If you are one of many people, find parenting difficult you should find some really in the fact that every parent finds parenting difficult at times. Reading this article might show you how to become a better parent and how to understand all the challenges of parenting.
Why Is Parenting So Daunting Sometimes?
It is true that everything sometimes can be quite daunting. It is because many parents lack education in raising children. It is not something that we consciously learn, yet it is expected all each and every one of us to be somehow amazing parents. It puts a lot of pressure on the parent, and at the same time, it makes parenting exhausting and intimidating.
Parenting Is Difficult – Yet Rewarding
Keep in mind that even when parenting is difficult, it is also very much rewarding. Parenting can be extremely hard for people in healthy relationships, but it is even more challenging for single parents, especially single mothers. The reward that you will receive comes with a single smile of your child, and it is precious for every parent. Remember that even though at times you find parenting extremely challenging, it is not a job that you can quit, or hit a pause when you get too tired. Your child will need you 24/7 every day for the rest of their lives, and as a parent, you must be aware of that fact before you even plan to have children. That being said, as time goes by your child will grow to be a person that you are proud of, and that is the greatest joy anyone can feel.
Do Not Repeat Your Parents Mistakes
Becoming a better parent’s decision that you can make consciously. Even if your parents had made parenting mistakes, you do not have to repeat the mistakes. However, what you can do is use them and learn from them. You will also learn to understand some of your parents’ actions as you go through challenging periods of parenting your children. Navigating through crisis and learning how to overcome problems will distinguish you as a great parent, from those who do not excel parenting.
For those of you who are parenting baby girls, you must know what a joy it is to dress your baby in the fancy clothes. On top of that, if you are a parent of two girls, you are even in a better position because you can dress them in such a way that everyone admires your little girls. We know how parents like to dress their girls stylishly, so here are some ideas that might help you achieve a stylish look for the big sister and the little sister alike.
Big Sister – Little Sister Matching Outfits
One way to go about it is to dress your little girls in matching outfits. Not only that they will look adorable, but they will also attract a lot of compliments. Matching outfits can be great for little children and toddlers. However, it should be avoided with older girls. No teenager would like to address the same as their little sister, so keep that in mind when buying their outfits. Matching outfits can look adorable, but if your children are against it, you shouldn’t force this idea on to them.
Big Sister – Little Sister Complementing Outfits
Your children don’t have to wear the same outfits to look good together, so can enter the idea is to dress the sisters in complementary outfits. It means that a single color or a pattern could be the leading idea that you could further develop. There are so many colors that would look great and little girls, and this can also allow you to dress your children, according to their individual preferences. This look will also be great for family photos and events, because your children will not look identical, and yet they will show a unifying theme.
Big Sister – Little Sister Show Their Personalities Through Outfits
You should allow your children to express their individual style and personality through their outfits. If the sisters are too young to show their individual preferences, you could perhaps ask the big sister how she would like to dress her little sister. It will also create a sense of responsibility for the older child, and at the same time, it will create the bond between the siblings. If the children are older, especially with teenagers, you cannot expect that they will readily wear the outfits you pick out for them, so don’t get discouraged when your children refuse to wear what you have picked out for them to wear. Instead, let them show their personalities through outfits they will choose themselves.
If you want to learn how you can throw a great birthday party for your child, then you are in luck because here you will find out everything you need to know about throwing a great birthday party. Read these tips and find out what you should do, but also what you shouldn’t do, if you want for your kids birthday party to go smooth and for everyone to have a great time.
Ask Your Child What They Would Like For Their Birthday Party
You should ask your child what they would like for their birthday party. Whether it’s going to the zoo, having clowns or just watching a movie with their friends, they could throw you some ideas that you can use later on, when organizing the party. Of course, you should bear in mind that children of different age will have different interests and different desires when it comes to their birthday parties. Your child might be too small to communicate what they would like for their birthday, in that case you should try to throw a birthday party that will be suitable for the child and all the people who are invited.
Invite Other Kids
As a parent, you will also have to decide on the number of guests and the friends that you will invite. Inviting other kids is a must, by depending on how much money you are willing to spend and where you are throwing the birthday party, the number will vary. Invite the kids that will make this fun and beautiful for your child, but also do not avoid inviting some children from the same class, because this might cause some friction later on. Bear in mind that sometimes some kids will not show up, and there are even cases when no one turns up to a birthday party, so always have a backup plan and invite other people as well.
Stick To A Firm Schedule
Another thing which is also must is sticking to a firm schedule. By doing this, you are making sure that the birthday party doesn’t turn into a disaster, and that everyone has fun. Make sure that the setting is child appropriate, that no child can get hurt, and make sure everyone has fun. It can be difficult to navigate your way through such an event for longer than two hours, especially with young children and toddlers. So, make sure you emphasize how long the party will last on the invitations.
