The Big Green Parenting Experiment

raising a healthy family in a toxic world

top 10 parenting lessons of 2012

on December 15, 2012

I began 2012 with a tiny, helpless 4 month old who has since become a brilliant, silly and passionate individual. I have learned more from her in the past 12 months than I ever could have dreamed. I wanted to share the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned as a parent, the ones that have helped us grow both individually and as a team. These aren’t the only lessons I’ve learned, just what I feel are the ten most important.

Here goes:

1. When she thoughtfully shares a soggy Cheerio from her mouth, you open up, eat it and smile. End of story. Oh, and say thank you.

2. Toddlers understand. Everything. Choose your words wisely.

3. Flexibility is a necessity. If something isn’t working, be flexible. Try something else until you figure out what works for you & yours.

4. Every child is vastly different. Mine is “passionate” and that does NOT make her bad.

5. Respect for your little one goes a loooong way. If you’re going to invade her space (ie- wipe her face, snatch her up), just let her know. You’ll be amazed how well it is received.

6. Be available to help without taking control. She learns so much more when allowed to accomplish things herself. It may be difficult to stand by and watch her struggle at times, but the reward is worth it, for both of you.

7. Put down your devices. Trust me, she would rather all of your attention for some of the time than some of your attention all of the time. This can be difficult, but also extremely rewarding. The difference in behavior is astounding.

8. Hug, hug, hug. Sometimes you’ll get pushed away, but hug anyway. Let her know how much you love her and that it’s ok to show it. Any time, any place.

9. Let her have her feelings. Feelings are meant to be felt, not bottled up. Let her feel, experience and work through her emotions in her own way. It’s healthier for everyone.

10. Have patience. These precious days are few and gone all too quickly. Take a deep breath. Enjoy and appreciate each moment. Someday you’ll long to have it back.

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