Being a good parent – nobody ever said it would be easy!

Nobody ever said that parenting would be easy. Being a good parent is even more difficult! Here are five guidelines to help you put into practice some principles of good parenting that you probably already know but for which you may need an occasional reminder:

1. Be consistent in your enforcement of rules.

Be certain that your rules have these characteristics: They must be clearly defined, reasonable and enforceable. Rules in the home help children feel more secure and comfortable when they are faced later in life with rules in school and community.
A seven-year study done by the National Institute of Mental Health indicates that self-confident children who succeeded in their undertakings usually came from homes in which there were rules that were reasonable, consistent, and enforced with affection.

2. Permit children to make mistakes and even fail sometimes.

Children learn by doing. rather than by passively absorbing the experiences of others. Making mistakes is one basis for future independence, self-direction, and intelligent decisionmaking.
When children know that they can anticipate consequences, they are being helped to develop an understanding of cause-effect relationships.

3. Resist the temptation to over-organise.

Don’t over-structure a child’s whole day with lessons, sports, and other activities. Children
need time to be leisurely and to enjoy unstructured play.

4. Maintain a sense of humour.

When something interferes with the daily routine, try to see a funny side of the situation.
For example, when there are toys, clothes, or other things left about randomly, gather them into a locked box and charge a “fee” (such as a kiss on your cheek) for later retrieval of an item.
If the bathroom becomes a mess, then draw a sad face on the mirror. Ah, but when things look improved, don’t forget to reinforce with a happy smile!

5. Take care of yourself.

It’s important for parents to take care of their own health and psychological needs. A parent who is over-worked or over-stressed will less likely be able to implement these recommendations. Thus, taking care of oneself— with adequate rest, leisure time, and proper nutrition—is also an important
part of being a good parent.

The GROWING TOGETHER NEWSLETTER is issued by;
GROWING CHILD Inc., and is distributed free, courtesy of:
THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION,
2, Springrowth House, Balliniska Rd.,
Springtown Ind. Estate, L’Derry BT48 OGG
Tel: 028 71365363. Fax: 028 71365334.
E-mail: headoffice@lifestartfoundation.org
Web Site: www.lifestartfoundation.org

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.

 

The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.

 

In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  

 

Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  

 

In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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