Awesome Parenting Skills Checklist
Being a parent is filled with many heart-warming moments. Raising children is an amazing experience and one that will fill your heart with memories for years to come.
However, there are many less than stellar moments that will leave you scratching your head, or even worse, wondering if you will survive until bedtime.
Extreme Parenting Moments That Are Funny Only in Hindsight
Here are some extreme parenting moments that can be unbearable at the time but leave you with stories and laughter for as long as you live.
The Grocery Store Tantrum
This tops many. Not only is it difficult to handle, but it will most certainly damage your pride. Allowing strangers to criticize what they perceive as poor parenting of your ill-behaved child, you will wish you could order your groceries online and never leave home again.
The Ultimate Blow-Out
This needs no further explanation to anyone who has experienced it. Your baby’s bowels move when they want to and do not ever adhere to your schedule.
The ultimate blow-out happens at the worst times, such as right before you leave for your company children’s party while waiting in line at the store or on the airplane when you have forgotten to bring baby wipes with you.
The Spilled Milk
Children are messy. They are also clumsy and tend to trip when they are holding something they shouldn’t, somewhere they shouldn’t. The problem is that “spilled milk” isn’t always milk. Sometimes it’s a bright red sugary drink, and it’s usually spilled on the white carpet.
The Extreme Photographer
You take your camera everywhere. Your baby cannot do anything without their paparazzi one documenting every detail. And after all that work, years later, your children may not even appreciate all the photos of them wearing their underwear on their heads.
The Horrific Rash
A rash is terrifying to all parents. It is the symbol of everything wrong with the world. Although most rashes are fairly innocuous, they are a horrible sight to a parent who is convinced that every little change in their baby is a signal of ill health to come.
The “Terrified to Break Him” Parent
These are the moments where you are frightened that you will harm your new little one simply by holding him (or her). You become afraid that you will drop him or harm him by the sheer weight of your hand on his back. This is a phrase that is quickly outgrown by sheer necessity.
The Reluctant All-Nighter
These moments seem as though they will never end. Bleary-eyed, you crawl from your room towards the coffee maker, praying you will last another day. Staying up all night is not quite the party it was when in college, and this will be a moment you prefer in hindsight.
The Laundromat Gig
As a parent of young children, it seems there are mountains of laundry that will never end. You quickly come to a bitter realization that you are working at a job you never applied for.
And as soon as you change into something clean, it’s almost guaranteed that your baby will throw up on you, or worse – you will experience another ultimate blow-out.
Parenting is full of both heartwarming and bone-chilling moments. There are times when you experience things that you wish you didn’t have to.
Keep your sense of humor, and remember that these extreme parenting moments may become some of the fondest memories of your life.
How to be Cool, Calm, and Collected When Kids Push Your Buttons
If you are a parent, you know that your children are most skilled at knowing and pushing all your buttons.
Since we are generally in contact with our children more than anyone else, they become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick.
They also know what to do when they are seeking a reaction from us. Here is what you can do to remain cool, calm, and collected when your children push your buttons and are waiting for a reaction.
Count to Ten
This is not for the sake of your child, nor is it a countdown to consequences for him (or her). This is a countdown for you. Sometimes when our children are immature, which is normal for their age and expected, we need time to refocus and put things into perspective.
Stop, count to ten, and remember that your child is only acting this way because they are indeed a child.
Talk It Out
The best way to resolve a conflict between you and your child is not to explode in anger but to talk it out with them. Sit down and discuss what is going on. Talk to them calmly and aim to find out why they feel the need to push your buttons in this manner.
Do a Relationship Checklist
Often when a child is intentionally pushing your buttons, there is a reason he wants your attention. Is it possible that you have not been spending enough time together, and he is looking for a way to connect?
Does he feel like, at this point, any attention is preferable over none? Jog your memory and see if you can find why your child may be acting out in this way towards you.
Remember How It Felt to Be That Age
Sometimes pushing buttons is simply the normal action of an immature child. Children do not have the life experience we do and often struggle to find efficient ways to communicate with others. Please take a moment and remember how it felt to be that age.
What made you feel good? What made you feel sad? What made you feel connected to your parents and disconnected? Remember what it was like to be a child, and this will surely lead you to a place of greater understanding and patience with your own.
Think about Life in 20 Years
When all other methods fail to help you feel calm, think about the future. Picture you and your child 20 years from now. What will you fondly remember about these days?
What will make you wince with regret? This can be an effective way to put things back into perspective quickly.
Times passes so quickly, and we only live each day once. Think about how special these days are as a family, and you are certain to emerge as a more caring parent who is slow to react negatively.
