I am sure before you became a parent you had read at least one or two articles on parenting. Maybe on sleeping, maybe on feeding, maybe on coping. But by the time that little bundle of joy arrived, you probably noticed that not all of the information in those articles was useful. And that is because every child is different. They constantly surprise us. Even the most seasoned parents can be surprised!
You may have a picture in your head of how your child will be at each stage. This could be based on experience, advice from someone, something you have read, something you have seen, or just an idea in your head. Nine times out of ten you child will probably surprise you. As every child is different, you can’t predict what will happen.
Every Child is Different – How Do You Cope?
Roll With It
You have no other choice but to roll with it. Devise a plan that works for your family and off you go. You thought baby would sleep through the night and they don’t. Perhaps sharing wake ups with a partner or family member, maybe moving the cot or bassinet, maybe co-sleeping. Whatever solution works for you may not work for another family. But if it works for you, then just roll with it!
Take All Advice With a Grain of Salt
Getting parenting advice from others just comes with the territory of having kids. Most of the advice you will receive is well meaning, from family or friends. Some advice is definitely unwanted, such as strangers telling you how to deal with your two year old throwing a tantrum at the supermarket!
Only some of the advice you receive will be relevant or useful to you. So don’t take it all to heart. Some things that people suggest might really work, but some might not. Even if the advice comes from someone you trust and love, it might not work for your family. So thank people for their advice and only use the parts you think are relevant to you.
Don’t Bank on Experience
After having one child you think you’ve got this parenting thing down pat. Then number two, or number three, or number 4 comes along and is a completely different child. You feel like you are going back to the beginning again. Each child that joins the family will change the dynamic and they might not sleep as well as the others, they might be a picky eater, they might have reflux, they might be clingy, they might be the opposite! You can’t gaurantee that all of your children will behave in the same way!
It’s important to treat each child as an individual because they are individuals. They are their own little person with their own personality. You might have read all the parenting articles in the world, but your child has not read one. Learn and grow with them. Adapt to what works for you. If they are warm, fed, clothed and happy then you are doing a fantastic job!
What was the worst piece of parenting advice you ever received? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.
Gemma is a kiwi Mum of one and is the Editor for The Baby View. She also works with preschool children, loves cooking, loves sunshine, loves chocolate and loses countless hours at a time looking at cute baby pictures on Instagram!