Remembering Your Childhood Is Sometimes A Great Way To Parent

Being a parent is extremely hard. It takes time, energy and plenty of patience upon patience. Thankfully, with your diligent effort, you can become a great one. Not enough parents consider the work they do each and every day to be as good as it could be. However, if you’re present, supportive, encouraging, and willing to look past some of the awkward silliness of childhood, you can remain a great and wonderful parent, and take the beauty and challenges of life together in equal measure.

But especially for new parents, the idea of actually looking after a brand new human is daunting. It’s not hard to imagine why. We couldn’t personally imagine a harder task. Sorry rocket and nuclear scientists, but nothing compares to actually attempting to help a living, breathing sentient child to become a good person and learn to deal with life. That’s equal parts science and art.

If you’re struggling to put on your parental hat in some situations, there are absolutely tips you can take to fix this. For that, we would recommend:

Conflict

Remember how conflict used to feel in childhood? It was difficult as you were learning to become a person, and learn where the boundaries lay. Thisi is where good parents know how to apply their hand, gently but firmly. If you’re acting out of place, being aggressive or trying to fight for a reaction from your parents, then quite swiftly you were likely put in your place. There are better or worse ways to do this. If your parents hit you, then it’s likely you remember how difficult that was, and might not do that to your own children. If you remember how it helped you realize the gravity of what you were doing, and the hit was a mild tap on the bottom, you might do that to your child. However, if you were in a house that used shouting, swearing and intimidation, then it’s likely you won’t ever want to bring that into your household.

Remember how conflict felt when you were a child, and how you might have wished it was handled back then. This can absolutely influence how you consider its role in your life, and give you a new lease of energy when it comes to helping your child learn their boundaries also.

Understanding

Children always try to express themselves. Some can do it more than others. Some are less careful in how they do it. However, they all deserve the benefit of the doubt, and deserve to be listened to. It might have been very frustrating in your childhood to try to relay your feelings to your parents only for them to belittle that due to your age. It might be that your parents were very understanding and careful to encourage even if needing to put their foot down over a matter. This can be healthy, and should be applied in your household. Consider that children are smarter than they might seem or express themselves to be, and that giving them the space to use their words if in a highly emotive situation can raise someone to be a fantastic person as they develop.

Wish To Grow

All children wish to grow up faster than they should. They might want to drive a car, or your daughter might want to wear heels, or perhaps wear makeup at an age too early for comfort, or perhaps your son wants to go paintballing. Children often wish for adulthood only upon coming of age spending the rest of their lives wishing they could be a child for one day again. For this reason, preserving the beauty of childhood is absolutely essential through and through. It requires your ability to slowly dissuade your child from looking forward to that, and introducing them to things more their speed.

Help them grow through something. You might remember how you used to stay supported by your sporting interest, or martial arts hobby. Bring something constructive like that to your child, and they won’t have to feel like they need to have more authority by acting older. Sometimes, it can be through methods more appropriate to the practical reality of a child growing. As they start to interface with the internet and devices, using the best parental control app called Family Orbit can help you keep watch on the content they consume, and limit that which you don’t want them to see.

Osmosis

Children learn by osmosis. Consider how you used to find your interests. It was likely due to something you saw, someone you admired, or perhaps a peer group you enjoyed being around. Maybe your parent was very much into a certain hobby, and you carried that on. Consider how you might apply the same benefit to your child. It can truly nourish their minds.

With these tips, remembering your childhood is sure to culminate in raising healthy and happy children yourself.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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The Best Dad Skills Needed for New Fathers

Baby AbbyFirst off I must welcome you to the club. Any new father is welcomed but it is completely up to you on how long you stay. So to help keep you here I put together a list of the best dad skills needed for new fathers. Nothing too serious but very helpful when it comes down to caring for your new clone.

The first thing to always remember when taking your kid out into the world is to always bring extra everything. Extra baby clothes, extra food, extra binky, extra blanket, extra diapers and whatever else the kid needs. But it doesn’t stop there. Also, be sure to bring an extra shirt for yourself. You never know when your new distance spitter will go for the gold. Having all of the extras will help keep you prepared for the worst. Sure it’s a lot to bring but it all can be managed into a diaper bag or backpack. It’s easy enough that will keep you from regretting on going out in the first place.

