Our job as parents is to help our children be the best people they can be and to support them as they grow:
Being a parent is rewarding but it can be hard, especially when your children reach new stages, try new things or are having a hard time. Following these Ten Parenting Tips can help make things a little smoother in your family.
- SPEND TIME TOGETHER – Life can be busy but even a few minutes of one-on-one time with your child each day can help them feel special, loved and cared for. This can be sharing milk and cookies, talking about your days, colouring, going for a walk or playing a game. Just taking the time to share a hug can make a difference.
- HAVE A ROUTINE – Children and Teens do best when they know what to expect next. You may do different things each day but having certain things the same like breakfast in the morning and a hug before bed can help make life predictable and comfortable.
- CATCH YOUR CHILDREN BEING GOOD – Every day, find at least one thing your child is doing well and tell them. It can be as simple as putting their cup in the dishwasher, being nice to their brother or sister or telling a good joke. BUT when your child does something well, tell them!!!
- SET LIMITS – It is important for Children and Teens to know what they can and cannot do. Try and have a few clear and simple rules for your children.
- LET YOUR CHILD EXPLORE – Let your child try new things, taste new foods, make new friends, have new experiences. This lets them discover who they really are. Sometimes it takes longer to let them tie their own shoe and sometimes knees get scraped when they try skateboarding for the first time but this all helps them learn and grow.
- IT IS OK TO MAKE MISTAKES – and even better to talk about it. There are times when every parent knows they said or did the wrong thing. That’s ok, it happens to everyone. You can help your child learn by talking about what you did wrong and what you are going to do next. Not only does this help them learn from your mistake but it also teaches them that it is ok to make mistakes.
- SUPPORT OTHER PARENTS – If you are parenting with another person, it is important to work together. You are different people and you are going to be different parents. One parent may be a joker and another may be a cuddler. That’s ok. It is important to agree on rules and limits. Talk about these together so that you are both comfortable with them. If you disagree about something, find a private time to talk about this away from the children.
- TALK ABOUT FEELINGS – We all have lots of different feelings every day and learning to talk about feelings is an important life skill. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings: “You looked really upset there, do you think you were more mad or sad?”, “You have the biggest smile on your face, you look really happy”, “That noise was really loud, it startled me and I was kinda scared”. You can also talk about how to cope with difficult feelings and how to build more positive feelings.
- LOOK AFTER YOURSELF – It is hard to be at our best for our children if we are tired, busy or overwhelmed. It is important to look after ourselves so we can be there for the children. This can be as simple as having a quiet cup of tea after the children are in bed, staying in the shower for an extra minute or sneaking a treat at the coffee shop.
- REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT – If you are not sure what to do or you are worried about your child, REACH OUT to others. You can talk to friends or family. Make an appointment with your family doctor, explore some of the links below or call our office. There are lots of supports around. Sometimes it takes a while to find the one for you, but keep trying, there will be someone who can help you.
- Kids First (Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough) – http://kids1st.ca
- Cape Breton Family Place Resource Centre – http://familyplace.ca
General Parenting Information
- Caring for Kids – http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca
- Public Health Agency of Canada – http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/parent/index-eng.php
Kids and Stress
- Parenting Challenges – http://www.cpa.ca/docs/File/Publications/FactSheets/PsychologyWorksFactSheet_ParentingChallenges.pdf
- Responding to Stressful Events: Helping Children Cope http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/oes-bsu-02/child-eng.php
Parenting with others
Co-operative Parenting – Public Health Agency of Canada-
Separation and Divorce
- Making Plans: a guide to parenting arrangements after separation or divorce. How to put your children first. https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/parent/mp-fdp/En-Parenting_Guide.pdf
- Custody and Parenting – https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/parent/index.html
- Family Law Nova Scotia – http://www.nsfamilylaw.ca
For Resources for Children and Youth – Check out our Kids and Youth Zone