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Basic Parenting for Beginners

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Bravus, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. So, there seem to be a fair few baby Netriders being born at the moment. Inspired by the horrible story someone told in one of the threads about a so-called mother who referred to her child uniformly as 'little turd', including to its face, I thought it might be fun to start a thread where those of us with a bit of experience at this whole parenting thing can share some of what we've learned. Meant to be helpful, friendly, fun and take-it-or-leave it, not condescending.

    In terms of my own cred, my two daughters are 14 and 17 now and an absolute joy to be around, for other people as well as for us. That feels like some kind of success.

    First tip I have to offer: be happy to see them. Always. We always say good morning, hug them when they come home or we do, smile at them when they come into the room. Just feeling that warmth from birth has to be great for a kid. Sometimes you're tired or stressed, but that's not their fault: let them know you want them around.

    I credit that for the fact that our kids still want us around now they're teenagers.
  2. Don't stress the little things - especially new parents!!

    I had an almost 4 year old when the twins came along - you can't worry about the little crappy things with two demanding babies, so -

    Don't worry if the house isn't perfect when people come over, if they offer to help, get them to wash up or hang out the washing!
    Don't worry if they spit up on clean clothes just before you go out - cover it with a bib!!
    Don't worry if you find you forgot to tighten the seat-belt when you get home - you got there safely, and you'll never forget again!

    Most of all - chill out and don't worry what other people think, if you feel it's the right thing to do, or way to do something, it probably is!!

    Most important thing of all, take the time to watch your little miracle - when they are dreaming, or they work out they have fingers, or giggle when you play peek-a-boo - these are the things you'll remember and think about when they start to grow!
  3. Jeez I have four kids and they also seem fairly normal, I can give only two peices of advice.

    1: Take LOTS of photos the little buggers change everyday!
    2: Love them and take time to LISTEN to them!

    The rest you make up as you go :LOL:
  4. 1. Do what feels right
    2. Make them feel loved
    3. You will make mistakes
    4. Dont hire babysitters from Moe or Myrtleford
  5. My advice would be if you can go private for the birth, then do it. A good friend just gave birth in St. Vincent's Private. After 2 nights in the normal birthing ward, everything was going smoothly, so they got transferred to a room at the Park Hyatt for 2 nights. The big private hospitals book out rooms at the top hotels to take their overflow. They had ALL the benefits of a gorgeous hotel room, as well as a midwife on call. Now that's the way to start out in life.
  6. Be consistent.
    Do what you tell them you are going to do. Always.

    Be consistent, even if you're a wavering, indecisive jelly-back - like me.

    Routine is your friend. Get used to it, for your own sanity.

    Even if you crack the sh*ts with them, don't blow your top. It doesn't help in the slightest. The little buggas love to get a reaction. Just carry through with whatever rules or rewards you have set.

    Set the boundaries early, and don't move them. Get advice if you're not sure what they should be.

    Teach them to laugh and smile (I mean this quite literally, from day one), It'll come in handy.

    Write down the amazing stuff they say. It's fantastic to read even a year or two later.

    Be consistent.

    BTW, Bravus, thank you for being the FIRST PERSON I have ever heard say that the teenage years don't have to be sheer hell!
  7. Kids learn through play - play is a great way to bond.

    Time lost with your children can never be regained. Your kids will remember all the times you played with them at the park when your older, I doubt they'll remember that the house was tidy and that they got driven around in a flash car.
  8. OH one more thing, Hugs lots of hugs! yes even for the boys. :grin:
  9. Sound advice here



  10. The public hospitals do this too (occasionally). But usually only if there's a reason, like the mum is having trouble feeding or something :)wink: hint). Apparently it's cheaper than opening more beds.
  11. Don't be scared to use corporal punishment.
    Keep in mind however:
    The punishment has to be IMMEDIATE or not at all.
    The child has to understand WHY they are being punished or not at all.
    Corporal punishment does not mean lashing out because you are frustrated.

    Personally I've found a quick smack across the back of the hand to be 100x more effective than taking away a toy or sending them to their rooms.
  12. Yep, although that's a controversial one, it was a rare but important part of our repertoire, and seems to have worked out OK.

    I guess two more quick ones from me:

    1. People are more important than stuff. If you hear a 'Crash!' from another room, saying 'Are you OK?' before you say 'What did you break!' is important. The plate or whatever it is, won't be with you in your old age but hopefully your kids will. (Doesn't mean you don't tell them off if they break something carelessly or intentionally, but still, people are more important than stuff.)

    2. Tell them *why*. I may have mentioned this example before here: If they start running in the supermarket and you just tell them "Don't!", that works for there (maybe!), but they don't know why. If you tell them "Don't run inside because you might crash into someone and hurt them", then you have equipped them to later decide for themselves not to run on a crowded footpath outside for the same reason. And to realise that other people's rights and needs are important to a good person. If they understand *why* manners and courtesy are important, then it's more than a formality, it's something that makes living in the world better.
  13. Great thread Bravus.

