How do you keep your children close to you from babyhood to adulthood? It is possible, you just need the right approach and philosophy…………………Every Day

How do you know if you have got it right with your children? How do you judge if you are a successful parent as you watch your child grow up? What mistakes and pitfalls can you avoid and what ones are inevitable? These questions and many more are always in the mind of you as a parent. What you do know is that you want to be the best parent possible to your child.

So where do you start? Right at the beginning, as soon as your child is able to communicate with you. This is the door through which you must walk with your child and never let it close on you. Open communication between you as your child grows up, will allow you to overcome virtually every problem that presents itself to you. In fact even before issues become problems.

As a parent, never have any subject which cannot be discussed openly by you and your child, however uncomfortable it is for you. Strategies like always having a special time of the day when you talk about what has gone on, for both you and your child, will really work. This could be at supper time, or when you child is in bed, or those tender moments just before going to bed. You will find that this lays the foundation for a very strong relationship as your child grows up, and will make your bond together unshakeable.

At these special times, you also need to be telling your child your daily challenges as he needs to be able to relate and understand your world. Of course you need to tailor what you say depending on his age. You say your bit and encourage him to say whatever he wants to. You will be amazed at what you learn. The conversations will change as your child grows older, but will always be open and frank. Those key links you build together will always work whether your child is 2 or 22.

It is really worth making the effort on this, and you and your child will have created a bond which will help you both, and enhance your relationship together for the rest of your lives.

How can you as a Dad, improve the general quality of life at home when you have a demanding Toddler tiring your partner out? It is possible and there is a special benefit as well!

This is always a challenge for young parents when you have Toddlers in the household, but a little extra effort can reap dividends for you both. Even if you are exhausted when you arrive home from work, and you feel you don’t have enough energy to have a little playtime with your child, force yourself to make that extra special effort.

Always say hello to your child, wherever he is in the house and listen attentively to what he has to say to you about his day. It will be time very well spent. He will always want to greet you when you have been away, even if only for a few hours and he will remember the effort you have made for him for many years to come.

It will also give your partner a break, which she will really appreciate and recognise the effort you have made. Even though she knows you are very tired from being out all day, the fact that you have made that special effort to relieve her, will help improve your relationship together. It will give her instant relief from the pressure of children, and it will definitely improve your sex life.

This may seem like a wild claim, but as she will be far more relaxed when she goes to bed, it will definitely be more rewarding than if she is exhausted. It’s a bit like knocking over a set of dominoes. You relieve the pressure on her, she spends time on herself, she relaxes, you get tired from playing with your Toddler, you need relaxing, she spends time on you, you feel better, she feels better……it’s a win/win situation……

What is the most enjoyable period for you during your child’s growing up years?

When you have your first child, everything is brand new from when she is born to when she leaves home. You experience everything first with your eldest. But if you have more than one child, it is only then that you can then start to evaluate what period of your children’s lives is the most enjoyable for you as a Father.

For me, and many dads I have spoken to, this a very interesting question, as sometimes it appears that your child’s growing up years seem to go by all too quickly. All you can then do is look back and say “that was good”, or “I didn’t particularly like that”, without really appreciating it fully. So when do you really have a chance to look at which part of your child’s development is the most enjoyable experience for you?

You might think the joy of having a new born is the most enjoyable, as everything is new, and you are learning literally, every day. Or when your child becomes a Toddler. He is so sweet, apart from those ‘terrible two’s’ tantrums. But hey, they are not too frequent are they? Or it could be the Primary School years, pre-puberty, when you are the ‘apple of your child’s eye’. Then again is it the Teenage years? Probably not, as your child is changing so much physically and mentally, unless you love to see how she handles these challenges and still remains reasonable.

Then when they finish Secondary School and are officially adults, at least in age. Maybe you can start to discuss rationally with them, now they are going off to University or going out to work. Or is the final stage of childhood the most enjoyable for you, when they leave home, but still need you as an advisor or confidante?

