Updated: Jan 31
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Are you a first-time parent, or has your oldest child just reached high school? Whatever the age of your kids, you want to be an amazing parent and give your kids the best possible start to life. Help your children succeed by teaching them independence, boosting their self-esteem, and being a great role model they can look up to for years to come.
Childproofing Your Home
Before you can give your child independence in the house and let them explore their surroundings, you’ll need to childproof your home. Do a thorough job and follow a checklist to make sure you’re little one will be safe. Put safety plugs or outlet covers over electrical outlets, and tuck electrical cables out of reach. Add window guards and window stops to keep your baby safe around open windows, and be sure to cut off or tie up any tassels or cords. Finally, use safety gates at the top and bottom of your stairs so your little one won’t take a tumble before they learn how to navigate stairs safely.
One childproofing step that’s often overlooked is securing your flat-screen TV with safety straps or a wall mount so it can’t fall on your little one. When mounting your TV, don’t rely on just one mounting point, but use two points or two straps (one per side) to safely secure your TV and keep your baby or toddler safe.
Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem
Children start to develop ideas about themselves as babies, and through the first 18 years of their life, they become more self-assured. Boost your child’s self-esteem by praising their accomplishments, and don’t use harsh words to criticize their behavior. Give them your complete attention when they talk to you. Put aside what you’re doing and really listen to them, connect with them, and respond thoughtfully. Be encouraging when they make mistakes and let them know everyone fails at times.
Be a Role Model
One of the best ways to raise happy healthy kids is to be a good role model for your children. When your kids are young, they learn a lot about the world, and how they should act, by watching your every move. Avoid showing anger and model respect, kindness, and honesty. Don’t forget about your own health and wellness, and show your kids it’s a good idea to practice self-care. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and reducing your stress levels. It’s important to have a healthy body image, and never talk about feeling guilty after eating certain foods. Show your children, especially your girls, that every body type is beautiful.
Teach Your Children Independence
Teaching your children independence can be hard when they’re taking too long to get dressed before school or are having a meltdown in the mall. However, if you do things for your child too often, like dressing them when they’re going to be late for school, you’re signaling to your little one that you don’t have confidence in their abilities to do things for themselves. Foster independence by tackling one task at a time and giving your child more time to accomplish that task. If it takes your child 10 minutes to get dressed by herself, start getting up 10 minutes earlier, so you won’t have to take over when you’re all running late.
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Find resources and connect with other parents to get the support you need and be a fantastic parent. You’re not alone, and everyone struggles with parenting, regardless of the age of their kids. Parenting can be hard, but if you approach it with a desire to learn and grow along with your kids and a willingness to laugh along the way, you’ll raise amazing children you’ll be proud of.