what they see you do than from what you tell them to do. Your example is the most powerful lesson.
15. Better yet, children are like the CIA and NSA all rolled into one
They're always watching.
You are their frame of reference. On how to act in a situation, on how to express themselves, what's good to do, what's bad to do. They depend on you, and will be in a position where they will follow everything you do partly because they don't yet understand what you say.
16. Give them a chance to fail
Also, let them learn the hard way with natural consequences. I'm a fairly hands off parent in that if my kid gets stuck on top of the dishwasher, they need to figure out for themselves how to get down. I give them the freedom to explore and climb and go on adventures and get dirty and make art projects and I see these things pay off when it comes to problem solving and creative thinking. None of my kids are afraid to fail because I give them the chance to try.
17. Your spouse comes first
Raise your child to someday be an adult. Set the example of a rock solid marriage. YOUR SPOUSE COMES FIRST. Your marriage is the foundation of your family. Build it strong and continue to work on it. Unless there's serious abuse, infidelity, and safety issues, work on it. This is not to say single parents can't raise children.
18. Comparing, pictures, and thrift stores
Don't compare your kid's milestones to ANY OTHER KID. Even your own other kids. They will never be the same, on anything. If they are, you'll worry they're average. If they're not, you'll worry they're "behind".
You know your kid better than someone who interacts with them intermittently. If you have a concern about ability level, development, or anything" - talk to a professional if you can. "Friends" will try calm your fears and tell you everything is fine even if it's not, and other people will insist anything wrong is caused by your "parenting".
You will constantly be surprised by what your kid doesn't know. Try to get over that. They have had zero experience with the world you live in. Don't make a big deal out of it.
Be open and honest about your own emotions and thought processes. You can talk to them like adults much faster than you think, and it's never too early to give kids language to articulate their emotions and feelings.
When you're mad, hug them. Take a billion pictures of them, every day - not just when they're little. Take pictures of yourself, with them. Get family pictures.
Learn to love thrift stores. You're going to go through 3 different clothing sizes in one summer and they won't even have a chance to wear half their clothing before they grow out of it. This goes triple for shoes. YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY KIDS SHOES OR SOCKS.
If you're buying them rain boots and umbrellas, make sure you (Continued)