Follow these 8 simple rules to make you a better parent – and make your life easier at the same time!
Here at Little Folks, nearly all of us have small children and whilst stood in the office kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil the other day we started to talk about what can make us better parents! Yes, we all have those tear your hair out moments when all you want to do is run away and hide from even the most well behaved of our Little Folks and we all know being a parent isn’t easy; it’s actually the hardest job you’ll ever do (probably!) – and just thinking to yourself “I must be more patient” isn’t going to be a long term fix.
In reality, being a better parent is more about how you treat yourself in the first place – manage your own emotional wellbeing first and your Little Folks are more likely to control their own.
- Be a great role model
As a parent, you have been the constant in your Little Folk’s lives – they love you and they look up to you. They copy what you do, and ultimately every child’s first idol is either Mummy or Daddy. If you are rude to others or act inappropriately in front of your peers, your little folks are likely to do the same – if Mummy/Daddy does it, then that must be the way to do it.
- Routine, routine, routine!
It might sound obvious, but, if you can get your Little Folks into a simple routine then your own life will be so much easier! If your little boy or girl has a set bedtime (say 8pm) then at 7pm you start your simple bedtime practice of bath, teeth brushing and story time in bed – doing this consistently will ensure that by the time the lights go off in their bedroom, they are tired and ready for a great night’s sleep!
- Make them feel special!
It’s all too easy to get stressed at the bad things your Little Folks do – sometimes you feel like all you are doing is saying “No!” to this, “leave that alone” or “stop doing that.” Next time your little one does something good, it might be something as simple as remembering to flush the loo without being told to (trust me, this is something that I have had to deal with 100s of times!), praise them! Say “well done!” Repeat this for tidy bedrooms, well brushed teeth, they’ll appreciate that you notice both the good and the bad and this will teach them that being good and getting praise is much nicer than being naughty!
- Talk to them at their level
Similar to making them feel special really, when you need to be firm then don’t tower over them like the fungus the bogeyman, kneel down and look them in the eye – this will make your Little Folk’s listen and absorb what you are saying much more.
- Be Consistent!
As much as it can be really difficult when your Little Folks are acting like monsters, you must try to be as consistent as possible – this can include: bedtimes, rewards (spending time playing a board game with them, or sitting down together to watch their favourite TV programme with them) and punishments – make sure the punishment fits the crime!
- Let them make their own mistakes
It’s a hard one this, you instinctively want to protect your Little Folks from being harmed in anyway or from making a fool of themselves, but as the old adage goes “you learn from your own mistakes.” And, it’s true, if you constantly warn your child from doing something because its bad or it won’t work, it will only make them curious and think that they CAN do it. If they try something and it turns out wrong, chances are they won’t be doing it again any time soon!
- Tell them that you love them
We all have unconditional love for our Little Folk’s, it’s a built in feeling that comes from nurturing your babies to fully grown respectful individuals – so tell them every now and again! A child who feels loved will feel they have someone they can trust, make them realise that they are valuable and it gives them confidence in themselves.
- Take a break yourself!
With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life as a parent, the one thing that is most often overlooked is YOU! Make time for yourself, this might be as simple as a relaxing bath with a nice glass of wine or it could be a nice meal at a local pub with you and your partner! Whatever it is that floats your boat, give yourself a little me time – it will reset your mind and allow you to take a deep breath next time your Little Folks start becoming Little F***ers again!
Let us know if we’ve missed anything by commenting below! We’d love to hear your stories of how you and your Little Folks get on (or don’t as the case may be!)