There are a lot of things that you need to think about when you become a parent for the first time, and coming up with the right decisions can be tough. There is no rulebook to follow when it comes to improving your role as a parent; every child is different so every approach must be as unique as possible and tailored to that child.
And this is not an article that is about preaching – more a case of sharing some of our own learnings from three and a half years as parents (not long, but just our thoughts). We feel there are some general parental hacks that you can and should use to try to help make the best decisions for your kids right now.
Being a modern parent is never easy and there seem to be so many more worries and concerns around than ever before. Here are seven things worth getting your head around if you are a new parent or are an expectant parent.
1. Be (More) Patient
It is important to make sure you do as much as possible to focus on being more patient and understanding with your kids. This is the thing that a lot of parents tend to struggle with and it can be difficult moving forward. Patience as a parent isn’t always easy, but it’s something we’ve found you simply must have with kids, especially young kids. They can be emotional and are continually developing, so remember that patience is a virtue!
Give your child space to develop and grow, and try to be calm and collected when things don’t go as planned. This is important for strengthening your relationship with them, and going a long way toward making the most of this right now for the future.
2. Cut Down on Luxuries
Another thing that you need to be familiar with is cutting down on the luxuries in life, especially if you’ve just had your first child. Luxuries and impulse purchases happen, of course they do. But now you have kids to provide for, you need to try to make sure you cut these down and attempt to curb your spending as much as possible.
It can also send out a valuable lesson to your kids and start to instill a work ethic, even from a very young age. By all means rewards are great but be mindful of the value and whether you need to make a ‘splash’ every time.
3. Think of Your Kids When Making Decisions
Something to think about as a modern parent is the fact that your kids now play a role in almost every element of your life. From your job to how you spend your money, and from what you do at the weekend to your next holiday, your kids should be considered in every major decision you make.
Try to focus on things that are going to benefit your kids, and do as much as you can to make decisions that will help your kids too. So don’t rush into decisions. Remember, you now have a greater responsibility and every impulse decision could have consequences.
4. Trust Your Child
You need to place trust in your child and ensure that they are going to make the right decisions, with your guidance. There is a lot of opportunity and possibility for them to explore in their lives, and they need to be able to explore who they are and what they like. The more they can do this without you, the better it will be for them in the long run.
You also need to trust them when they get older, and be sure that they are going to make the right choices moving forward. If you have instilled your wisdom and knowledge into your child you have to trust that they will use it to make the right choices in their life. And if they (when) they make a wrong choice, remind them that you will always be there for them. After all, we all learn from our mistakes.
5. Enrich Their Learning Potential
Enriching the learning potential of your kids is something that you should be looking into as a parent. There are a lot of ideas floating around to help you with this, and one of the key ones to consider is kindergarten enrollment so you can increase their capacity for learning.
Choosing the right schools and learning centres for your kids is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. You need to set them on the right path and make sure they fulfil their potential, and choosing the best possible place for them is one of the best ways of achieving this.
6. Teach Them About the World
Try to do as much as possible to teach your kids about the world around them and the way things work. This is one of the most important things you need to keep in mind when it comes to improving the way you parent. Your kids need to know how the world works and that there are all sorts of people and cultures and beliefs out there. And they’re never too young to begin learning about this.
Try to make sure you keep them informed about things that might be different from what they are used to. Kids shouldn’t live in bubbles, and it is important to make sure you do as much as possible to keep them nurtured, informed, and interested in the world around them.
7. Manage Your Money Better
Managing your money better is essential as a parent, and this is something that you need to try to make sure you get right as much as possible. Make a list of your incomings and outgoings each month and see what you can start to save and try to stick to this.
Money is going to be tighter when you have children, and you need to try to make savings to ensure that you manage your cash better and you can support them financially as much as possible, especially as they get older. First cars, college and weddings may all seem a long way away, but ensuring you have a pot for the future begins by being smarter with your money today.
Got Something to Add?
Being a parent is a journey, and it’s one in which we are always learning. No two kids are the same and every family is different. These are just some of our thoughts. We’d love to hear from you – share your parenting tips with us in the comments section below.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.