No one ever said that being a parent was easy. At first you are so excited that you are going to start a family. Just think – a little tyke who will look up to daddy and follow in his footsteps, or a precious darling princess that will wrap your heart around her little finger. You have such hopes and dreams, and each time you see the sonogram of that little soul you cannot wait for your child to be born. When the day finally arrives, your child is so beautiful, and you are so very proud. You take your child home and then the fun begins. The first step is sleep deprivation, and you are wondering if this child will ever sleep. It seems like a constant routine of feeding, changing diapers and maybe a few hours of sleep. At this point in time, all you want and need is for your baby to be healthy and you to have one 8-hour night of sleep without interruption. Finally, you are granted that wish. Now, let us fast forward to a child between two and three years of age. This is when you wish you had a guidance manual on how to confront a little one when the most dreaded word “nooooo” comes out of their mouth. Where did this come from? A day ago, this was my precious adorable child and now in its place is a tyrant. Take a deep breath and remember you are in charge. Be firm and do not give into the little one. Your child is beginning to test you. This little person has their own personality and temperament. Respect that but be firm. If you constantly stick to your convictions, your child will begin to learn the boundaries. Remember, boundaries are important, even for adults. If you have a faith-based belief system, you begin to instill into your child the morals, love and respect that are part of faith. This moral teaching will cement the foundation of your child’s life. Children learn by example – remember to practice what you preach. When the teenage years approach, watch them carefully. This is when they will be tempted by peer groups and social media. This is where the foundation you built around your child comes into play. Do not be surprised at their questions or demands. Answer firmly and encourage them to be open with you. Of course, most will want the best of everything. Remember, when you wanted something as a teenager? You had to work for it! So, if they want a cell phone, make them get a job to pay for it. And don’t give them credit cards in your name – that is a no-no. When one earns the money to purchase items, they have a better appreciation of them. If bigger problems regarding self-esteem occur, seek assistance immediately. There is no shame in admitting that your child needs help. Parents have a problem with wanting to be their child’s friend – you are not their friend, you are their parent, and there is a big difference. Always be firm and stand up for your beliefs. Children need consistency, assurance and love (especially love). When all is said and done, the best part of being a parent is when you become a grandparent!
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.