Tips from Parents

[I asked all my friends to give me their number one piece of advice for being a parent. Here are the replies ...]

Keep a journal – write to your kid every day, and record what comes out of his/her mouth for posterity
- Rick S

Give your child the gift of confidence
- Nathan H

If you want your child to listen to you when he’s older than 15 years, that’s a function of the time you spent with him in the first 15 years.
- Mike B

Having a child is the opportunity to love unconditionally and put another person’s needs 100% above your own. It’s different!
- Steve K

Surrender to parenthood. Don’t expect to get too much else done for the first year (at least). This is more important.
- Doris M

The key to breastfeeding: let his mom do it!!
- Don F

Sleep when the baby sleeps, as opposed to working, otherwise the whole household ends up exhausted all the time.
- Cory M

Buy them everything they want, like a new amp for his guitar and a new computer and recording software and an iphone.
- Florentin, age 15

Give him lots of loving. Don’t give him a pacifier. Don’t put him in a baby cage. Raise him on non-sweet foods so that he’ll like sushi.
- Max, age 9

Travel and party as much as possible now. Life changes significantly post-birth.
- Sven J

Take advice and opinions from people with a grain of salt. everyone’s got something to say.
A hairdryer can do wonders to keep a baby happy — it beats towel drying after baths hands-down
Expect lots of pee, everywhere, always.
Just when you’ve gotten ‘em out of their pee stained clothes and clothed again, they’ll poop.
But that’s ok, because changing diapers is life changing
The swaddle is your best friend
The swing is your best friend
Pour water on their head in the bath now so they’re not afraid of it later.
Take pictures early and often! They grow over night.
- Myles W

Spend time with your child. No TV, no DVD, no circus rides. As a dad you are finally rewarded after the kid turns three and it gets amazing – the mom gets jealousafter that.
- James T

Until age 2.5 the box that the present comes in is far more interesting to Junior than the present itself. Keep this in mind when a salesperson is trying to sell you the latest “educational toy”. DO NOT BUY any toy that says “hours of enjoyment” on the box.
- Tamar K

Give them choices and give them Boundaries.
- Carla B

The more time you give the more they need and want. They can never get enough of you. At various phases they want you to be at a distance as they test their confidence in the world. You might have to wait in a car for hours during a dance or whatever, but they know you are there and it matters.
- Doug M

Consistency is everything, and that often requires firmness.
- Don K

“Pay attention to your kids and keep them happy.”
- Alessandra, age 8

Don’t over-do it.
- Mia, age 13

Teach them constantly, but also spoil them. Grandparents shouldn’t have all the fun!
- Don F

Just give your kid room to grow (as your parents did you).
- Michele M

Allow your child to blossom in hisown way and time, not according to mom’s, dad’s, or anyone else’s needs and schedules.
- Raphael C

One of the things I most enjoyed about parenting our young children was holding their favorite stuffed animals at night, in bed, in the dark, and having the beloved stuffie detail for them how wonderful and amazing they were. Lamby would say things like “Orson is such an imaginative boy” or “Zoe is so adventurous”. Kids love being told things about themselves, and early childhood is the perfect time to implant all the seeds of future self confidence and awareness.
- Jane M

Don’t use their name when you reprimand, so they love themselves
- Amanda T

Kids go through phases. It may last two or three weeks, maybe longer, but then the next phase begins. So whatever the kid is doing that’s driving you crazy, not to worry. It will soon pass. It will be replaced by another phase, which will either delight you, or make you nostalgic for the one that just passed.
- Ken M

A task of yours is make them not need you.
- Mike C

The fondest memories I have of their youth is of the time I spent reading to my boys. After they reached about age 5 and got beyond “Pat the Bunny”, we moved on to things like The Hobbit, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books (John Carter on Mars, etc.), Jules Verne, Black Beauty, etc. So my advice is “Read to and with your children.”
- Vern B

Get a night nanny the first five years, so you can get a good night’s sleep! I loved mothering our children, but Max and I were often ready to jump off the terrace just from being sleep deprived.
- Cheryl B

I have no simple parental advice other than try to get at least another one. No matter how much you love it, the stimulation, competition, support, frustration, love that siblings give one another is something parents never can.
- Siegfried W

There is no experience like having a child, and no way to prepare for it. It is in the same category, in terms of profound impact, as the passing of one’s parent — but much, much better. I hope you consider this right before and right after his birth. You will be a different man. And your priorities will be forever realigned.
- Glenn R