I've been raising a little human for half a decade now, and let me tell you, it ain't no walk in the park. But I ain't no quitter, and I've picked up a thing or two along the way that might help you out too. Now, fair warning: if you're the type to get all riled up over differing opinions or if you're itching to take away my parenting privileges, well, I got news for ya: I probably ain't doing it right anyways. But hey, let's give it a shot, shall we?
- Pick your battles.
- They learn from what they see, not what they hear.
- They ignore the "no" in every phrase you say.
- They are always looking for your attention. If you are not there, someone (or something) will be.
- Take care of yourself first. Doing it isn't selfish: your self-care helps the kids.
- If you are stressed out, they will be too.
- Spend time with them. Lots of time. We become what we surround ourselves with.
- Hear what they have to say.
- Praise them as much as you can. Life will take care of hammering the wall — you don't need to do it.
- If you expect nothing, you get a lot.
- Sleep with them as much as you can. They can feel your presence.
- Do your best to explain things in as much detail as possible.
- They will have meltdowns. We all do.
- If you hit them, they will learn that love is entwined with pain This will haunt them and is very hard to break. Same for psychological abuse.
- They don't think logically. They will not be able to do it for a long time. Accept it.
- There will be questions. Thousands. Make use of them to revisit your values and personal dogmas. It's like free therapy.
- Be honest with them as much as you can. Assume they know when you are lying.
- They are going to do things in the wrong way a million times. Same for you. Be gentle with both of you.