Thoughtful parenting begins with the commitment to never stop learning new strategies to improve your parenting skills. What kind of parenting style you use is up to you, but every parenting style can be more effective with the addition of fresh ideas. Take a look at the practical advice below.
Make sure you don’t overload your child with work. Too many parents keep piling work onto young children and they overload them. Make sure your child has time to play and just relax. It’s important to balance work and play, especially when your child is just starting school. It’s too easy to ask too much of them at once.
If you have two or more children in the house, enlist the help of older siblings to care for the younger ones. Older siblings can help with playtime and can even monitor bath times (depending on their age). If you have a teenager and a young child, you might also be able to benefit from lower cost babysitting and teach your older child some responsibility in the process.
Praise your children often! If you ‘catch’ your child doing an appropriate behavior, tell him how proud you are. Children love positive words and praise. Hearing kind words will help your child to feel good about himself and will cause him to continue trying to do good things to receive more praise.
Make sure that your child is getting enough sleep each night. If they do not get enough sleep, they tend to lose focus throughout the day, which could prevent them from doing school work and other activities. Try not to let them eat or drink anything sugary for at least a few hours before bedtime.
Use clothes or items from the mother to wrap a bottle in if the baby is having trouble getting used to drinking from it. The smell of mom in the clothing will help calm the baby because he will associate it with his mother, thus making him more likely to give it a try.
Join a breastfeeding support and parenting group prior to giving birth to help you be comfortable in your breastfeeding. Women who join a group prior to giving birth are usually much more comfortable with breastfeeding than those who didn’t. The ability to learn and ask questions prior to having a crying baby in front of you is a lifesaver.
Do not pressure your child into a particular college based on your motives, as this should be their decision. Teens who feel that they have to go to a certain college may choose another out of spite, or even opt out of college entirely.
Do you want your child to value reading? Show them that you value it yourself by providing a number of age-appropriate books, and incorporate reading into your daily routine whenever possible. Read your child a bedtime story at night, and let them see you reading a favorite book just for fun.
As mentioned above, no matter what parenting style you choose, you can make it more effective when you seek out new ideas. The key to thoughtful parenting is to recognize that you can always use fresh ideas to make sure your parenting skills are right for you and your child.