They are hot and cold. What to do?
So your child may have not seemed themselves for a while, maybe they are sick but you aren’t sure. Taking their temperature is a good way to check for any rise or fall in temperature away from the normal. It might be that your child has a fever.
Do they appear hot but complain about feeling cold? It’s probably a fever. Below are some pointers on fevers and how to deal with them:
What are fevers?
A fever is what happens when the human body’s temperature is raised above the normal level, by an internal “thermostat”. The brain contains this thermostat in a place called the hypothalamus.
This area of the brain knows the correct usual temperature that your body should be at (approximately 98.6°F/37°C), thus sends messages to your body to maintain the temperature.
The majority of people have slight fluctuations in their body temperature as the day goes on: However, usually it’s typically slightly lower in morning times and a little higher then around evening times. This does vary though as children play, run about and exercise throughout the day.
As a response mechanism, in times of infection, an illness, or other causes, the brain will effectively reset the thermostat. So why does it do this? Medical research suggests that turning up the body’s heat is answer to fighting off germs that may be causing an infection and by changing the germs environment, effectively starving them out.
Though it can be a frightening experience when your child has a high temperature, a fever itself causes no real harm and can actually funnily enough, be a good thing for them because it is often the immune system’s way of fighting off infections.
Some symptoms/signs to look out for
If your child is:
- feeling uncomfortable
- warm to touch
- looks flushed
- is sweaty without exerting much energy
How to deal with fevers
As a start, for careful monitoring and care, keep your child away from childcare or school until their temperature returns to normal for a full day.
Here are some of the ways you can relieve the symptoms of fever:
- Give your child plenty of fluids, avoiding
- Have them dress in light clothing and cover them over in a light blanket/sheet.
- Allow your child to eat what they want
- If your child presents symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, then you should ask your family doctor if you can give them an electrolyte solution for children (this rehydrates them).
- Plenty of rest is important.
Important note: If your infant is below 3 months and they have a temperature of at least 100.4°F (38°C) or greater, then you need to seek medical help.
Prevention is better than cure!
In general, fevers are more or less unavoidable. The important point to note is to try to make your child feel as comfortable and give them as much love and attention as possible until their fever passes. If symptoms persist, then seek medical assistance.
Sleep is such an important part of a child’s formative years
Sleeping, or perhaps the lack of sleeping is one of the most widely discussed aspects of baby care. As new parents quickly realize, both the quantity and the quality of their infant’s sleep does affect the well-being of all members of the family.
With that said, sleep challenges won’t necessarily end when your child moves from their crib into a bed. Instead of just crying, it will now be making requests to stay up later or simply just refusing to sleep! Instead of 4 a.m. feeding time, it will be a nightmare waking them or they might be awake looking for water.
So the questions are; how do you get your children to sleep through their crying, wining, and clever tactics to avoid sleep? What if you are awoken during the night? And the important question then; how much sleep is actually enough for your children?
How much sleep is enough?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question. The quantity of sleep required does vary from age to age. There’s no rule as such to say your two year old infant needs a certain amount of hours sleep per night. Children vary, environments vary and there could be a number of reasons that an infant or older child is or isn’t sleeping enough.
Two-year-old Zack might sleep in for eleven hours, while three-year-old Jane might be just as alert the next morning after sleeping for only eight hours.
Sleep is so important to children’s’ well-being. You might think that lack of sleep wouldn’t affect behavior, think again! There is a link between the two but it might no be too obvious, especially to those of you who are new to parenting.
When us adults become tired, we can be irate or just have low energy, but when children get tired and are losing out on sleep, then they can get hyper, disobedient and portray other drastic changes in their behavior.
Below are some examples for younger children, to help you in your own parenting and dealing with sleep issues:
Babies (up to six months old)
The internal clocks of newborns are not yet developed fully. They can sleep up to eighteen hours in a single day, divided equally between the day time and night.
For the first few weeks, it’s important that newborns are woken up every three or four hours until they have a good weight gain. After these initial weeks, it’s ok to let your baby sleep for longer durations (four to fives hours)!
This is because it’s approximately how long a small stomach can go for between each feeding. If your baby gets a good sleep at night, it’s a good idea to nurse or bottle feed them a little more throughout the day time.
Falling asleep by themselves is the ultimate goal for your baby. They should learn to return to sleep, should they wake during the night.
Your child’s first adventure
It’s time to strap your newborn into the car and go off on their first adventure, to the shop, to a friend or somewhere more exotic maybe. Think safety first!
