Having your first child is such a special time in your life. It’s so exciting, yet so scary at the same time. Your mind is likely swirling with worrisome thoughts like, “Will I be a good parent? What if my baby cries a lot – how will I know what’s wrong? I don’t even know how to change a diaper!”
If you’re having worries like these, don’t despair! You can develop some valuable parenting skills before the little one ever makes an appearance.
Take advantage of these strategies to learn positive parenting skills ahead of time:
1. Take a parenting class.
A parenting class teaches you many parenting skills, including how to diaper, feed, and handle a child. It’s a good idea for both you and your partner to attend the class so you both have an idea of what taking care of a child is like.
2. Talk to other parents about what they do.
Your friends and family members that have children can become a great resource for you. Ask them questions about how they have handled different situations with their family.
3. Take care of other people's kids for a day or two.
4. Visit parenting sites on the internet.
Offer to watch your niece or nephew for a day or two. Make time for fun as well as helping them with their homework so you get an idea of the different things that go into being a parent.
The internet has hundreds of parenting sites, including blogs that relate real-life experiences and how the blog owner has found solutions for many parenting challenges.
5. Check out books from the library.
The library has many different books on learning how to take care of children. Keep a folder handy for notes and ideas as you read.
6. Talk things over with your partner.
Set aside time to talk over different ways that you would handle various parenting situations.
7. Reflect on your values.
8. Remember your own childhood.
Do some soul searching and decide the type of family you want to raise. What values would you like to instill in your children? Consider different types of situations that deal with values and know how you stand on them.
What did you like about growing up? What do you want to avoid when raising your kids? Thinking back to how your parents raised you can give you answers to both questions.
9. It's not too early to start creating family traditions.
Creating traditions is important for the future when you are planning for a family. Begin now to create wonderful holiday and other special traditions throughout the year.
10. Take a part-time job at a daycare center to hone your skills.
Working often with children will give you a chance to develop and practice your parenting skills. You’ll encounter many situations that will give you a chance to think creatively about how you can apply love, understanding, and discipline all at the same time.
Raising a family can be very difficult in today’s world. It makes sense for you to plan for children ahead of time. Use these tips to find ways to gain parenting skills before you have children. You’ll build confidence and peace of mind as you build your skills.