You’ve spent months decorating the nursery and preparing for the birth. But you may not have even considered preparing emotionally for becoming a parent, until suddenly it’s all very real.
Along with feelings of joy, excitement, and wonder, it’s also common to feel confused, fragile, and uncertain. You may also find the amount of conflicting advice you get is not helping! Having positive parenting strategies right from the start helps you as well as your baby.
When your first child arrives or is due soon, you suddenly move into a new generation, which takes some mental adjustment. You have new responsibilities, new routines, and new physical and mental challenges. You may also find you become more keenly aware of our own childhood experiences, and sometimes this can create uncomfortable emotions.
Babies are sensitive to what’s going on around them, and a positive environment helps their development There’s no such thing as the perfect parent, and everyone has good and bad days. However, finding healthy ways to deal with tiredness, conflict, and worries in the early days of parenting helps you stay calm. Learning to talk about and manage a wide range of feelings will also help you to be a good emotional role model for your child as they grow. Part of this means feeling confident about your parenting knowledge and skills.
Ideally, parenting support helps you feel informed, empowered, and able to choose what works for you. Unfortunately, many new parents encounter the opposite: ‘you must’ or ‘you must not’ this or that – with each ‘expert’ saying the opposite of another. On the other hand, building up your own toolkit of positive parenting strategies and skills helps you feel more confident. You’re the expert on your own child, after all!
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Parenting advice shouldn’t create confusion
So how can you be more emotionally prepared for parenthood, and feel empowered and more confident?
It can help to start by being realistic. Modern society tends to shield us from the realities of newborn life, and advertisements and greeting cards make it seem like all babies do is sleep and gurgle happily. It can help to do some research about what’s normal when it comes to crying and sleeping. Keep it in perspective though – every baby’s different and you’re the best person to make decisions about your own baby.
Well-meaning friends and family may brush aside feelings of sadness or worry, or go the other way and scare you into thinking the worst. Being aware of your own thoughts and emotions and how they’re linked is a good first step.
Allow yourself time to adjust emotionally, rather than expecting to instantly feel great about all the changes in your life. It can really help to seek out friendly and supportive community groups and family members who you can share experiences with.
And for couples, a great way to keep your relationship strong is to learn positive communication strategies to help you share feelings in a supportive way.
Triple P for Baby is a program especially for new parents. It can help you turn ideas into reality, with practical, positive tips, ideas, worksheets and more.
You can achieve your parenting goals with the Triple P’s toolkit of parenting solutions and strategies. The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program®, developed in Australia, is now the world’s most widely researched parenting program.
Triple P for Baby has undergone many years of research and clinical trials in various countries, with couples, mothers, and fathers. The program helps parents feel less stressed, happier, and more confident. Couples also reported improved relationships with each other.
Learn new ways to help your baby develop as you positively manage changes!