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As a parent, the learning never stops, whether you have a little infant or a rebellious teenager at hand. At every step of the way you learn something new about your child and about your ability to tackle things as a parent. That is what makes parenting both a difficult and rewarding task!
As a parent, you are bound to have faced many challenging situations and circumstances with seemingly no solution. Wouldn’t it be awesome to discuss and exchange tips with fellow moms who have also encountered problems like yours AND found some tips that actually work? Well, it’s time to do that!
Presenting the World Of Moms’ list of some of the BEST parenting tips shared by real moms just like you. Maybe you can finally find some answers to the trickiest parenting challenges ever!
Tips on Diapering
1. Use a Changing Platform
All of us have had days when we fnd ourselves running to find a place to keep our baby down, get wipes and a new set of diapers, and all the while, the little one is crying her lungs out! Mommy ABC suggested that you set up diapering stations at home so in case of a sudden accident, you can change your baby quickly minus the running around.
2. Distract Your Baby During Changing
If your baby squirms and throws a fit at every diaper changing session, do this: set up a mobile over the head and sing a song while you change him. A distracted baby is less likely to cry!
3. Wash Hands Before and After
Wash your hands before you touch your baby’s bottom as well as after. Your hands might contain a certain spice or a chemical that may cause irritation or burning. Use warm water to clean your baby’s bottom and clean every crease thoroughly before putting on the next diaper.
Tips on Nutrition
1. Store Healthy Food at Home
When it comes to nutrition, you need to decide what to feed your child. A child will eat what is in the house. If you choose to store sugary and processed foods, that’s what your child will choose over healthier foods. So the best way to get them to also choose healthy may be to only store healthy food in his line of vision!
2. Let Your Child Choose
While you as the mom get to pick what is bought, cooked and served at home, your child should also feel empowered. Let him choose what he would like out of those options. You can also ask him to choose how much he would like to eat. This one is a safe approach, because if you follow the first tip, your child will only pick from good food!
3. Involve Your Kids in the Cooking
When children see how food is prepared, they see not only how hard mumma works for them, but it also excites their creative little minds. Here’s what Khushbu Singh, a mom from Pune did to encourage her little one to eat – and it worked brilliantly!
“One fine day I took my child to kitchen asked her to roll the roti, which she did very messy but was happy. In a meantime I made a roti myself. I then asked her to watch me cook it well on tawa, and I cooked both my roti and hers. No wonder she was delighted. Similarly I asked her to help me with vegetables. And voila! Though not on table or high chair, we both sat on the kitchen platform and ate those roti dal and vegetables happily and that too she ate it with her own hands.From that day we started this on daily basis and made new things in kitchen with very funny shapes!”
4. No More” Finish all Your Food”
Let your child stop eating when they feel full. While this doesn’t mean you encourage wastage of food, the clean-plate approach may cause your child to overeat, and also lead to tummy problems. You can always make meals more frequent to stop them from going hungry.
5. Revamp the Menu
Let’s change our thought process from believing that kids will only love hot dogs, pizza, burgers and fried stuff. It’s time to experiment with healthier food that looks more interesting than the regular ghar ka khaana – who knows he might just love it! Check out the trick Sakshi Vij, a mommy from Haryana uses:
“My daughter loves tomato soup but does not like eating green veggies. So I mix them with tomatoes while boiling and make soup in the morning and store it for the day…So she demands it from her grandmother and drinks it, not without knowing the fact that all green veggies have been mixed along with tomato!”
6. Find an Alternate Way to Say I Love You
A lot of us tend to use food as a reward. But when this happens, your child may turn to food alone to deal with stressful situations or overwhelming emotions. This could lead to severe emotional, psychological and physical conditions later in life.
7. Limit TV Watching While Eating
Watching TV while eating is the biggest cause of digestion problems as well as useless snacking. Make meal-times about family, away from all technology.
Tips on Activities
1. Encourage Daily Exercise
Even if it is only a walk, encourage your child to develop a daily routine so that it becomes second nature to them. You can try out what mom Sumegha Katiyar from Mumbai did:
“My kid is only 1.5 year old but still he knows what mobile means! I followed some simple rules to cut down his mobile activity.:
1. Start spending more time to play with him, with his toys/coloring books/stacking games
2. Make a routine to go for morning & evening walk and playing in garden with him
3. I changed my mobile location from the usual one and keep the ringing volume in LOW mode
Now he forgets the mobile time without even knowing that he missed something in his routine activity!”
2. Follow Early to Bed
This age-old practice could never be wiser. An early sleeper and riser will naturally be more active.
