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Rita P Hestand

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Helpful Tips for Parents
by Rita P Hestand   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Posted: Sunday, June 08, 2003

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HELPFUL TIPS FOR PARENTS As a Day Care Provider I'd like to share a few tips I've learned along the way to help make your job as parents easier.With eleven years experience, two children of my own and grandmother of seven, I've experienced many wonderful moments with children and babies. Granted I'm no doctor and I'm not trying to be. I'm only trying to pass information to you that could be valuable. From 0-3 months: #1. Don't be afraid to hold, cuddle, and love your newborn. I know this sounds funny, but after many articles written on the subject, many new parents are afraid of spoiling their babies. During this time babies need that particular security. So go ahead, love that baby as much as you want. As long as you remember that they also need laying down alone time to learn to use their muscles, and motor skills. Too stretch, and learn to control their body movements.

Especially if you are a working mom, you need some time to bond with you baby, and if you don't breast feed, then feel free to snuggle. #2. Rock and sing to your baby. The baby will love the vibration of your chest, or just simply listening to your heartbeat and voice. It does not matter whether you can sing or not, hum if you like, your baby won't be a critic. Also the motion of rocking soothes your baby. If possible rock the baby. This isn't spoiling, this is giving into the babies needs. They need this special nurturing during this period of their life.

#3. If baby is irritable don't panic. First, check the diaper area for rashes or diarrhea. The diapers you bought might irritate, the soap you use might do the same. Second burp the baby, sometimes an extra burp is all that is needed. If baby persists with crying then colic must be ruled out and perhaps a soy formula should be adhered to.

Breast feeding is always preferable to formula but when that's not possible it is important to have your baby on the right formula which your doctor will guide you with. Have your baby immunized regularly, this is so important to their health and there are agencies out there that can do this for practically nothing. Contact your county officials.

#4. For constipation try a teaspoon of Karo white syrup in a bottle of warm water. Juice is usually too strong for a newborn. You'll know if they are constipated by the solid pebble like stool, and the intense straining. In severe cases medication is needed. Water never hurts the baby, and is recommended at all times. However it can never take the place of formula. #5. When baby's temperature goes too high there are over the counter preparations to bring it down, but say it goes too high and you can't get it to stay down. Or can't get to the drugstore. In this case, use lukewarm water sponged with a washrag all over the baby's body to gently bring it down. You might have to continue doing this till you can get the baby to the doctor.

NOW! Let's talk about older children, because once you've mastered those first three months, most everything else comes naturally. One of the most important and overlooked ingredients in this busy world of ours is the amount of attention a child needs from his or her parents. Give them this time and you will be rewarded for years to come.

Our lives are hectic this day and age, usually both parents working, managing the houshold chores and any extra strains, but think back to old reruns on TV. Remember Leave it to Beaver? Father Knows Best?Did you notice the family sitting down to dinner together and sharing time and stories of the day? Yes!! Very important. Take time out of your busy day to find out what is going on with your child. Real time. Time when you can look at your child expressions and tell if there is a problem.

LISTENING to your child is another important ingredient. Sounds easy, but how many times have we gone on about our business and not really listened. By listening we can be forewarned of problems and nip them in the bud.

SHOW AN INTEREST in your child and his activities. If they like sports, what positions do they like. If they dance, what music do they prefer? If they color well, encourage them to draw and paint and hang their paintings up on the refrigerator. Let them know that they can achieve anything they want if they try hard enough.

DON'T FEEL SO GUILTY. Use your time with your children wisely. Parents of today are so busy, and feel so guilty and yet if the right time is taken, there is no need for guilt. I recommend having a dinner time just like those old shows on TV. Why? Because you can all face each other, you can bring any problems out in the open and discuss them, and you can share with the entire family, leaving no one out of the picture. Even if it's fast food. Say you are at McDonald's. Fine, eat there, but take the time to talk to your children then. Don't let them get up and run and play and grab a bite. Make them sit down with you, make it a routine to do so. Make meal time an enjoyable experience for all. A family time.

READ TO YOUR CHILDREN. Sometimes just knowing you would spend twenty minutes with them and a good book can make all the difference in the world. Take the time to tuck them into their beds, love them, make sure they have no problems, and make them feel secure and safe. If you watch a lot of TV share the movie with them. Explain what is going on, you'd be surprised how much they can learn.

My middle grandson can almost entirely explain the Revolutionary War because we sat down together and shared "The Last of the Mohicans" together. And "The Alamo". Teach your children about history, for it is through history that people learn to respect one another and learn the value of their own lives.

Let them know about your weaknesses as much as your strength. A child must learn to accept themselves for what they can and can't do. They can't be perfect, allow for that, show them it's okay not to be number one. While at the same time showing them they can reach obtainable goals. And the number one thing to teach a child is right from wrong. Teach your child to respect themselves and others, and that there are consequences for their actions. You don't have to lay a heavy guilt trip on a child, but one must learn guilt in order to be sorry. There is a strong difference in disciplining your child and beating them. Know the difference and use the information wisely.

Teach your child, guide your child, and above all, talk to your child and you will be rewarded for the rest of your life. It is our responsibility to teach, guide and love our children. I'm sure you are thinking this takes up a lot of time in your day and you are already worn out from working all day, but a little special time could save a lot of precious time later. Ten minutes here, ten minutes there can add up to a lot of attention.

Parenting isn't easy, you'll make some mistakes, allow yourself this leverage. No one is perfect. If you are an only parent, stop worrying about how much you spend, and start worrying about how much time you can give them. Just them. Do something together, go to the park and teach them to fly a kite. On holidays you might spend an evening making pretty cards on the computer, or making home-made presents for someone special.

Get yourself involved in their life. If they play baseball then take them to a professional game. If they like dance, treat them to a show. Encourage their hobbies, give them positive feedback. Call them when you can't be with them, just to say hello and tell them how much you miss them. You'd be surprised at how much this kind of thing means to a child or kid.Try these things, and you and your child will be better for it.

Attend their special school programs when you can. This really shows them you care. Make a special effort to be there for them no matter what. And above all, teach your child by living as good as example as you can. This is one of the hardest ones to follow. Sometimes we simply fail at this. But if all the other things have been followed, they aren't going to notice.

Being a good parent doesn't mean your President of a company. It doesn't mean you've got the neatest job in town. It means you love your kid, and show them that love. And that is free and easy to do. If all else fails, try to remember back when you were a kid. What were some of the things that were important to you. Do you remember those things? That's the place to start, because what was important to you as a child, might very well be important to them too.

Get involved in your child's life and you will find the answers to being a good parent. The efforts you make now, may pay off in the future.   

Web Site: Rita Hestand Author

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Reviewed by Regina Pounds
Wonderful article, Rita. You touched on the most important things in an easy to understand way.

Reviewed by Zenith Elliott
Very good common sense tips Rita. Parenting is a rewarding but sometimes difficult job, we can all use a refresher course at times. Thank you Z
Reviewed by Julie Donner Andersen
Excellent tips, Rita! With a bit of polish, this would make a great article for a parenting magazine. (Note: When children become teenagers, the best tip I can offer is: Use duct tape to your advantage. Works for me.) LOL!
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