An infant seat is slightly different to an “infant safety seat” or “child safety seat” for cars. A typical infant seats allows a young baby to sit upright. It’s important to note that, these aren’t designed to protect the infant in untimely event of a collision so they shouldn’t ever be used as a substitute for a car seat!
Although, some of the child safety seats on the market, do also serve as an infant seat.
What to look out for:
The base of the infant seat is supposed to be wider than the actual seat. Any mechanisms for locking should be securely in place. Give a little push down on the seat to ensure that it’s sturdy.
To prevent any movement of the seat on smooth surfaces, the bases should be a non skid surface.
Obviously, any seat belt need to be secure and any fabric needs to be washable.
If there are supporting devices which snap onto the seat’s backing, then make sure that they’re secure enough to avoid them popping out, causing a collapse of the seat.
- Never, ever put your infant in a seat on top of a table or any other high surface from which they could fall from! Also, don’t put them on top of a washing for example.
- Fasten the safety belt each time you put your infant into the seat.
Child safety seats for cars
Did you know that there are more children seriously or fatally injured in auto accidents than all other types of accidents? Avoid this catastrophe by getting the correct child safety seat for protection, while traveling in your car.
As mentioned above, don’t ever substitute any infant seat for a actual child safety car seat! A child safety seat is designed to be installed in the back seat and protect the child from injuries in the event of a collision.
What to look out for:
Never buy or accept a seat that’s older than 6 years old or one that looks like it was in a crash before!
Also, check the manufacturer’s “expiry date”. If doubt about the history of the seat, or if it’s looking cracked or showing any wear and tear signs, please don’t use it.
And finally, ensure that it fits your child.
- It’s recommended to have infants and toddlers under two years old, in a seat facing the rear in the back of the car. (or reach height and weight limits set out by the manufacturer)
- As soon as your children are ready to move into a seat facing forward, harnessing them in until they are of the maximum height and/or weight for the seat is advisable. As soon as they outgrow this seat, they should be in a booster type of seat until they can safely use the standard car’s safety belt.
Things to remember
Make sure you are not confusing an infant seat with a child safety seat for a car.
Measure your child’s height and weight as they grow up, you may need a bigger seat (booster).
Ensure the seats are fastened in place securely before using.
So you are on your journey to bringing a new being into this world and it all seems a little daunting?
The nine months of pregnancy is nearly over and it’s almost time to pop! In a few days time, you will have been through the labor and delivered your new child into the amazing world outside of the womb. All going to plan you will be set to go home soon and start the next chapter of your life. Don’t panic!
This is usually the time when most new parents are feeling a bit lost or confused, adapting to their new life as a parent and that is perfectly normal as it is a big life change.
There are a few ways to deal with any apprehension or nerves you might be noticing as a first time parent, so if you follow these tips below you will be feeling more confident and positive in your new role as a parent.
Don’t be afraid to seek help after your baby is born
When your new baby is born, it can feel a little hectic and tiresome at times. But you should be open to asking for help. Feel free to ask the experts and mid wives in hospital while you’re there.
Often, hospitals will have specialists for feeding or perhaps consultants who focus on lactation who will be in a position to advise you with the basics of nursing your newborn and/or bottle-feeding. The nurses are there to help you with any questions you might have regarding to burping, holding, changing soiled nappies, and the general care of your new baby.
Friends and relatives
In addition to the medical professionals, your friends and relatives will often be more than willing to help you out so don’t be afraid to ask them or allow them to if they are forthcoming. While you may disagree on certain aspects of new-born parenting, remember that these may have been in your shoes before so don’t fully dismiss their own experience.
Handle with care
Just some of the basics to note:
Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alternatively using a hand sanitizer prior to handling your newborn is important. Because newborns have yet to build up strength in their immune system, they are prone to infections. Also try to make sure that anyone who might handle your baby cleans their hands beforehand.
Head and neck: Be sure to cradle your baby’s head if carrying him/her and support their head if carrying them upright and also when laying them down.
Never shake your newborn baby! Whether it is just playing or in your own frustration, vigorous shaking can cause the baby’s brain to bleed and has known to even cause death! To wake your baby, don’t shake. Maybe tickle their feet or a gentle blow on the side of their should do the trick.
Ensure that your newborn is fastened into the stroller, carrier or your car seat securely. Try to keep any activity that may be too bouncy or rough to a minimum.
Remember: Your baby isn’t ready yet for any rough playing, such as knee jiggles or being lightly thrown up into the air! If you mange to take on board these tips you’ll on your way to a smooth transition to motherhood.
