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I suppose it's never too early to start compiling a mental list, right? So....What is the one best (or two if you can't decide) piece of advice you have received about raising a child?
I have two...
Whenever your child falls down, don't rush over to pick them up - see if they pick themselves up first, realize they're ok and move on. (obviously if it's a serious fall with no doubt of an injury, this rule doesn't apply)
Always tell your child what TO do instead of what NOT to do (i.e. A positive command versus a "No! Don't do that!" command)
It's not so much advice, but it's just a short list of things in my mind that I remember my birth mom doing/not doing that made me feel unloved or resentful, so I am determined to do the opposite.
As far as other people, I think everyone is still in too much shock that I am actually pregnant. lol. I'm sure once it processes, the advice will start flooding in, however unwanted. lol. But the Positive Command one is good.
If you tell your child that there will be a specific consequence for behaving or not behaving a certain way, you MUST follow through with it. Do not say, "If you want to go to the ice cream truck tonight, you have to finish your vegetables" if you don't truly intend to make them finish their broccoli before getting an ice cream. Do not say "If you throw that ball one more time, you are going to your room" 15 times before finally making them go to their room. Kids need to know that they can trust what you say. Being consistent in your discipline is yet another way to build that trust. If you only follow through half of the time, they develop the need to "test" you to see if this is one of the times you really mean it.
1. Don't say no unless you are willing to get off the couch. Meaning, don't try to sit and yell discipline at your kids.
2. Make choices with an infant with an eye on what is best for the baby AND the mommy. If the mom sacrifices everything to do what's "best for the baby" she can end up sick and overextended which is no good for anyone. This really helped me with my first two.
As a mom of two already, I TOTALLY agree with KarBear and Margaret! I am VERY firm on following through with my discipline with the kids. If I threatened "This is the last time I am going to ask you or it is time out" I MEAN it! It drives me nuts when people I know just sit there, yell a 100x the SAME thing but never get up and correct it! Well what do you expect? Your child quickly learns that there is NO consequence to their action so of course they won't listen!
I am not a strict mean mom, but I am strict in the sense that I will not raise brats! My kids are very well behaved, loved and know that I am serious when it comes to punishment. I am a non spanker, but my message is clear in other ways. (time outs etc).
Also, my VERY personal advise for new moms - Work your child in to YOUR life, not work you life around your child. What I mean by that, is you need to have them adjust to your schedule (within reason of course) not work everything you do around them. I say that because I was one mom who did that with my first and it became a huge deal for us. We lost our friends, our personal time, our marriage was falling apart etc. Once we had our DS, I learned that we incorporate him into our schedules. He is now 20 months and is a GREAT child and life for us is SO much better!
as a first time mom i love hearing this stuff, esp about working the child into your life. my dh and i both agree that after the baby reaches a certain age, once a week we have our date night. doesn't matter what we do, but it's important that we keep our marriage important and relevant.
Don't say no to every single thing. While discipline is obviously a good thing, babies and toddlers learn by exploring. They want to touch and get into everything! If it is a serious safety issue, obviously that is different.
They also have to learn how not to injure themselves. Example, charlotte's cousin was about 16 months old running around my house playing with everything. She started playing with an infant carseat on the floor. She got behind it, stood on the back of it so it tipped the front all the way up, grabbed the front and rocked it forward, faceplanting in the carpet. Relatively harmless, but it didn't feel good. She went to do it again, her grandma didn't stop her. She said she has to learn. She did it again, but it was the last time. Again, if you see potential for a real injury, obviously you need to intervene.
Ignore the experts! Obviously this is within reason, but if you believe everything you read/see/hear when your child is little you will go mad. You are the momma trust your gut you always no what's best.