Be the Best Parent You Can Be With These Helpful Tips

Comedian Ray Romano has a famous joke where he likens raising children to being in a frat house; there’s a lot of throwing up, no sleep, and things are always breaking. While The Everyone Loves Raymond star exaggerates, he’s not far from the mark. In the time leading up to becoming parents, we often envision only the best parts of this unique experience: the ‘firsts’, watching them play sports or perform with the orchestra, and all the other amazing feats we experience with our bundles of joy.

But most of us are never quite prepared for the daily trials and tribulations of being a parent. We can read all the books, talk to a zillion moms and dads, and get advice from doctors and other experts, but there’s always some surprise or uncharted territory waiting around every corner. When unsure how to handle these events, it can make us feel like we’re not doing a good job as parents. Remember that you are not alone; there’s not one good parent who, at some point or another, felt like they weren’t living up to the task.

Nobody is perfect – including parents. We make mistakes, we have fears and anxieties that occasionally will affect the kids, and we’ll miss a game or performance from time to time, and that’s OK. As long as your children know you love them, and you’re doing everything you can to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. In this blog, we’ve listed some tips to give you a boost and help you be the best parent you can be!

1. Ensure Your Home is a Safe Space

One of the top signs of a good parent is ensuring your children have a safe space surrounding them at all times. It’s your top priority as a parent. These spaces will shift and change as they grow, but the primary area of their safety always begins at home. When they’re small, it’s important to babyproof your house.

This includes covering outlets, having no stray wires, securing furniture to the walls, keeping toxins and sharp objects out of their reach, and using baby gates for stairs. In the bathroom, use non-slip mats in the tub, a lock on the toilet seat, and keep the water heater temperature at 120 degrees or lower. Be sure to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors around the house and check them often.

Have many first aid supplies, the number for poison control handy, and learn CPR. The general upkeep of your home is important for the health and safety of your children as well. You’ll want to ensure windows, screens, and doors are safe and secure and use safety barriers when necessary to prevent falls. Have the roof inspected for leaks and loose shingles.

Roof repair is much cheaper than potential exposure to mold or a potential fire from moisture buildup.

Have your electrical system inspected to ensure it’s up to code and not overloaded with all the new baby devices. If you have firearms in your home, keep them in a locked gun safe in a locked room. Consider installing a fence so the kids can safely go out and play in the yard. Of course, they should be supervised at all times so consider installing a camera/security system as well.

2. Get Their Dental Care Sorted

The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday. While this may seem a bit young, and you may think, “They barely have any teeth,” the dentist needs to check for any abnormalities so they can be remedied early. After that, children should see a dentist every six months for exams and cleanings. This way, tartar and plaque don’t build up, causing tooth and gum disease.

Cavities and other issues can be caught early and repaired. The dentist will consult you and your child about proper oral hygiene and cavity prevention. Later on, if needed, your dentist can refer you to an orthodontist for braces or other devices to help your child with misaligned teeth. Regular dental care is a vital part of your child’s overall health, and having a family dentist is a sign of being a good parent.

3. Ensure Your Plumbing Works

Plumbing problems are widespread and can pop up anytime. Proper maintenance is critical to the ebb and flow of your pipes. With children, clean, functional plumbing is crucial because you never know when spills and messes will require a spur-of-the-moment bath. Then there’s the mountain of laundry that needs to be done seemingly endlessly.

Consider having a water filtration system installed. This will help lighten the load when purchasing water for making formula. You want the cleanest water free of chemicals and sediment for kids. An appointment with a plumber is a good idea before the baby is due. They can inspect all your water-related systems and ensure you’re in good shape for your special delivery.

4. Create a Garden They Love

Not having a garden certainly doesn’t make you a bad parent. But if you have the space, it can be a great child’s experience. It’s educational, fantastic, and a fun-filled bonding activity for the entire family. You’re teaching them so many things, like where food comes from, how to take care of a garden, self-reliance, responsibility, and cause and effect.

There’s nothing more satisfying for children (and adults) than planting a seed and watching it grow into a beautiful veggie, knowing that your love and care made it possible. It’s kind of like being a parent! While you’re teaching the key da about vegetable gardening, take the time to introduce them to primary lawn care (mowing, weeding, edging). They’ll be able to help with chores, and when they get older, they’ll be able to take those skills and make some extra cash for themselves.

