I think it’s the most important job I’ve ever done. Of course I will always do my best, and continue to learn as much as I can. But, at those times when I make mistakes or just didn’t deal with a situation the best way I could’ve, it helps to remember I’m only one important influence in my children’s lives. It takes a little bit of the pressure off and makes it easier to relax and enjoy my family!
People are never short on advice when it comes to raising your kids and I have had my fair share. I’ve probably given a fair share too. You might laugh or shake your head, but I truly think the best piece of parenting advice was given to me by a previous employer (and mother of two grown children). She told me to be sure to always take the time look at your kids every night when they are sleeping. This little tidbit is especially important if you’ve had a particularly trying day with them (and in my life, with an extremely headstrong and independent 2 year old – plus 2 more that know everything! While my knowledge of things seems to be non-existent, we seem to have many of those!) So every night, I tiptoe into their rooms and look at them. Just laying there. Stuffies beside them, blankets strewn all over the bed, arms stretched above their head. Like peaceful little cherubs. And I try to remember this quiet, perfect moment tomorrow when their little horns and pitchforks come out.
Be consistent with your parenting!!!
All children are different, and so you can’t have the same rules or expectations for all children.
You will get a lot of parenting advice – listen to it all, but throw away what you don’t need.
You will receive all kinds of well intentioned advice, smile gracefully but remember that parenting is an adventure and it works best if you find your own style!
The greatest piece of parenting advice would be, “Enjoy the years you have with your children, they go by way too fast. Nobody will remember 20 years from now how clean your house was or the brand names of your clothes. They will remember the times you spent together and what you have taught them.Focus on teaching them to do what is right and to love others above school work or cleaning the house. Work together and have fun together.”
Let go of the “perfect picture”. Not everything goes the way you expect it to but if you are busy worry about things not going to plan, you will miss many special moments.
Elizabeth is a Kamloops lifer. Born at RIH, she is happy to be raising her family here. Married with four wonderful children, Elizabeth is also teacher and enjoys working with parents as she learns more about this “Mommy gig”. Elizabeth is passionate about parenting and enjoys networking with other parents.