3. Do these Things Together With Your Kids
Make activeness something you do with your child. Play catch, run on the beach or even just take a pet for a walk every day. This way you will bond with your child, stay fitter yourself and keep your kids healthy. This is much better than spending time on gadgets that are not only addictive but also harmful for the eyes. Mommy Shipra Trivedi from East Delhi has some amazing ideas for things you can do with your kids:
“1. I say “Vibhu let me tell you a story”. My son is big fan of stories, especially with picture books. I narrate him story with my face, hands and expressions. So at time I roar like a lion or bark like a dog 🙂 But I find him so interested in those stories.
2. We both mother and son see our photo albums together. I tell him who is who. Same question he asks every time but I see him interested in understanding his family members and how mumma – papa were looking on their wedding day.
3. We both do some activity like cleaning my fridge, wiping the plates and folding laundry. Yes, we both mother and son do cleaning activities. I tell him how to do it and with so much of efforts he does his best always. I feel kids always want to behave like elders so I use this trick to keep him engaged.”
Some additional tips to be a great parent this coming year
1. Don’t Clip Your Child’s Wings
You have dreams and goals for your child? Every mom does. But it is important to let your child choose and independently handle what they can to give them a good dose of self-esteem.
2. Don’t Feel Bad About Disciplining
Do not feel horrible about scolding your child. You are merely shaping their future by doing so. Mommy Shweta Ganesh Kumar from Kozhikode shares an incident that happened when she was a child, and highlights how we as parents need to balance discipline with gentleness. Being over strict is a bad idea, but so is not disciplining kids at all.
“There were five of us between the ages of nine to twelve and we were at a wedding. The bride and groom had stepped out of the Mandap to eat and the guests had dwindled. Seizing the opportunity, we pounced on the flowers decorating the stage, gaily pulling it off the strings they were tied to and scattering petals everywhere. We were caught up in the innocent exuberance of childhood. A cameraman who had left his open bag on the stage returned after eating his fill, to see his bag filled with petals. After a furious yell, he rushed off to find one of the grown-ups to complain to. Unfortunately for my cousin, it was his father that the photographer found. My uncle stormed back into the room and dragged my cousin into the backstage dressing room, where he was mercilessly beaten, while being yelled at.
He was denied many things, my cousin – all in the name of discipline and being strict. And as we grew, I saw him rebel, first in thought and then in action against his strict upbringing, even resulting in a complete estrangement with his family.”
3. Do Not Try to Fix all their Problems
Yes it is hard to not jump right in and protect your flesh and blood but sometimes it’s great to take a step back and let your kids find their own solutions so that someday in the future they can survive on their own.
4. Choose Your Battles
Your child will definitely tune out or shut you off if you argue with him about everything. Let go of smaller things like fashion choices or a one-off abusive language incident. Things that really matter are things that may harm him or other people in the future, like violence or lying.
5. Read to Your Child
Read to your child, start when he is an infant. This has known to develop language skills faster. Older children too benefit from reading. They develop a broader understanding of people’s characters and become more sensitive towards others.
6. Baby Proof Your House
We can never be too safe with our baby! This is why it is critical to babyproof your house especially when the tiny one starts crawling around. Mommy Namitha Venkatesh from Bengaluru has some excellent tips to do this:
“Watch out for electrical switch boards which generally babies tend to put their tiny fingers inside out of curiosity. If the switch boards are reachable like very close to the beds then kindly plaster the five pin board with red or black tape so that the babies will be unable to put their tiny fingers inside.
Also if you have glass table with sharp edges then its always better to move it aside so that the baby can play in the living room. Lock other rooms if no one is present during the day so that baby gets to crawl or walk only to the limited accessible area, it’s also easier for us to take care then. Also, in the kitchen area where we generally keep knives, scissors – all this must be baby proofed so that kids don’t try to explore these dangerous gadgets!”
7. Encourage Time with Daddy
Children who spend time with their fathers are better at problem-solving and generally are confident that they can handle the problems life throws at them.
8. Have a Daily Family Routine
The best memories from childhood are the everyday family times like a prayer at bedtime or a morning cuddle. Check out the family routine followed in the happiest country of the world – it is truly beautiful and worth copying!
9. Apologise When You are Wrong
When you make a mistake, apologise to your child so that they can follow suit when they goof up. Humbling yourself helps your child bond with you better. This way you are not a higher up, you are human too just like him.
10. Let Your Child Fail
Failure is the best way to learn, so let your child fail. The best experiences and the humblest people come from a history of failure. So don’t worry about the present day; think of the future
Whatever you choose to do, remember you are trying your best so never compare yourself to other moms. Do not stress about being a great mother, just keep loving your child the way you do and lead by example!