5. Ensure Your House is Warm

Everyone is different regarding their heating preferences, so it’s hard to make everyone happy when you have a house full of people. But small children especially, need to be kept toasty and warm. So, it’s essential to have regular inspections and routine maintenance of your furnace when kids are in the house.

You should also ensure no cracks, holes, or spaces around the windows or doors. You may want to consider having an HVAC company install a central heating unit where you can control the temperature in different areas of the house. This way, the kids can stay as warm as they need, and you can stay as cool as you want.

6. Take Care of Them Medically

Children need medical attention, even when they’re not sick. It would help if you researched pediatricians before your child is born. They will need regular visits beginning soon after birth to ensure proper growth and development are occurring, as well as to receive required vaccinations. Annual good exams are recommended through their teen years to ensure no underlying issues are present.

If your child becomes ill, especially with a fever or vomiting, you must contact their doctor right away. If the pediatrician finds a problem, whether during a sick or healthy visit, they may recommend your child see a specialist. For example, if kids are prone to ear infections, you may need to visit the ear doctors office. If they’re having trouble breathing, an appointment with a pediatric pulmonologist may need to be made. Any time your child is seriously hurt or complaining of pain, it’s best to take them to the doctor or ER and not try to treat it on your own.

7. Get Them a Pet

Adding a pet can be an excellent experience for the entire family, especially the kids. A pet can teach kids responsibility when you have them help take care of the pet. This can build confidence and self-esteem, knowing that they’re helping to care for another living being. Taking them with you to the vets office for appointments can help give them an understanding of pet health and wellness, as well as help introduce them to a fabulous career.

Pets can also help keep your child healthy if he plays with the pet and takes the dog for a walk. Pets offer emotional support and companionship, and they are proven to reduce anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Pets can help teach kindness and compassion while helping your child maintain a routine. Most of all, a pet will offer your child unconditional love, which is difficult to come by.

8. Take Care of Yourself

There’s a saying – if mama isn’t alright, nobody is okay. It’s true for dads, too. One of the most vital signs of being a good parent is to take care of yourself. It’s easy to forget about ourselves and even feel guilty when we practice some self-care. But the truth is if we get sick, have back pain, or are stressed out, it’s going to affect our kids, whether it’s financially, emotionally, or socially.

For example, if you don’t exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep, you will be run down, and your immune system will not be able to fight off disease either. You’ll be sick more often, feel tired, and lack energy, which you desperately need to keep up with your kids and all the chores related to them. If you’re stressed or depressed, that’s not healthy for them either. Please don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it.

Call a friend, join a support group, and ask for help when needed. Don’t feel guilty about doing things for yourself. Go for that jog, get a massage, and order that extra-large salad you’ve been eyeing. If you’re not feeling well, see a doctor or a therapist. Your kids need you to be mentally and physically healthy.

9. Support Their Choices

As difficult as it is, parents sometimes need to bite our tongues and put a smile on our faces. We must remember that those humans we brought into the world are their people. They have their own lives to live in ways they see fit. As long as they aren’t doing anything illegal or hurting anyone, we need to support their choices.

Consider helping them make good choices and making them a part of the daily decision-making from a young age. When they’re young, give them a few options for outfits and explain why you’ve chosen them (it’s cold or hot); ask them if they want to do homework right away or wait until after dinner, but let them know why it must be done. As they get older, this practice will become more complex, but it’s all about helping them learn why choosing correctly is essential while giving them agency.

The key is to communicate positively. Don’t dismiss their ideas or tell them they are silly. If you must give your opinion, do so from a place of concern and bring facts, not an emotionally charged position. When the time comes for them to make significant choices like going to college or doing a welding apprenticeship, you can be confident that they’ve thought it through and are doing what’s best for them, even if you disagree.

10. Create Their Dream Bedroom

Giving your child their dream bedroom will make you a rock star for at least a few days. But allowing them to choose what their space looks like is about more than scoring some brownie points. A dream bedroom can help boost their self-esteem, improve their mood, improve sleeping habits, and give them a comfortable place to go that represents who they are.

Sit down with them and explain your budget and any limitations. For example, if you live in an apartment, you may not paint the walls in specific colors or tear up the carpeting. While you can hire interior painting companies and designers, consider making it a project you do together. It’s less expensive and makes for a great bonding experience.

Being a parent isn’t easy. It’s like being on a roller coaster for the very first time. It’s exciting, terrifying, and fun all at the same time. You never know what’s going to happen next. But that’s all part of the ride, and at the end of the day, you’ll be happy to have had the experience. We hope these tips make your ride a little smoother.

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