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Parenting 101 — Tips for raising your child responsibly and successfully
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Today, there are countless articles, books and blogs on every little parenting topic. That’s good because you might find some non-toxic mud pants and uplifting words during stressful times. Sometimes, though, it’s bound to be pretty overwhelming. Then there are the social networks, which create an image for us from snapshots of others that so rarely if ever exists in real life. Of course, Instagram isn’t always just the much-vaunted inspiration, but can also put a lot of pressure on parents on some days. Just like the “super mom” from the toddler group after her own sleepless baby night.

5 (weird) parenting milestones you’ll never forget

When your baby utters a clear “Mommy” for the first time, when he or she beams at you, when your child goes to school alone for the first time … then, yes, that’s when we might cry with emotion and parental happiness: gosh, how time flies!

And then there are those other “first times” when you are close to tears for completely different reasons. In other words, the events in everyday life with a child that are less pleasant or sometimes even embarrassing. Much like the following milestones of a special kind …

1st milestone of parenthood you will never forget: the first changed diaper

Even if at some point it becomes quite normal to ponder the child’s digestive activities in public, or to change the diaper in record time: The first full diaper remains especially memorable. Perhaps also because we are still a little overwhelmed.

And yet, for many mothers and fathers, curiosity is greater than disgust. At the latest when the baby starts eating solid food, the bowel movements change – and we are just happy to see it “running”. Well, caught? No problem, we’ve all been there!

2nd milestone of parenthood you’ll never forget: the first time it’s “Ew, Mom: no kissing, please!”

One day it’s time: kissing and hugging are forbidden! Every affectionate gesture is suddenly embarrassing and (watch out!) uncool. Phew, this rejection can make us parents feel quite insecure. And why are we suddenly uncool? Before, we were the number one all-knowing contact point…?

But at this very moment, we can actually be proud of our offspring. He’s cutting the cord and wants to grow up. Being a parent also means being able to let go at certain moments. Maybe you can already do the tender farewell ritual at home?

3rd milestone of parenthood that you’ll never forget: the first fight on the playground that you have to settle – because it’s your child’s fault.

Usually it’s always the other kids, but eventually it comes: the dreaded moment when you have to realize that your own child can be a real bitch, too. Everyone looks at your offspring as if he were a little monster. And if you’re completely honest, that’s what he was at that moment. Now it’s up to mom to answer for her child’s behavior (pssst: could happen far from the playground age throughout life!). A moment when we have to rise above ourselves ….

4th milestone of parenthood you’ll never forget: The first why phase.

“Mamaaa, why is that woman over there so diiick!”: Awkward questions in public – yes, these are those situations in which we would prefer to sink into the ground. Preferably on the bus, in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, at the supermarket checkout. Well, it can happen that you are speechless. How do you get out of it? You don’t! But at least this scene gives you one of the special milestones of parenthood …

The 5th milestone of parenthood that you will never forget: The first time your child wants to surprise you – for example, with a great painting on the whitewashed wall of your room.

“Mom, look: I made this just for you!” the offspring proudly reports, pointing to a stick figure made of finger paints on the white wall of the rented apartment. Chapeau to all the mothers who at this moment can still manage a “Wow, great! Ah, it’s never boring with children …

“I’m a mother,” a woman in her forties once said to me, “I have no idea what that actually means and how I’ve done it all these past twenty years.”

Isn’t that exciting?

There we are waiting until doomsday to have children because we don’t feel ready. Suddenly, the little ones are out of the house and we feel like we don’t even know where our heads are anymore after a year-long full wash. The main thing is that everything is still in place for the child, we think after this roller coaster ride, hoping that no one will notice that we weren’t actually qualified for the job.

Indeed, a thought that takes some getting used to – we live in a society that values certificates and education, indeed, our own perceived value is often based on our qualifications. And then there is the most important job of all, which ensures the purely biological survival of mankind, for which there is no single training – there we must probably rely on some advisors and our instinct – and the many therapy offers, which are supposed to fix in adulthood what the parents screwed up.

So how does it work with being a parent? When am I ready to bring a child into the world? What do I need? Is the basis a secure job- or is it even a requirement? Do I need to be at least 80% self-reflective, have the right partner(s) or have inwardly detached myself from my parents? Savings in the bank, a house of my own, an education in the educational field or just a positive attitude towards life?

Here’s some input for further pondering-because as a mother of soon to be three children, I don’t have a definitive answer either. All I know is that I wasn’t ready for my first child, and now I’m not ready for my third.

Every child is different and every experience is completely new- back then I never had a first child and now I’ve never had three children, I’ve never done this before, so how am I supposed to know how?

If I ask ten families with three children, I’ll get ten different answers. My third child is completely different from the third child of the Becker family. And above all, I myself am completely different from every other parent in the world. I have my own story with my own triggers, hurts and successes.

I only know one thing: What you need is courage. Courage to get up every single day and say, I have no idea what’s coming, but I’m getting up today. At the core, it is the fear of pure life that paralyzes us. No one can predict which of my skills my child will need to grow up healthy inside and also out. There are a few basics, of course, but we humans are so much more complex.

“I’m not ready,” you may say as the child grows inside you. “I’m not ready,” you think when the child enters elementary school. “I’m not ready yet,” you scream back inside when he yells at you that he hates you during puberty. And “I’m not ready,” you cry when it leaves the house.

Being ready in advance for something you’ve never done before is, at its core, almost impossible.

We are left with only one person from whom we can learn to become ready: The child itself.

Every new day it changes – and you change with it. This constant movement is what you are allowed to get involved with in life.

First time parenting common questions and answers

For a first time parent, having an infant in the house can be a very confusing and difficult time. You have to do all the things that you do with your infant with the utmost level of care, and most parents worry endlessly about their young child. In this article, we’ll work towards helping make the job of raising your toddler easier by helping you to learn about some of the normal behaviors of a toddler and the things that you should do to keep them safe and happy.

Question: How long should I wait before I start letting my infant play with other children?

Answer: While it varies from child to child, most children aren’t really ready to begin playing with others until they reach roughly the age of 3 or 4. Before this age, children are usually unable to grasp the concept of sharing very well, which can be a major roadblock when it comes to playing with others. Having an older sibling in the house can be very helpful when it comes to helping your child to acclimate themselves to normal social behavior.

Question: My toddler won’t let me go anywhere without them without screaming bloody murder. Is this a normal type of behavior for a toddler?

Answer: Many toddlers tend to cling to their parents on a regular basis, as it is a part of the bonding process that they are beginning to move through with the parents. Children are born with instincts that tell them that you can help to make them safe and secure, and when you leave your child alone, they may crave the security that you offer.

Related: Parenting 101 — Tips for raising your child responsibly and successfully

In order to work towards eliminating the clinging behavior, you should encourage your child to be more independent by doing things such as rewarding them when they accomplish something on their own. It may not happen overnight, but you can gradually wean infants off of their clingy behavior, so be sure to be patient when acclimating your child in this manner.

Question: What is more important – spending a lot of downtime with my kids or spending a little bit of quality time with them?

Answer: Without a doubt, one of the most important things that you can do for your child while they are developing is to be there as much as you can. While it is nice to be able to do quality things with your child, what matters the most to them is that you are there as much as possible. The only way to help your child to establish a bond with you that is healthy and long-lasting is to ensure that you are there as much as humanly possible.

Without a doubt, the toddler stage of parenting is one of the hardest. With a lot of effort and a little luck, however, you can help your toddler to grow into a wonderful child, and it will be well worth your efforts to do so. Remember, be patient, and be there for your child!

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Questions and answers for first time parenting – advice that counts
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