Children can surely push our buttons, but our time as parents of non-adult children is relatively short. If you can keep this in mind and compile a list of distraction strategies for your benefit, it will help you get through the moments that you feel you are close to losing your cool.
When your child is saying and doing everything to get a reaction out of you, maintain your composure and stay cool, calm, and collected.
Parent or Career… Why You Shouldn't Have to Choose Only One
Some individuals aspire to have a career and prefer not to have children, and some individuals aspire to be parents and prefer no career. Both of these options are legitimate.
However, many would like to experience both the wonders of parenthood and a thriving career. Is it possible? The answer used to be “no” or “rarely,” but it is becoming more common to do both and to do them well. How does one find a balance between the rigorous demands of parenting and a career?
When you wish to have both a career and children, you must be good at prioritizing. You will inevitably end up in one or more situations where you will need to make a quick decision on what has to be placed first and what has to be placed second.
Perhaps you are due to attend your child’s school band concert, and a last-minute meeting is arranged at work. It sounds cliché, but these kinds of situations happen. Think about what you would do ahead of time in a hypothetical emergency, and it will be easier to make a split-second decision should the time come.
It may have been frowned upon in another generation for mothers to work outside the home, but it is common in most circles. With society’s acceptance of this situation, many resources are available to help you balance children and careers. Check out blogs and other online info for ideas on making life run as smoothly as possible.
There are many childcare options for parents who have a career. From daycare to nannies who come to your home to childcare providers who live with you, there is certainly a situation that will fit your family. Check out your options, and you may be surprised at the great variety available.
It Takes a Village
Utilize your friends and family. You need not feel that you must be a superhero and carry the full load yourself. See if friends and family would be willing to help you out as you navigate the waters of parenting with a career.
Because it is now common for parents to work outside the home, many job options are available to those interested. Ask your employer if they would consider allowing you to work full or part-time from home. Find out if job sharing is available if you are not able to commit full-time at this point.
Make Room for “Me Time”
In the middle of the madness, take care of yourself. Put on your life jacket before attempting to put on anyone else’s. Make time to relax, and remember to spoil yourself a little. When you are relaxed, your family and job will both benefit from it.
Have a Partner Who Is on Board
If you are married or in a romantic relationship, find out if your partner is on board. If they are willing to shoulder some of the additional work that might naturally occur, it will help greatly. Work as a team, and you will be more effective.
Balancing a career with parenthood is not easy, but it is certainly not impossible. You can do anything you set your mind to. With a little determination and support from your community, you can find the balance and be a success at both.
Parents Need Time Outs Too - Knowing When to Step Back
There are many moments in parenting, ranging from the warm and emotional moments to the ones when you want to throw an adult tantrum.
Our children are the most knowledgeable about our temperaments, and they know exactly how to push our buttons for maximum reaction.
It is difficult when we cannot agree on an issue with our children, and both parties are passionate about their respective points of view.
It is also difficult when we feel burnt out simply from the rigors of parenting. How do you know when you, as a parent need to take a time out and step back for a few moments to regain your cool?
The Argument Has Lasted Too Long
There is a time to talk things out and a time to end the conversation. If you have been arguing with your child for a lengthy amount of time and it simply keeps on going, perhaps it is time to take a break.
Putting the talk on hold doesn’t mean you can’t continue it later, but it is often wise to end it and continue it later when you are both feeling refreshed.
There Is No Resolution in Sight
Sometimes, you must discuss an issue, but you feel like you and your child are both talking in circles. It can get to a point where everyone becomes more determined to make their point, and each party stops listening to the other.
This is another moment where the only solution is to put the conversation on hold temporarily.
You Begin to Feel Angry
If you begin to feel tense while parenting or feel your blood pressure rising, you may have reached your limit. It may be time to walk away and spend a little time alone.
When you as a parent are feeling angry, this can turn into a power struggle, and it will always be tipped in your favor, leaving your child feeling powerless and trapped. This feeling can negatively affect your relationship, so end it while you have the chance to settle things calmly.
Your Child Appears Angry
If your child is feeling angry, it is possible you are not acting or speaking lovingly and fairly. Sometimes our children need breaks from us, and we must be the mature one who removes ourselves from the situation and gives them the space they need.
Take a time out and allow your child the chance to cool down without always having to be the one who retreats.
You Feel Tired
Even as adults, we are still human. There are moments when we have reached our limit and need to take some time to breathe.
Find a relaxing activity that you enjoy and take a while to recover. You will come back refreshed and ready to parent with more energy and positivity.