When do you think the best period is then? I think it is actually all of them, each part of their growing up period is different, as each child is and therefore your child will react and respond to you in a different way at whatever stage of his life he is at. So you should make the most of whatever period your child is in and enjoy it to the full with him, even if you have to handle the odd sleepless night, sudden tantrum, or unexpected and unwarranted teenage explosion. Every part of their childhood is enjoyable, but like many things you live through in life, sometimes you don’t always realise it while it is happening.

 

Is it possible to treat all your children equally, or do you favour one of them?

This is a very tricky question to answer, because all children are different. No one size fits all, so what is right for one child is not necessarily right for another. Maybe your eldest child is very sensitive and your youngest is very tough, so how do you approach them when you need to reprimand them?

Maybe you have to adopt a softer line with the more sensitive child, and be more severe with your youngest, but then you can be accused of favouring your oldest. But of course you are not. It is completely normal that you might empathise more with one of your children, particularly if he has a complimentary character to yours, but this is not to be confused with favouritism. You are managing the situation with different strategies for each child.

So long as you avoid giving things to one child and not to the other, then you are certainly treating them all equally. It is of course possible to give something to one of them and something different to the others, but make sure they all get something which is interpreted as fair for everyone. If for example you take one child on vacation with you, and leave the other at home with grandparents, then this is definitely not fair and would certainly be showing favouritism towards one over the other. The problem would then be that you create jealousy between your children, and resentment towards each other. If you can’t take them all, then you shouldn’t take any of them.

Favouritism is to be avoided at all costs, as if you want your children to grow up and get on with each other when they are adults, then you have to be careful not to create resentment and jealousy between them when they are youngsters.

 

Please help me get my book published

Hi to all my Followers, I hope you are enjoying my Blog, I love writing about my experiences with Fatherhood, and hopefully you like hearing about them. I am inspired that so many of you care about the importance of a truly involved Dad.

Since I started my Blog, I have been writing a book which will be called the same title, ‘Help I’m a Father’ and recently I finally finished the manuscript. I am now pitching it to Publishers, and some of them have been very positive about it, and have asked that I try to get my Blog Followers and Viewers up before they agree to publish it.

So I would like to ask you all a favour. Could you please let all your contacts online know about my Blog and encourage them to Follow it and view my posts. I know it may seem like a strange request, but it really would help me to get my book published. If you could share it on your social media pages, it would also really be appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Mark

 

How can you stop your children from constantly fighting with each other?

It doesn’t matter whether your children are Toddlers or Teenagers, they will always try to test themselves against their siblings. Finding out who is the strongest, the most dominant and the smartest, is the natural way, and is an integral part of their childhood. As they grow older, until they are adults, they will continue to test themselves against each other. But this can be very tiring on you. So what can you do to lessen the stress?

Throughout your children’s upbringing, you have been able to use distraction, and it has worked on very many occasions to get you out of awkward situations. Whether it was your Toddler sulking, throwing a tantrum or refusing to eat. It will still work, irrespective of how old they are, and is one of the best strategies you can use as a parent. So when they start fighting, this should be your primary weapon against it.

Distracting them could be you telling a silly joke, or suddenly making a really loud noise, but try to resist the urge to start screaming and shouting. What you really need to do is to catch their attention. Break their concentration on what they are doing, so they forget what they were bickering about, in this case fighting. It will soon blow over, calm will be restored and your nerves can relax again…………….until the next time. Don’t we just love our children!

How do I react and behave while my baby is being born?

One of the most moving, emotional and significant moments of you and your partner’s lives, is the birth of your child. Nothing can prepare you as a Dad, for the arrival of this new being into the world. It is so emotionally charged, that there is a real risk that reason goes out of the window.

This is where your role as a father can be vital. Although you are not actually giving birth, your role is absolutely key to it all going well. Your partner will be in extreme pain, as well as not thinking very straight while your child is being born, so it is imperative that you try to remain calm.

