Being a parent is a long journey that has plenty of good times and bad times. Since you are reading this article, it’s likely that you’ve encountered a few bumps and are looking for a smoother being a parent ride. After reading through the information that is provided to you here, make an effort to evaluate each one individually and determine whether they may be of use to you as a parent.

Although you do need to spend lots of time with the kids, you also need to make time for yourself. Taking that little bit of time for yourself can really help to recharge your batteries, and also help you discover who you are outside of your parental role.

You should always consider what sort of lessons you are imparting to your children. Your children need to know that they are able to trust you.

TIP! Ask your child to lay on your kitchen counter and wash his or her hair in the sink. This should make your child more comfortable with getting his head and hair wet.

Preschool children often have difficulty in dealing with transitions. Switching from one activity to another can cause a child a great deal of duress and can result in temper tantrums.

No baby or toddler should ever drink soda of any kind. Try sticking with drinks that provide your baby with vitamins or nutrients, such as warm or cold milk, sugar-free juices, and water.

If you take your child on a trip, keep routines as similar as possible by eating and sleeping in the same way, at around the same times as normal. Traveling can be scary and stressful for young children. When you keep them in their proper bedtime routines and mealtimes, you will help them adjust better to the different environments they are in. This will keep them happy so you can relax and get the sleep you need and they need as well.

TIP! Parents with teenagers should try to abstain from forcing their own preferences for college; letting the child decide what to do will make the teenager both happy, and responsible for their own mistake, if they believe it is one later on. When teenagers feel pressured and controlled, they will often times rebel and do the opposite of what they are supposed to.

When traveling long distances with young kids, be sure to stop and take lots of breaks. As tempting as it may be to drive straight through to your destination, taking little breaks can really make the ride more pleasant for kids and the adults alike. Allow your kids to burn off that extra energy by stopping at parks, family-friendly restaurants and outdoor play areas.

Extracurricular activities like sports teams or clubs are important for childhood development. Participating in these activities cultivates your child’s social skills and allows him or her to make friends. The benefits of this process stretch right up into and throughout adulthood. In addition, by encouraging these positive activities, it will keep them away from the negative ones.

Infants and toddlers should not consume soda, diet or otherwise. Only give your children foods and drinks that will provide nutrients, vitamins and minerals that they need to learn and grow.

TIP! Establishing clear rules stated in positive language for family members to follow can be quite helpful in reducing conflict and helping your kids get along. For instance, instead of saying “no hitting” as a rule, you can reposition it as “always be gentle when touching”.

One way to help your child build up his self-esteem is by encouraging him to join team sports. Giving your support and encouragement at your children’s athletic activities gives them a foundation of fond memories and builds character for a lifetime.

Take junk food out of the house. This will help encourage your family to eat healthier. A child will not be interested in unhealthy foods if they are not readily available. Try reserving these special treats for events like Halloween and Christmas.

When you are a parent, it’s really important to take care of yourself. No matter how busy your day is, be sure to take a few minutes for yourself to get your energy back. Your children will feel happier if you are feeling your best as you care for them.

TIP! If you plan to travel with preschoolers or toddlers, bring along familiar comforting items. Vacations are supposed to be fun, but a young child may view them as a disruption of his world.

Kids are crazy for playing. Playtime is more than entertainment; it is something that children truly need. However, good being a parent involves more than letting your children run around.

You should give your children a set of rules to follow. It is important that they understand the consequences for not following the expectations that have been established. Children gain a sense of security and love when they have limits and boundaries set forth by loving parents. Children need boundaries, and setting them will help you to be a more effective parent.

Don’t keep junk food at home, where it might tempt your young child to eat it or beg you for it. Your child probably won’t ask for junk food if you don’t have any around. You don’t have to ban them for good, but try to save them for special occasions or holidays.

TIP! For children, playing is in their nature. They need playtime.

When trying to prepare your child for bedtime, always keep the same routine. With a proper routine, your child will connect bedtime with sleeping. Once he brushes his teeth, puts on his pajamas and then hears a bedtime story, he will know that sleeping will follow. Your child won’t be as likely to rebel against going to bed if he expects it as part of his nightly routine.

When potty training a toddler, be sure you walk him to the “potty” regularly. Toddlers are not always aware of the need to use the restroom, and many times they only inform you after the fact. Prevent or minimize accidents by accompanying your toddler to the restroom every few hours. This will remind him that he may need to use the bathroom.

It is important that you keep to a routine each night when getting your child ready for bed. Routines during bedtime will help your child mentally prepare for sleeping. It is extremely helpful for your son or daughter to associate pajamas, tooth brushing and storytelling with subsequent sleep. When your child knows what will come afterward, he will give you less resistance.

TIP! Do you have difficulty trying to calm your baby? Try rubbing a little lavender on your neck before you hold the baby. Your child should find this smell very soothing.

A great way to teach your children about managing bullying is to have open and honest conversations with them about it. Research your local school’s policies and educate your children to ask for help from available adults during school hours.

One of the best ways to do this, is to start contributing to a 529 Plan. These savings plans are run by the state and are meant to help people save for college. These provide tax benefits too.

These sorts of routines let you partition your day into specific times, including time for meals, time for homework, and time for bed. This lets the child know when to do what. Creating and following routines helps your child become well-adjusted and well-behaved.

TIP! To assist your children in handling bullies, one of the most effective approaches is discussing this with your children and sharing what you have gone through. Contact the school to see if they have any resources to help you, and let your child know who they can talk to at school.

Knowing as much as you can goes a long way. Most teachers like to keep parents in the loop, and have parents involved in what’s happening. Because of this, you have no excuse to keep abreast of your child’s school activities.

If you are having a second child soon, know that you will spend quite a bit of time choosing one child over the other during the first year. Typically whichever child cries at the highest pitch will get immediate attention. Understanding this will alleviate some of the guilt you may feel when you chose one child over the other.

One great way to start saving for college early is by contributing to a tax-deferred 529 educational savings plan. This type of savings plan is state-operated and is intended to make it easier to save money for college. There are also tax benefits that are involved with it.

TIP! Attention parents of toddlers! While it can be very difficult to teach toddlers to be patient, it is important for their healthy development to learn that they are not the only people in the world. If your child is out of control, give them some time out or tell them off.

Take a less domineering approach with your children and guide them towards what you think they should be doing. A child laboring under a lot of restrictive rules is one who is likely to feel powerless, and therefore, contrary. If you talk about the good things they can do, your children will approach these choices positively.

Surely, the information presented here can help you become a better parent. If you make use of this advice, you will start to develop the kind of parent-child relationship you’ve always wanted. Allow this knowledge to increase the quality of time with your child.

Teaching your child organization skills will be easier if you offer specific areas for his belongings. Your child’s things will end up everywhere unless he or she knows where those things are supposed to go. Showing a child how to put his or her toys away is important. After you show them where things go, they will be able to put them away when they are done playing.

TIP! Try telling your children the right thing to do instead of what they should not do. When children are told often that they aren’t allowed to do things, it makes them feel as though their freedom is stifled.

Filed under: Parenting