Next on the list is as equally as important as the first and that is knowing how to change a dirty diaper. This includes a #1 dirty diaper and a #2 dirty diaper and a #6 dirty diaper. What’s a #6 you ask? Well it’s basically 3 #2’s and is on everything, including you (hence my first suggestion). Changing a diaper in general isn’t hard to do. It’s the cleanup and managing another human being that can move independently. Legs will kick and booties will scoot, so be prepared to handle these situations. Impress your significant other by volunteering to change the diaper. It’s good practice and also helps train your nose for my next skill.

Control your gag reflex. Babies are cute and adorable. They have their own smell that I like to equate to “new car smell” but they also produce some of the most vile stentches known to Earth. It’s amazing how something so little can cause so much damage but it happens and it happens frequently. I am not proud but I am willing to admit that my first few diaper changes were met with lots of gags. If you can’t control yourself, keep a bucket near by, or a mask. Something that can help the smell. If a #2 happens in the bathtub (it will) be prepared to deal with that too and always remember to wash your hands. Just use plenty of soap.

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As your new child gets a little older and has gotten into a routine of eating and going potty you will start to notice that they may develop a favorite movie or cartoon. As a dad that has lived through the popularity of Disney’s Frozen one of my greatest pieces of advice is to only allow your child to watch movies or cartoons that you yourself are willing to watch repeatedly for the next few days, weeks, months, and possibly years…

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen the movie Frozen. It’s not a bad movie at all but watching Anna and Elsa on screen for the last few years has been damaging to my brain. When I was a youngster I remember hounding my mom and grandma to watch Dumbo all the time. That and Star Wars were my go to movies. I still love those movies but I can imagine my parents are probably tired of hearing about them thirty something years later.

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The last skill that I suggest every dad learn is one that I like to call “the other pocket”. Time after time while I am holding the baby (or groceries, or practically anything) it never fails that when I go to unlock the car or door or whatever my keys are always in the other pocket and I am left trying to switch arms and balance everything so I can get my keys out to unlock whatever it is that needs unlocked. It is important as a dad to learn how to maneuver about while in odd situations. Practice before hand holding various items while attempting to retrieve keys from various pockets. It’s not easy but it can be done with a lot of practice. Before you know it you will be balancing three kids on one hip and a bowl of salsa in the other hand all while unlocking your front door. It’s a monumental task but I know you can do it!

So that’s all I got for now. I will keep thinking of some more skills new and old dads may need to be the best fathers they can be to their children. Let that imagination go wild and show those kiddos what it takes to be the best dad in the world.

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We’re Not Awesome Parents

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A lot of people compliment my wife and I at how awesome of parents we are and all of the cool activities we do with our kids. We play with cars, trains, robots and superheros. We craft with paint, glue, glitter, and paper. We have dance parties and watch movies. We go on adventures out in the world and in our own backyard. It seems awesome, but it’s not. It is a lot of work parenting like this. It would be so easy to just tell the kids to play with their toys in front of the t.v.

But that’s not what my wife and I are after, and it’s definitely not easy. What pictures don’t show are the moments where Alex is having a breakdown because he can’t use Abby’s yellow paint, or Abby crying because Alex pulled her hair for the fiftieth time. There is always a story in between the camera flashes.

IMG_1307Moments like those are what test your patience and make you wonder why you even got the paint out in the first place. I will say that it is worth it even if it begins and ends with a meltdown. The reason it’s worthwhile is simple. Doing these activities is what will shape our kids in the future. If we don’t do anything then where will our kids learn from, school? Most kids don’t even start school until they are five, sometimes even six. That’s five years worth of learning they are missing out on. Learning is forever and not only are your kids constantly learning but so are you. Keeping these activities going takes a lot out of you and at first it’s difficult, but you learn what works and what doesn’t and you get better at handling your children when it comes to projects.

We’re not awesome parents by any stretch of the imagination. We’re just doing what we need to do to make sure our kids are independently equipped for whatever their future holds, whatever path they choose they will be ready. So when you see me or my family posting pictures from a fun activity going down at our house or from a night out, just know in that particular moment all was well, but there’s a 99.9999% chance that there was a meltdown before if not after that flash went off.

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