Parenting is rewarding, but that reward is not always felt strongly when we are burnt out or in the middle of an argument with our children.
There are times you will need to take a step back and embrace silence. Give yourself a time out and come back to real life when you have been fully recharged.
Stop Managing Your Child's Life
Parenting is one of the most important things we will ever do. It is a part of our lives that easily becomes all-consuming. When our children are born, it is essential for us to be there for them at all times and to meet their needs as soon and as fully as possible.
As they grow, they slowly become individuals, and their needs will change from us being ever-present to learning when to give them space.
This can be difficult, and we often end up micromanaging their lives without realizing it. Here is why you shouldn’t constantly manage your children’s lives and what you can do to change this tendency.
Why Micromanaging Is Not a Good Idea
When you fall into the trap of being an overprotective parent, it can be harmful to your child. Every infant needs our full attention as parents, but they desire to become individuals as they grow. Managing your children to an extreme will cause undue stress to you and build resentment in your child.
Children have a natural desire to become more independent as they grow older. It is what makes them capable of caring for themselves and their own families as adults.
When we micromanage them, we stunt their growth. This causes harm to the person they will become in the future. They internally realize this and lose their respect for our place in their lives. This can cause an irreparable rift in the relationship.
How to Help Your Child Become Independent
Allowing your child to become independent is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them. From the time they are young, find small ways you can let them make age-appropriate decisions.
As a toddler, let them choose what color shirt they would like to wear. Let your young child decide what vegetable they would like to eat for supper and what game they want to play on family night.
These may seem like small decisions, but the decisions will get bigger as your child grows. As time passes, they may want to choose how to style their room or cut their hair.
A little more time and they will be choosing their friendships and the activities they participate in. These baby steps all lead to a fully functioning adult who has the confidence and skill needed to make wise decisions with ease.
Always communicate with your child. Talk to them about how some decisions are a matter of personal preference and how others are more important. Discuss how you have learned from your mistakes and how you make the important decisions in your life.
How to Overcome Your Inner Control Freak
There is a control freak in each one of us, waiting to come out and assert itself. However, we need to subdue this inner control freak if we want to build a healthy relationship with our children and to assist them in becoming well-rounded individuals.
Remind yourself of the benefits of giving your child space. Discuss your struggles with other parents when you feel the inner control freak surfacing.
Raising emotionally healthy children requires that we stop controlling them and allow age-appropriate independence.
It can be difficult to step back and watch our children make their own choices, especially when we believe that they are making mistakes, but this is necessary to become the amazing people they are. When we give our children room to grow as individuals, we give them a great gift.
Teaching Your Teen to Be a Gentleman
At times, the older generation laments the lack of gentlemen in today’s world. Although we as people have not changed much on the inside in the last several generations, our culture has changed dramatically.
There are positive and negative changes that have been made, and all of them have affected the way we interact.
Being a gentleman is not emphasized for young men as much as in the days when their grandfathers were young men, but it will always be in style.
Being a gentleman includes manners and courtesies that show others that they are worthy of one’s respect. What can you do to teach your teen to be a gentleman?
Model the Behavior
The best way to train your teenage son to be a gentleman is by being one or giving him another positive male role model to emulate.
Choose someone who goes above and beyond in all ways so that your child can copy his behavior when in doubt.
Be careful to look beyond the surface into the heart of the man and his intentions. Real gentlemanly behavior will stem from the soul of someone who truly cares about others.
The number one pillar of learning how to be a gentleman understands respect. Respect is treating others as though they are worthy of your consideration. When respect is one of your son’s most important values, he will naturally want to act like a gentleman.
Teach Kindness and Empathy
Kindness and empathy for others is a great motivator when learning how to become a gentleman. Remind your son that we are all in need of favorable treatment from others and that he can be that person to someone else.
Empathy will help him remember why he is making an effort to treat others in this positive way.
For example, when your son is on public transit, and an elderly individual gets on and doesn’t have a place to sit, the kindness he feels inside of him will remind him that offering his seat is considered gentlemanly and will make it easier for him to remember than a simple and seemingly random rule.
Learn about Manners
Although respect comes naturally from a heart that desires good for others, some of the manners in our society do not come naturally in any way.
They must be learned, but thankfully many resources can be found. These range from websites, to books, to classes.
There are many rules to learn. If you can drill your son in the basics, it will make him feel less awkward in most situations.
While he is young, get him into the habit of doing things like opening doors for others, using his cutlery properly, and offering to assist others when they carry a heavy load.
