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December days: Parenting tips 
2014-12-12 (Fri) 14:54
shamrock
sphyg asked me for parenting tips. Um, in general I'm not very confident in my abilities as a parent so take all this with a very large pinch of salt to the effect that I don't always do this stuff very well!

The thing I probably found most difficult at first (aside from the whole sleep thing) was to stop being overprotective and let them make their own mistakes, just be around to make sure they don't actually hurt themselves too badly. Our younger two are pretty active so are always bouncing on and off things, and really they're better off for not being wrapped in cotton wool, but it took a while to stop panicking any time J climbed up on something higher than her head.

One thing I took on board from coming into B's life when he was five was that the adults around him had generally not talked down to him, but had rather spoken to him in largely adult vocabulary and let him catch up with that. This seems to be much healthier on the whole and I've tried to remember to do that with the younger two. Both J and A's vocabularies seem to be pretty good for their age now, perhaps as a result. (J's expletive of choice is "oh bother".)

I'm quite introverted and find it difficult spending long stretches with very extrovert children, so I find I have to seclude myself from time to time. I need to do better about remembering to come out again. :-)

I try to have time that I spend routinely specifically with the children (this is less of a problem for parents who aren't also in a full-time job). I used to take J to baby sign classes, and I now take her to football on Saturday mornings (coffeeeee) and to astronomy open evenings (brilliant fun and totally educational), and I really need to find something similar that I do with A now that he's gradually becoming a bit less insistent on absolutely being around ghoti at all times. And I often read to them at bedtime, when I try to remember the bit of child-psych information I picked up a while back to the effect that children absorb different kinds of information with successive readings of the same book, although it can be difficult to remember that on the nth repetition of a Peppa Pig book ...

This post is part of my December days series. Please prompt me!
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Comments 
2014-12-12 (Fri) 16:59 (UTC)
The thing I probably found most difficult at first (aside from the whole sleep thing) was to stop being overprotective and let them make their own mistakes, just be around to make sure they don't actually hurt themselves too badly.

Yes! One of the things I worry most about my early parenting of B is that I was bad at this and maybe that's why he's less physical than the others. But I think he's just like that to a certain extent.

Like, the first time he wanted to go on a tall slide, I had to take Jacob with me because I couldn't cope with letting him go 7' up.

I definitely think I'm a better parent to the two younger because I got better at this.
2014-12-13 (Sat) 10:01 (UTC)
Thanks, interesting and useful. E's new exclamation is "oh no!". I think we'll try to find more activities to do in the future.
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