    Ok, I'm not a parent, but I've observed many and one common thing I've noticed is that it's good to praise and reward a childs efforts at doing something, not only just rewarding them if there's a successful outcome.
  14. For those with the "other type" of teenager, my advice is ...... don't take anything they may say or do personally - even if you feel like your guts have just been ripped out.

    Be consistent, let them know they're loved, keep giving them hugs and above all make sure they realise you are there for them no matter what.

    The most important thing for children is that they feel loved and they feel safe - if you can achieve that, you're most of the way there.
  15. Yeah, that's excellent advice. And I hope what I said didn't feel like my wife and I were taking all the credit - we know we've been lucky too, and that people who are fantastic parents sometimes still go through some pretty hellish times with their teenagers. Still, having (a) given them lots of love, affection and support and (b) instilled those basic values of respect, honesty, kindness, courtesy and courage, means that the teens will eventually come out of it!
  16. I know this might have been posted before in Jokes, but I think this is good advice anyway:

    Preparing for parenthood

    1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After nine months, take out 10% of the beans.

    Men: to prepare for paternity, go to the local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet on to the counter and tell the assistant to help herself. Then go to the supermarket and arrange to have your salary paid directly to its head office.

    2. To find out how the nights will feel, walk round the sitting room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing 8-12lbs. At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to bed. Get up at 12am and walk round the sitting room with the bag till 1am. Set the alarm for 3am. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2.45. Get up when the alarm goes off at 3am. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Set the alarm for 5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

    3. Hollow out a melon and make a small hole in the side roughly the size of a golf ball. With a piece of string, suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Weetabix and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by pretending to be an aeroplane. Continue until half the Weetabix is gone. Tip the rest into your lap. You are now ready to feed a 12month old baby. To prepare for toddlers, smear Marmite on the sofa and jam on all the curtains. Hide a fishfinger behind the stereo and leave for a couple of months.

    4. Dressing small children isn't as easy as it seems. First buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus in the bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this: all morning.

    5. Forget the sports car and buy a Volvo. And don't think you can leave it out on the drive, spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. Buy a chocolate ice-cream and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Jam a 50p piece into the cassette player. Mash a family- sized pack of chocolate biscuits down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There, perfect.

    6. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the lavatory for half an hour. Go out of the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again and walk down the front path. Walk back up. Walk down again. Walk very slowly along the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette end, piece of chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had about as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you. You are now ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

    7. Go to the supermarket, taking with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child - a fully grown goat is ideal. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Do your weeks shopping without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy.

    8. Learn the names of every character from Teletubbies or Power Rangers. When you find yourself singing 'Postman Pat' in the bath, you qualify as a parent.

    9. Always repeat everything you say at least 5 times.

    10. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience and how they allow their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, potty- training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it - it'll be the last time in your life you have all the answers.
  17. Head off to the video store & hire the Bill Cosby movie simply titled "Himself". I think. Plenty of good parenting tips there :LOL: :LOL:
  18. I think the previous posters have covered all the good stuff, so I'll just add a few light hearted but genuine observations.

    The first nappy change under field conditions will test your resourcefullness and dexterity to the limit. Bonus points will be awarded if the bowel movement was sufficiently explosive that traces have reached the hairline (yours or the child's :grin: ).

    A baby sling, even one with quick release catches, can't be removed quite quickly enough when gurglings and belchings from below indicate that there's a chunder on the way.

    However, you will find that vomit is less unpleasant to wear than you might expect (though still not something I'd do voluntarily).

    Toddlers can always reach six inches further/higher than you think they can.

    As corollaries to the above, a pair of spectacles can almost be straightened out after being tied into a reef knot, and an ATM card will continue to work even with added chew marks.

    No matter how desperate you are for that extra sleep, never ignore either silence or unexplained noises. Your child will be sitting in a puddle of sesame oil whilst smearing a pound of butter over everything within reach.

    It's helpful if you can convince your toddler that you can see through walls.

    When you can watch your child chew a lemon, hand it to the dog which then chews it for a few minutes before passing it back to the child, who repeats the process, and merely think it's wonderful how they've bonded, you've developed the necessary relaxed attitude to hygeine. As a bonus, your kid will have a fantastic immune system.

    Reins get you some odd looks, but are great for (a) keeping track of a toddler and (b) providing vertical support during the learning to walk process. For greater freedom (and even more disapproving looks), attach one of those retractable dog leads to the harness.
  19. dont teach them how to use a laptop, or a remote control!
  20. By "teach" you mean "allow them to witness you using" right?

    My 4 year old will drag around furniture in order to get into the freezer and pull out food which she will then put in the microwave.
    The first the wife and I know about it is the BEEP BEEP when the microwave finishes.

    Of course when you ask her to do something which you know she definately can ("open the door for me honey") it's all "I'm only a baby, I can't do that!".