Point Out Other Gentlemen
When you notice another man acting positively, point him out to your son. Say things like, “I like how he doesn’t use vulgar language. It helps everyone feel less awkward,” or “He sure is dressed nicely. That shows respect to the bride and groom.”
Becoming a gentleman is not an easy task. Be sure to give your son praise at any available moment.
When he opens the door for you and shows common courtesies in any way, let him know with a simple “Thank you, you’re such a gentleman.” In no time at all, your young gentleman will be standing out among the crowd.
Teaching Your Teen to Be a Lady
Throughout the years, there has been plenty of reading material published on how to teach your daughter to be a lady. Times change quickly, and what was considered to be “ladylike” is no longer necessarily perceived as such.
There are, however, some timeless qualities that give a polish to any female teen. These qualities will help her in every area, from not feeling awkward at social gatherings to finding success in job interviews. What are some things you can teach your teen on her journey to becoming a lady?
Manners bring a touch of class to any individual. Teach your daughter to say please and thank you when the situation calls for it and refrain from objectionable when she is around those she doesn’t know very well.
Remind her not to speak with food in her mouth and to think of others before herself. Even little things like her sending a thank-you card to the hostess of a party she has attended will make her stand out.
Wearing Classy Apparel
When someone dresses solely to attract attention from others, it becomes obvious to everyone else. Teach your daughter to dress in clothing that fits her well and accentuates her personality. Avoid extremes such as anything too tight, too loose, too trendy, or too old-fashioned.
Making Eye Contact
The eyes are the window to the soul. When you make eye contact with someone, it shows them you are confident. Remind your daughter to let her personality shine through by keeping good eye contact.
Wearing a Smile
A lady should always wear a smile unless there is a need to do otherwise. A smile will show the world that your daughter is friendly and confident. Encourage her to use her best beauty feature… her smile consistently.
A true lady will include others and not be exclusive. There are some obvious times when your daughter will not be able to include everyone around. As a general rule, however, she should always be on the lookout for anyone who might be feeling left out and should go out of her way to include them.
Respect is one of the greatest attributes of a lady. A young lady should always show respect for others and herself. Encourage your teenage daughter to commit that she will never deprive someone of the respect they deserve. Standing up for others and oneself is one of the most respectable and ladylike things your teen could do.
Having an Opinion and Sharing It
Gone are the days when a young lady is supposed to be seen and not heard. A lady in modern times will keep herself up to date on news topics and issues and will be able to participate in a conversation about a wide range of subjects.
Encourage your daughter to take a few minutes each day to familiarize herself with current events, and this will give her a cutting edge.
Teaching your teen to be a lady is not an easy job in today’s world. Many influences encourage the opposite, and it cannot be easy to swim upstream. Teach your teen to be a lady, and it will benefit her for her entire life.
Tips for Easing the Transition When Mommy Returns to Work
Going back to work is a time of great transition for both you and your baby. The entire family makes adjustments when maternity leave is finished, and it is time to return to work.
You can do many things to make these adjustments easier on everyone to make it as smooth as possible. Here are a few things you may want to consider when you are headed back to work.
Do Trial Runs
Instead of spending all your time with your little one and then suddenly going to work, make the transition in small steps. If you have never left your baby with anyone, now is the time to get her (or him) used to you being gone for short periods.
As your baby becomes more comfortable with the situation, you can leave her for longer and longer periods until you are at a place where she enjoys spending time with someone besides you for a substantial amount of time. This will also teach your baby the important lesson that you will always return for her.
Find a Childcare Provider You Trust
It is of utmost importance to find a childcare provider you trust. This individual will spend a large portion of time with your little one. You will want to feel completely comfortable with this fact.
If possible, consider hiring a family member or family friend, so you share a history with them and know that they love your little one as you do.
Find a Childcare Provider Close to Your Place of Employment
It will make the transition to work easier if you can have your child close to you during your working hours. You might find a babysitter who lives close to your place of employment.
Some businesses even offer childcare in the same building you work in, which allows you easy and quick access. This way, you can visit your baby during the day and even continue breastfeeding conveniently.
Consider Working Part-Time at First
Even if you are certain, you will eventually go back to work full time, consider job sharing or going back to work part-time for a while.
This will help you and your little one adjust to the changes involved in returning to work. Making a slow and partial transition is always helpful when big changes such as this are necessary.
Inquire Whether You Can Work from Home
In modern times, there are many ways someone can be employed. Even in traditional roles, companies are offering options to employees as an incentive to work for them.
With many parents in the workforce, there are flexible options such as working from home part-time and even full time in some cases. Know your options, and if you don’t see the job as fitting your situation perfectly, ask.