She will say and do things, some of which may shock you and that you have never seen before, but don’t worry, you have the key tool, to help you both manage during this very highly charged event. Of course the midwife is very important, and will guide you both, but don’t forget the Birth Plan you and your partner decided on. Remember this was formulated in the cold light of day. This should be be your guide book, unless there is a medical emergency, in which case, of course, you must follow the doctor’s advice.

When you were planning for this moment, you and your partner will have decided what pain relief she would use, and so it is very important that you stick to this, despite anything she says during the actual childbirth. She will thank you afterwards, even if in the moment she is screaming at you. At times you will be tempted to throw your carefully thought out plan out the window, because your partner will be so uncomfortable.

When you decided it together, you reassured your partner that you were in this together, and now is when you can prove this to her. She will really appreciate this when you and your new born baby get back home.

 

When should you start setting your child goals?

Setting yourself objectives and understanding that there are rewards when you achieve them, is an important part of growing up. The question is when should you start teaching your child about them.

Sometimes you have to achieve those objectives before someone else manages to. Life is competitive, whether it is at school, or on the football field, or even amongst siblings, so achieving is a vital skill to learn for a young child.

You should start setting your child goals, as soon as she is able to understand the concept of rewards, which is usually once she starts to walk. You can start with little objectives such as eating all her food at supper earns her a nice yoghurt as dessert. Or if she puts all her toys away at the end of each day, she will get an extra five minutes in the bath.

A lot of these initial ones are instinctive for your child, such as walking across the room to get the toy. And it is your role to explain to your child why the reward comes after the effort. This is very relevant as the objectives become more challenging.

As she grows a little older, you will need to make sure that the goals you set her and that she sets herself, are actually achievable. This is very important, as she needs to feel a good sense of achievement, which will give her the confidence in her own ability. She will learn that reaching goals produces benefits, and this will set her up for life.

Do young children need to be taught how to get on with pets?

Part of growing up and passing through childhood is understanding how to deal with social relationships. But should these relationships be restricted purely to other children and adults?

A lot of children have a fear of animals, and in particular dogs, and potentially this could come back and bite them (quite literally) when they get older. If your child does not know how to  behave around dogs, and doesn’t feel comfortable and confident, the dog will sense this, and something unexpected may happen.

You can start to familiarise your child with dogs at a very early age. If you have a family pet, this can be from the moment your baby comes home from the hospital.

When you arrive home with your new arrival, place him in the middle of your lounge in his carry seat, and call your dog over. This will be good for the dog, and avoid him being jealous, and make him see your baby as a friend and not a threat. It will also be good for your baby as he will immediately get used to being around your pet.

If you do not have a family dog, when you meet other peoples dogs, encourage your child to stroke them and throw a ball for them. Your child will love it, the dog will love it, and your child will be learning how to interact with another living being who is not human.

He will be learning that the dynamic between humans and dogs is different to that which he has with you and other people. Of course always be careful what breed of dog it is, and how well you know the owners. But if the dog is loved and well trained, it will be fine and you will be helping your child with his relationship interaction skills for the rest of his life.

 

 

Get involved before your baby is born.

The bonding process with your child begins before he is born, it shouldn’t wait till he actually arrives in this world. Despite your partner experiencing your child developing and growing inside her, you can also lead a full part during these months before the birth.

As soon as you can start to see ‘the bump’ getting bigger, you can start interacting with your baby. He will be able to hear your voice, and feel you touching him through the walls of your partner’s tummy, for a few months before he is born. Your partner will also love you doing this, as at times she may feel she is doing it all alone. Even if this is not the case.

When your partner is lying down on the sofa, or the bed, take the opportunity while she is relaxed, to stroke your baby, and talk to him. You can put your ear next to him, and listen to any gurgles in your partner’s tummy. They may not actually be your baby, but it will feel good for your partner anyway. You can gently prod him and feel him move, and feel certain parts of his body. You can even guess with your partner what part of his body you are touching.

It will be a very satisfying and intimate time together for the two of you which you will both enjoy. You will also be starting to get used to the idea that there will be three of you shortly, not just the two of you. So take the opportunity to be involved right from the very start, you will be amazed.