Tips For New Parents?

I came across a very old draft post a few days ago, entitled ‘parenting tips for new parents’. Oh, what’s this, I thought to myself, what words of parental wisdom have I jotted down here? Now brace yourselves, because there were just two things I’d noted, just two, and they were these absolute pearls:

Never have an Elf on the Shelf.

Always have Calpol in the house. 

That’s it. Nothing more, and no explanations. I mean, they probably don’t need further explanation, makes sense, right?

It made me smile and it did get me thinking about this.

I’m coming up on something of a parenting milestone right now, as my son will be leaving primary school in a month’s time.

All of those years I’ve been working my days around school runs, doing the same journey for years and years.

We’re into a month of lasts. Last sports day, last assembly, last disco, last school run, last time wearing the uniform, last time seeing some of the faces that are so familiar to us. 

And as we navigate the ‘lasts’, the ‘firsts’ are sneaking in, his first time at secondary school, first time meeting his new form and form teacher, first time walking in a new direction and so on. 

It’s a funny time. He’s ready to leave, he’s happy with his next school, he’s got this, I have no doubts. 

Those years are nearly behind us now, the playgroups, the chaotic play dates, the soft play centres, the class parties, the dress up days. 

Having an older one already at secondary school makes me feel more comfortable with him leaving as whilst I know there will be changes, I also know they’re not bad, just different. 

At this point, with kids about to go into Year 10 and Year 7, what would be my tips for new parents?

I think the real tips I’d give are these:

People say it, they all say it, but that’s because it’s true – the years fly by, drink them in while you can.

You’ll make mistakes, that’s fine, don’t give yourself a hard time over them. Do your best and it’ll work.

Let the children teach you. You’re in this together, the kids will show you the way nearly as much as you show them.

Take an interest in their interests, however unlike yours they may be. If you know nothing about it, they’ll be all too happy to enlighten you.

Teach them that kindness matters, teach them that they’re not better than others but that no-one is better than them. 

Respect them and their wishes, all whilst setting boundaries to keep them safe. 

Let the kids be who they are meant to be. 

Keep talking, sharing and having fun with them. Those are the bonds that will see you through. 

Tell your kids you love them every single day.

Enjoy them. 

The rest, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. 

And don’t forget, Calpol and avoid weird elves. You’re welcome. 

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