Going back to work is not always easy, but there are many things that you can do to make it a more smooth transition for both you and your child.
Follow these tips to ensure that you don’t learn a difficult lesson for any reason. You will be sure to pave a smooth path for your family on the road back to employment.
How to Locate a Childcare Provider and Transition Them into Your Home
Choosing a childcare provider for your little ones is one of the most important tasks you will ever accomplish. There are many childcare options, and a few options involve either having the provider live in your home or commute daily.
How do you go about finding a childcare provider? And when you find someone, how do you transition them into your home as smoothly as possible? Here are some tips to help you get through the process with as few bumps along the way as possible.
A great first place to start on your journey to find the right childcare provider is to ask around. Bring up the topic in conversation with people you know.
You never know whom you may get a great idea from. Ask friends to keep their ears open and talk to acquaintances that have themselves hired a childcare provider for their families.
Know Where to Look
To find a childcare provider effectively, you need to know where to look. Check out the references given by your friends. Look online, and search for services that will do the work of hiring a childcare provider for you.
Explore and Compare All Options
When you are looking for a childcare provider, there are many options. You can hire someone locally. There is also the option of hiring a foreign caregiver.
This may be someone whose travel is arranged by you or the nanny service you are using, or it may be a foreign caregiver who is already living in your area.
Know that there are different living arrangements when it comes to the actual childcare situation. Some live-in nannies make your home their own, often with their suite.
Some live-out nannies show up for the required hours each day. Decide what suits your situation best.
Occasionally you can find a childcare provider quickly. Other times, it may take a little longer. Some nanny services which hire foreign workers can take up to six months to complete paperwork and travel arrangements, so be sure to plan ahead and not leave things until the last minute.
Get References and Necessary Checks Done
Be sure to get references for the childcare provider you plan to hire. Whether the childcare provider is being hired through an agency or by you directly, it is of utmost importance.
Contact all references and be sure to obtain police checks, etc. Not only will this person be in your home, but they will be taking care of the children that you love and wish to protect.
Share Expectations and Be Willing to Compromise
Be sure to express any expectations you have to your childcare provider. Ask them if they have any expectations of their own. Try to be reasonable and compromise where possible, but don’t compromise in important matters.
Prepare Your Children
Let your children know they will soon be meeting someone who will become a special part of their lives. If they have advance notice, it will give them time to warm up to the idea. Introduce them ahead of time if possible, so they have time to build a relationship.
Finally, you are ready to complete the transition of bringing your provider into your home. Give your children time to adjust. Hopefully, your new childcare provider will become one of their favorite people and a lifelong friend to you all.
How to Train Your Childcare Provider to Meet Your Needs
When you return to work, finding the right childcare provider for your family will be an important task. This will be one of the people that your child spends a large portion of their time with, so you will want to be sure it is the right person to meet your family’s needs.
Once you have found the right individual, there will still be ongoing communication necessary between you. This will help smooth out any issues and enable you to talk about how you can both best serve your child’s interests.
Here is how you can train your childcare provider to meet the needs of your family.
Communication is, above all, the most important aspect of any relationship between you and your childcare provider. Never be too shy to share your ideas with the person who cares for your children daily. Ask questions and continue discussing the subject until you find the answer you are looking for.
The best way to train your childcare provider is by showing them how you parent. Give them plenty of time to see you in action as a parent, as this will show them what you expect from them when you are not there. A perceptive childcare provider will pick up on what they see and apply it to the way they care for your children.
Explain Your Parenting Philosophy
Sit down with your childcare provider and explain your views on parenting. Let them know what you feel is right and wrong when it comes to caring for children. If you have any books that explain your philosophy, make the books available to them to get a more comprehensive view of it all.
If you believe there may be inconsistencies in the style of care between you and your childcare provider, continue to communicate positively. Instead of approaching them in “attack mode,” approach them from a perspective of unity.
Let them know you want to work as a team. Explain that you have some ideas, rather than making accusations and putting them on the defensive.
Always show respect to the individual caring for your children. Parenting someone else’s children is not easy and is often a thankless task. Let your childcare provider know you appreciate them and respect the special qualities they bring to the life of you and your children.
It will be much easier to share your ideas when coming from mutual respect if there has been a misunderstanding; attempt to see the situation from their perspective rather than assuming the worst in them.
When you depend on a childcare provider to be with your children for a large portion of time, it is essential to train them to meet the specific needs of your unique family.
There are right and wrong ways to go about this. If you take the necessary steps to communicate your needs to your childcare provider, you will be rewarded with children who benefit from it long term.
Awesome Parenting Skills Checklist
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