7 tips to help new parents on their parenting journey
January 11, 2021 2:23 PM
Parenting is often like a rollercoaster ride. It is chock full of emotions – happiness, anxious moments, memorable and cherished ones, and even nostalgia.
Young children, especially toddlers, despite their superhuman learning abilities, have a very short attention span
By Raghav Himatsingka,
Parenting is often like a rollercoaster ride. It is chock full of emotions – happiness, anxious moments, memorable and cherished ones, and even nostalgia. The ups and downs of it hit you when you least expect it. Regardless of these emotions, the ultimate urge is to be a good parent and help your child become a smart, successful, and independent adult.
However, while there is no set benchmark of being a good parent, there are certain things you can do to ensure your parenting journey has a positive effect on your baby. But for new parents, the task that lies ahead of them can seem daunting. For that purpose, here are some effective tips for new parents to help them in their parenting journey.
Show confidence in your baby
More often than not, it turns out to be the parents who unconsciously set limitations on their child’s phenomenal learning abilities. Every baby is born with incredible capabilities that are unmatched by any adult on the planet. Your baby’s learning capacity is therefore only limited by your confidence in their abilities. So, always ensure that you display complete confidence in them, and you might just witness wonders.
Expose them to every opportunity possible
When teaching your child anything, it is crucial to focus on exposing them to a wide variety of opportunities and experiences rather than focussing on the accuracy of their learning abilities. For instance, if you are teaching your child the names of 100 animals, your child may learn 70 out of it and leave out 30. However, if you only teach them 20, they might learn the 20 thoroughly but won’t be aware of the rest of them, thereby not getting the opportunity required to learn more. So, aim to offer them a large range of experiences and present them with numerous opportunities. This will help them choose for themselves, the one they are most interested in.
Keep lessons succinct
Young children, especially toddlers, despite their superhuman learning abilities, have a very short attention span. For example, if you present them with an activity, they may often abandon this and move to the next one despite displaying an interest in it mere minutes ago. This doesn’t mean that they no longer enjoy it – rather, it simply reflects their fluctuating attention span, making it necessary to keep lessons succinct. Their attention span may vary, and they might even be engrossed in a particular activity for 20 minutes.
Set your expectations aside
In most instances, new parents have dreams of their own for their child and tend to try and shape them into their ideologies and expect their babies to fulfill their dreams. But a child isn’t born to be sculpted into anyone else’s idea of success. To help your child become a successful adult capable of navigating through life on their own terms, it’s important to set aside your expectations. For instance, if you have an activity planned for your child for an hour, the child may or may not engage in it for the same amount of time. This has nothing to do with your parenting skills or the child’s enjoyment in said activity so refrain from burdening them with your expectations.
As mentioned earlier, babies have short attention spans, making it fairly easier to get bored as compared to an adult. Even as adults, we tend to become bored with repetitive things in life, so for a young child, it becomes more boring. Steer clear of repeating activities too often as this may bore them immensely and even result in them actively avoiding it.
Avoid screen time
One of the most common mistakes new age parents are prone to making is exposing their babies to screen time. Especially with technological advancement, it only appears easier to help your baby learn with the help of a gadget. While cartoons and other moving animations may be colorful and engaging for them to view, it may have a detrimental effect on your baby, particularly their communicating abilities, apart from limiting their imagination and thinking capability. So, ensure you avoid exposing them to any screen time to preserve their incredible abilities and shape them into smart individuals.
Teach them something new every day
The popular saying ‘every day is a new learning’ is true. Even as adults, we often learn something new every day. Dedicating a few minutes to teach your baby something new each day can have a marvelous effect on them and keep their minds active. Whether it is a physical activity, a creative task, a few words in a new language, or music, ensure you teach them new things each day.
Shaping your child into an individual who can live life on their own terms and choose to excel in a field of their interest is in your hands. As new parents, simply offering them the gentle guidance they need to do that just as mentioned above can go a long way in honing your baby’s abilities and help them become successful adults.
(The author is Founder, The Raising Superstars. Views expressed are personal.)