Becoming a parent is an exciting and joyful time in anyone’s life. After a much anticipated wait of over nine months, you finally get to meet the being that grew inside of you, and introduce it to the world. With this joy, comes a lot of responsibility. Once the newness of having a baby wears off, you may be hit with the realization that you’re solely responsible for the upbringing and well-being of this baby. This can seem overwhelming. You obviously want the absolute best for your precious child, and there are so many decisions and options for your child in your future.
Teach them about health and nutrition
Making sure your child is healthy is a very common concern among parents, whether they’re new to the game or have been parents for decades. It seems like no matter what you do, there is going to be someone out there who has a contradicting opinion, telling you that what you’re doing actually isn’t good for your child. Try to take anyone’s else’s opinions or advice with a grain of salt. Unless they’re your child’s pediatrician or other health care professional, you don’t need to listen to what they have to say if you don’t want to.
That said, there are a few key health tips that generally help keep your little ones feeling great. And during a time when childhood obesity is the most common health concerns in kids under 12, it’s important to instill these tips in our children early on. The biggest thing? A healthy and well-balanced diet. Your kids are going to be happiest when they’re fed a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Processed sugar can lead to dental decay, diabetes, drastic mood swings, and poor heart health in the future. Instead, feed your children easy healthy snacks like these. Teach them to make healthy meals for themselves as they get older so that they’re not one of those college kids living off of ramen noodles.
In addition, encourage your children to be physically active and introduce them to sports and activities that could become a lifelong passion.
Take mistakes in stride
It’s important to accept that you’ll make mistakes. And not only will you make mistakes, but your children will too. You’re not perfect, so you can’t expect them to be either! It’s hard to not put your expectations on your children, but try to embrace them and show them love and acceptance no matter what mistakes they make. When they’re young, their mistakes are usually minor, things like sneaking extra cookies from the cookie jar before dinner, or telling you they washed their hair in the bath when they really didn’t. When they get older and become more independent, they are going to make any number of mistakes, whether that’s something that seems small, like stealing a candy bar at the grocery store, or a major challenge like addiction or behavioral issues. This doesn’t mean that you’ve failed as a parent! It’s just another challenge along the way. Always try to offer love and support through their trials, no matter what they are.
Teach them to be smart consumers
Our children are the future generation, and they have a lot of control over how things will go in the world, as they get older. Every generation brings new ideas into the world and have an impact on the economy, which is why advertisers are always trying to appeal to millenials. The best thing that you can do is to prepare them to make these decisions. The way to do this? Teaching them right from wrong. Showing them the correct way to do things. Let them form their own opinions. Let them make mistakes, and let them suffer the consequences that come from their mistakes. They’ll never learn to be better or make better decisions if they don’t have to deal with the aftermath of the mistakes they make and the things they do wrong.
Lead by example
Children are like sponges. Especially in their younger years. They observe everything that you do, and they use these observations and experiences to decide how they want to act for the rest of their lives. Children start understanding you a lot earlier and younger than you probably realize. This doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world if you make a mistake, swear in front of your child, or aren’t constantly on your best behavior. One of the most important things for them to learn from you is that it’s okay to make mistakes. Let them see you when you do make a mistake, because it will happen. But make sure they also see what happens because of the mistake, so they learn cause and effect.
Raising a responsible child is hard work. Being a parent isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.