New Year Resolutions for Parents and Childcare Professionals
How many New Year’s resolutions have you seen or heard from your family, friends and co-workers so far? How many of those were about weight, smoking, drinking, or travel? How many of those were about parenting or childcare? I’m guessing the latter was a significantly smaller number than the former.
This New Year, wouldn’t it be nice for us to make a New Year’s resolution that will not only benefit ourselves but our children and the rest of our family? That’s why we’ve put together a list of areas that we can all try to improve upon in the New Year when it comes to caring for our children.
- Just Be There – It’s as simple as that. When you’re with your children, give them your attention. Talk to them, listen to them, do activities together and don’t be distracted by less important things. Be open, allow them to express themselves, knowing that you’ll always be ready to listen and interested in what they have to say.
- Avoid the Technology Trap – Don’t be constantly distracted by your phone or other mobile device. If you’re not busy and you have time to spare, spend it with your child. Think of fun new things to do together, take a trip, read a book, listen to music or just talk; you’ll both reap the benefits. You’ll also help to prevent your own child from becoming addicted to technology.
- Shout Less – This might be a tough one, it’s easy to get frustrated if you have mounting chores, not to mention work commitments and your child is misbehaving or not doing as you asked. When that frustration builds it can lead to yelling, but this yelling often leads to more yelling or tears, hurt feelings and greater problems down the line. Yelling at your child can actually encourage bad behaviour, and cause low self-esteem, which in turn can lead to depression. Which is why it’s important to try and lower your stress levels before responding to your child. You can do this simply by breathing deeply for a count of 10 or removing yourself from the situation (if it’s safe to do so) so that you can calm down for a few moments before returning to talk things through. Explain to your child that you need time to calm down before you can respond to them, which will in turn help to model good behaviour for when they experience the same high levels of stress and frustration.
- Slow Things Down – Try to focus on enjoying each moment instead of rushing to do the next thing, and the next. Instead of cramming a day full of ‘family activities’ where all you do is race around stressed, revel in a lazy day at home where you can play board games, listen to music and simply enjoy each other’s company.
- Focus on What’s Really Important – It’s easy to get bogged down in development milestones for your children (especially if they’re particularly young). There’s a lot of information on when children should be walking, talking, reading etc and it can feel both overwhelming and alarming if your child isn’t doing these things at the ‘right’ time. Now is the time to take a step back and think about what’s really important to the development of your child. Things like potty training, talking, walking, and learning to read are all very important, yes, but they’ll also happen eventually when your child is ready. Try focusing on something more important like good nutrition, kindness to others, play, and exposure to nature and the outdoors – these are truly important things that should be nurtured and encouraged from birth.
- Look After Yourself – If you don’t take care of yourself and get enough rest, treat yourself occasionally and do things that you need to feel happy, it will impact your daily life, your ability to care for your children and the relationship you have with them. Model a healthy lifestyle that your children can follow by taking care of your own needs so that you’re better able to take care of theirs.
Everyone here at Nannyjob.co.uk would like to wish you a very Happy New Year and don’t forget to tell us your New Year’s resolutions!