Every parent is very familiar with the phrase “they grow up so fast.” It’s a complete and total cliche, and yet it’s often hard to deny that it’s also incredibly true as well. It can often feel as though time is leaving you behind and that your little one is growing up at such a speed that you can’t really keep up. Of course, the best thing that you can do is not only to try and keep up but to try and encourage your children through many of the milestones that often come with growing up. Some of these milestones might not seem that significant at the time, but they can have a huge impact on both how your child feels and how they develop into a fully fledged person. It’s important that each time your child comes up against one of these milestones, that you’re always there offer them plenty of support and guidance. If you find some of these periods in your child’s life to be pretty scary and new, just think about how they must be feeling!
With that in mind, here are some ways in which you can navigate some of the trickiest milestones of the first few years of your child’s life.
Leaving the cot
One of the first milestones that many parents and children both find themselves struggling with is the moment where your child outgrows the cot that they’ve been sleeping in since they were an infant. You’ll 1usually get a decent amount of warning that this is coming because you’ll find that your child is able to climb out of the cot without any help and that they are finding themselves feeling someone cramped while they’re sleeping in it. The most important thing for you is to try and make this transition as fun and exciting for your child as possible. Little kids don’t like change, that’s just a fact of life, and many young children treat their cot as a place where they feel very safe and protected. The space that’s offered by a lot of toddler beds can often make them feel a little exposed. Luckily a lot of beds for toddlers can be incredibly fun, with a whole host of different designs and themes. Get your child involved in choosing the bed and they will feel a much stronger sense of ownership over it, making them incredibly excited to sleep in it.
This is something that many parents dread more than just about anything. As much of a pain as changing nappies can be, the idea of transitioning from them to your child using the toilet can be seriously daunting. The single most important thing to remember is that you don’t put too much pressure on your child. Potty training is something that should be done gradually, and you should never get angry when your child has accidents, even if it is incredibly frustrating to have to wash their clothes so much more frequently. Be as upbeat and positive as possible so that your child doesn’t become self-conscious about it. By offering as much positive reinforcement as possible, you’ll actually find that the whole process takes a lot less time that you might initially assume.
Going To School
The change that comes with going to school or nursery can be pretty jarring and emotional for a lot of both parents and children. Sure, there’s something of a stereotype of the child clinging to their parent’s leg on the first day of school, but it can often be just as hard, if not harder, for parents to let go as it is for the kids. Of course, as a parent, it’s your job to put on a brave face so that you can encourage your little one to really get stuck into the kinds of fun and excitement that come with starting school. You can encourage them to make new friends and really embrace this significant change. You should also make an effort to discuss things with them after school and really make the most of the time that you spend together outside of school.
As you child grows up and goes through all of these milestones, you’ll probably find that they enjoy spending more and more of their time being independent of you. This is something that many kids simply start to do naturally, but it often feels incredibly jarring and scary for a lot of parents. It feels as though you have gone from being the single most important part of your child’s life to being something that they want to get away from. Of course, that’s far from the truth. It might feel like your child had suddenly turned into a teenager who just wants to get away from their parents, but in reality, they’re just testing the waters and figuring out how they fit into the world separate from you. It’s important that you allow this to happen. Give your child space to play and be independent while always letting them know that you’ll be there if they need you. This can often go against many of your parenting instincts, but it’s important that you learn to step back, at least every once in awhile. Otherwise, there’s a chance that your child is going to start to feel smothered and frustrated.
No matter what, you’re never going to be able to be completely prepared for every milestone that comes up in your child’s life. Things are always going to come as a shock, and there will be things that you’ll both simply have to play by ear. But the most important thing is to remember to be as patient as possible with your ch1ild and make sure that they always know that you’re there to offer them a safety net as they navigate the incredibly complicated and treacherous waters of life. After all, it doesn’t come with an instruction manual, so they are sure to make mistakes along the road. It’s your job to be there to catch them when they do and help them get back on the right track.