Here’s what Tereza has to share!

the Three Best Parenting Tips

By Tereza Prouzova, AMFT

Parenting might come naturally for some. But, we all know that having babies do not come with a manual (don’t you wish it did!), which leaves parenting skills to be acquired through the trial and error. And while there is nothing wrong with learning as you go, a little support can go a long way. As an Attachment and Reflective Parenting Specialist, time and time again, I’ve been asked what the best tips and suggestion are to help become a more effective parent to a baby. 

1.     Let’s play! 

If you are not already playing with your child, you might want to begin NOW. It is never too late and it doesn’t have to be long. All it takes is 5-15 minutes of undivided attention. If you can squeeze in more minutes, it only gets better! Now, the way you play can be a bit tricky…so tune up and read carefully! Put your phone or tablet away, turn off the TV. Get down on the floor and get the toys out. Engage in your child’s favorite activity and follow theirlead. Do not try to teach or correct them! The goal of playing is to bond, to connect, and to build a stronger relationship. Focus on the process rather the outcome. Be in the moment and simply have fun! Don’t be alarmed if it’s tough at first, especially since it’s been a long time since you played as well. However, through routine practice, you will find that it may be a relaxing activity for you too!

Reasoning: For young children play is their work. It is through play they learn and develop physical, cognitive and socio-emotional skills. Yet, the most important outcome of parents engaging in play is the forming a healthy bond with their child. The more you play with your kids, the more positive attention they get, which reduces the frequency of temper tantrums, defiance and power-struggles. 

TIP: Try not to be too intrusive during the play. Do not ask too many questions; instead focus on describing, reflecting and joining in your child’s imaginative world. You will discover just how rich their little world is! 

2.     Find your groove!

I cannot stress enough the importance of routine! Parents trust me and hear me out loud and clear; routine is the magic word. It is your best friend and saving grace if you want to create safety and structure for your little one. There are different types and ways of doing routine. You can have a daily routine, bedtime routine, morning routine, etc… What you choose is up to you and your partner. Ultimately, what the routines consist of is performing the same activities, in the same order at the same time. A great example of a bedtime routine would be:

·      Have them go potty 

·      Give your little one a bath

·      Help them brush their teeth

·      Help them put on their pajamas and cozy up in bed

·      Read them a bedtime story

·      Give them a bunch of kisses

·      Turn of the light and leave the room

Rationale: Routine provides structure and a predictable environment not only for your child, but also for you, the parent(s). By maintaining consistent schedule, your child can anticipate what is going to happen next. This will reduce the potential anxiety of the unknown, and thus avoid meltdowns and tantrums. 

TIP: For your Pinterest-ing pleasure, check out the lists of routines already created for little ones! You can also involve the older kids in creating their own routines, since working collaboratively can also motivate and incentives them. 

3.     Take care of yourself!

Raising children requires a substantial amount of physical and emotional energy, which you need to replenish on regular basis. You can make use of the routine, and fit in the “mommy time” or “daddy time” when your kids are playing, taking nap, or watching TV. Consistency is the key word here! Be proactive, let go of guilt, and find 10-15 minutes for yourself on daily basis. Only by creating space and joy for yourself, will you create the energy to be a present parent and enjoy the process of parenting. 

Rationale: You cannot take care of others, unless you take care of yourself! It’s as simple as that. 

TIP: Self-care can look like: coffee break, reading book, exercise, or simply laying down and relaxing.

Want more tips and tricks? Don’t hesitate to reach out for more information here!

August 10, 2019

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