Braces are a great investment early on in your child’s life
Some children look forward to getting braces, as they see them as a milestone closer to those teenage years Others, however, worry that they might look different from the other children and therefore be a victim of bullying, for being “different”.
Whichever way your own child is feeling about the prospect of braces, you may have some queries and concerns about braces yourself. Here are some things to consider before going for braces:
Why do children need braces?
For a number of reasons, children require braces. Overlapping or crooked teeth, too many teeth, or simply a”bad bite” are all common reasons why a child might need them. A malocclusion is the medical/dental term for a difference between the size of both top and bottom jaws, which causes a bad bite. If the upper jaw is bigger than the lower jaw, then an overbite is the result. Conversely, when the lower jaw is bigger, then an underbite results.
Losing baby teeth too early, having accidents, or habits like thumb sucking can cause problems for the jaws. However, they are often inherited, so if you or some other family member once wore braces, then it is likely that your children may also need them.
An orthodontist is the type of dentist who solely works on correcting problems with jaw or teeth alignment. They can make a recommendation and advise on the different options for braces.
Starting treatment early is important, so a visit to the standard dentist is a good idea as they can then refer you on if they feel necessary.
Having braces helps create lovely smiles, but that’s not all! A good orthodontist work will contribute greatly to your child’s oral health. Straight and aligned teeth can make chewing food that bit easier and would you believe, can also prevent snoring.
Braces are not cheap, with a typical cost around $5,000 and even if you have health insurance, that may not cover much of your cost.
Thankfully, there are a few ways to get braces at a lower cost:
Your dentist and dental societies. Ask your own dentist, as they may provide the service and also be willing to negotiate the cost with you. They may also be a great resource to recommend local orthodontists who may accept lower payment plans.
Note, being a good tooth brusher and using dental floss regularly improve your child’s position.
Your community. You can ask people around your community (local sports clubs, worship place, and academic organizations) to explore if any orthodontists are also members or to see if anyone you know is familiar with a dentist who would be happy to take on your child’s brace case.
State insurance programs. These programs, like Medicaid, may actually cover the cost of braces, especially if your child’s teeth problems are interfering with their speech, eating food, or swallowing at all.
However, please note that some states won’t make this easy. There is a lot of paperwork involved and it might be difficult to find a dentist who actually works with that particular insurance program. It is definitely worth checking.
The perfect bite
It is defiantly worth the perseverance, effort and patience you might need to locate a suitable orthodontist to treat your child at a reasonable cost. Besides the aesthetics, straight teeth can help to keep a healthy mouth for a lifetime.
Step parenting for the first time
Becoming a stepparent could be your golden ticket to having a child of your own, while also doing a good thing for the child’s sake.
On the other side of the stepparent spectrum is perhaps being a parent through marrying your partner who already has children of their own. This can be a very rewarding and fulfilling parenting experience.
You will have the wonderful opportunity to share your life with the child while helping them to shape a character of their own. If you already have children, then you will be offering them more ways to foster positive relationships and establish sibling bonds.
A lot of the time, your new stepchild will get along with other family members just fine but at other times you can be sure to expect some difficulties while growing up. It’s important to establish and agree on your role as a parent, besides your day-to-day responsibilities, so as not to lead to any confusion or conflict between your partner or ex-partner, and their children.
There’s no magic formula to creating a “perfect family’. Dynamics in the home are unique. So, it is very important to approach your new family situation with patience and empathy for all involved. Here are some points on how to adapting to your new role that bit easier:
Start off slowly
Your initial role as a stepparent is that of being a caring adult in the child’s life. Like a loving member of the family or mentor, you may wish for a closer bond immediately, and wonder what you might be saying or doing wrong in the eyes of your stepchild, if they don’t really warm to you or your maternal children as naturally as you had hoped for but relationships take time to grow and build trust etc.
Starting out slowly and trying not to rush things is a solid approach. Allow things to naturally develop because children can tell when parents are being insincere or doing things in a fake way. As time passes, you will develop a deeper, meaningful relationship with your stepchild.
Some factors affecting your relationship
In cases where a child is mourning a deceased parent or perhaps the divorce of their natural parents, they may need some time to naturally heal before fully accepting you as their new parent.
For children whose birth parents are living, a new marriage may signal the end of any hope that their own parents will reunite. Even if it was many years since their parents’ separation, children will often hang onto that hope for a long long time. From the child’s perspective, this new reality can make them feel anger, hurt, and frustration.
Preempting is key
By knowing ahead of time which family situations might be at first problematic, as a new stepchild joins the family, existing family members can help you to prepare for that. This way, if conflicts arise, you will know how to deal with them with more patience and grace.