Having children is not a decision that should be taken lightly, whether you are in a stable situation (personal, home life and financial) has a big impact on ones ability to raise a child successfully. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune; even though current statistics in the UK are about £250,000 from birth to 18 (or end of formal education). A child does not need expensive toys or piles of stuff they will never use, you can be resourceful (as this blog progresses I should develop an inventory of useful information, ideas and reviews of some of my daughters favourite things).
Having a firm idea of what you want to achieve and what you value most is a good way of prioritizing and having a framework that the whole family can follow to support consistent guidance for your child.
Good nutrition and being a good role model to your child are probably two of the most important aspects; children absorb everything they see and hear, think about any bad habits you or people that will be around your child regularly do that you would not want your child to do and try to stop doing them or replace with good alternatives (at least in front of your child), this can include eating a balanced diet together so that they are inspired to eat healthily as an adult and look after their body.
Provide them opportunities that allow them to develop in to decent, contributing members of society.
Consider undertaking a course in child psychology and reading everything you can about developmental stages and learning theory so that you can be informed about advice that people will give you in the future and recognise whether that fits into your ethos. It also means you can be informed in your decision making and ‘discipline’, you will have a full remit of explanations for ‘naughty’ behaviour that means you can avoid an emotionally charged response that could break the trust and bond with your child and instead focus on positive behaviours and praise.
I completed my Child psychology course online when I was pregnant, this is a great time because you are in the mindset of the imminent arrival of your child and it fits in as part of the ‘nesting behaviour’ pregnant women are reported to do. There are also often parenting classes you can attend together but make sure you are happy with the content given everything else you have read or researched.
Many of my proceeding posts will look at learning theory, certain behaviours and child development as well as what we have personally implemented or wish to implement when our child reaches that stage.
Parenting is a journey and there are no fixed rules, but you need to know where you want to go so you can all be fulfilled human beings.
Incidentally I also feel the same about ‘owning’ pets; research and preparation is key, it is not all about food and shelter they have brains that need stimulating, lives that need to simulate what their instinct inspires them to do. So many cats, rabbits, dogs and horses have ‘vices’ stereotypical undesired behaviours that have arisen because the animal is unhappy with some aspect of their life. Far too often we try to stop the behaviour with punishment or some device that stops them acting out but all this does is suppress their anxiety and will cause displacement to another undesired behaviour or depression. Instead we must look to WHY they are doing it. Think you know cats – click here to go to the catwyse website and do their fun quiz, the website runs several video modules that you can watch and answer questions at the end of each video, get to a certain level and you get a certificate. I think this is a great way for everyone to learn how to improve their cats welfare and children should love the certificates.