Great Parenting Advice for Moms and Dads
by StatePoint ◊ May 04, 2012
Raising children involves navigating tricky scenarios from time-to-time. Popular belief says that while you can usually rely on your instincts, the answers to many of life’s daily details are not always clear.
Arming yourself with practical knowledge is a great way to be prepared for any situation, point out Heather Gibbs Flett and Whitney Moss, coauthors of the new handbook, “Stuff Every Mom Should Know” (Quirk Books).
Flett and Moss, alongside Brett Cohen, author of “Stuff Every Dad Should Know” (Quirk Books), are going beyond the standard parenting manual to offer some practical tips for day-to-day creative parenting:
• If you’ve got questions, don’t be shy about seeking help. Make friends with other parents and do your research. Discussion boards, mommy blogs, and neighborhood email lists are great resources.
• Start saving for college as early as possible. Take a look at your budget and allocate whatever you can. Increase your contribution proportionate to any rise in your income. Around your child’s fifth birthday, seek the advice of a financial advisor who can help you grow the fund quickly.
• Sleep deprivation can cause anxiety and take a toll on your relationship and parenting skills. Alternating nighttime duty will allow each parent to get a needed dose of uninterrupted sleep.
• Don’t forget, you can convince a child that almost anything’s a game. Remember this principle around bath and cleanup time!
• A surefire way to impress a toddler is to have some fun animal facts stored in your noggin. Did you know that penguins can jump up to six feet high?
• Children like to test their boundaries, try new things, and indulge their curiosities. At times, you’re going to need to know how to say, “No” – and when you say it, mean it. But don’t forget to offer an alternative.
• Sibling rivalry is difficult to prevent, but can be managed properly with a bit of sensitivity. Remember to withhold judgment until you’ve learned the whole story. Identify which activities lead to the biggest rivalries, and set up a schedule for alternating whose turn it is to do what.
• It’s become increasingly difficult to teach children by setting a positive example, since we do so much online these days. Make a point to demonstrate how to be an active member of the community. Consider participating in local clean-ups, preparing and delivering food to someone in need, and taking your child to the polls on Election Day.
“Being a parent means a lifetime of joy,” says Cohen. “It also means a lifetime of stuff that needs doing.”
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help prepare you for whatever comes your way. This Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, consider giving a mom or dad in your life the gift of information with a parenting handbook such as “Stuff Every Mom Should Know” and “Stuff Every Dad Should Know.” Parenting’s a whole new world. But others have gone before you and lived to tell the tale. So, draw upon their wisdom.