Parent Resource Centre

Parenting Information

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Parenting!

Becoming a parent for the first time can be a daunting experience. No longer are you responsible for just yourself – you now have a little person completely dependent on you and also subject to your moods, emotions and actions. It can be scary, stressful and exhilarating all at the same time for any new parent. Parenting skills come naturally to some new parents, but most of us can always learn a bit more. If you need answers to your parenting questions, guidance on a wide variety of parenting issues, look no further. The family & parenting section of Birth & Beyond Parent Resource Centre library, has loads of valuable parenting resources. Birth & Beyond Parent Resource Centre is here to make your job as a parent easier, with fewer issues and more fun.

You’ll find that once you’re pregnant, all sorts of people from childless Uncles to complete strangers in the supermarket will offer you parenting advice. It seems everyone is an expert and they can’t wait to share their parenting wisdom and advice with you, regardless of whether you ask for it or not. Don’t worry; it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by all the well meaning advice – all new parents do! There is a lot to think about when you’re about to start a new family.

Of all the long term investments adults can make in their own lives, parenting has to be one of the most rewarding. But like any other investment, parenting too, comes with associated risks and no guarantees of ideal return. Our children are their own unique mix of genetic potential and although they inherit family characteristics which will influence their temperament and personality, they are still highly individual. This means they can be unpredictable, exhausting, delightful and even difficult to manage at times. This, to be honest, is the reality of family life. If we expect domestic bliss and harmony every day the likelihood is that we will be constantly disappointed. It is far better to aim for a certain level of normalcy, to be flexible and try to focus on what is truly important. Keeping everyone safe, fed, clean and generally content are the priorities and from these things, everything else can follow.

To get you started, here are some basic pointers to help you think about your role as new parents:

Your parents influence your parenting.

Your parenting style will be influenced by your parents; regardless of the methods we hear, read or know about. In the end, we tend to subconsciously look back to our own childhood for our fundamental parenting ideas. We tend to recreate all the things we liked about it and put right all the things that we disliked as we bring up our own children.

What sort of person do you want your child to be?

Not what occupation he or she would take on, but their values and attitudes in life. Have an idea of what type of person you’d like your child to be for example, generous, community minded etc. Also give thought to spiritual or religious beliefs.

Your child’s first role model

You are your child’s first role model. Know yourself and be yourself, be aware that you are your child’s first role model and thus the most powerful influence over their early years and development.

Learn from your child

Being a parent is not always about what you can teach your child, but also about what your child can teach you. Some parents say that the most precious thing about parenthood is how much they constantly discover about themselves through their children.

Balance guidance and freedom

Look for a balance between guiding your child and allowing them to discover their own path. Sometimes it’s better to be aware of your child’s own individual development pace than to be anxious that he hasn’t begun crawling at 12 months. Leaving them to learn things on their own might help them learn more than what you can offer.

Your child’s health care plan

Vaccination is an effective way of protecting your baby against some serious diseases. The immune system in babies and young children is not fully developed, unlike older children and adults. Once babies are vaccinated, their bodies are better able to fight those diseases if they come into contact with them. All vaccines that are routinely recommended by the Australian Government are funded under the National Immunisation Program.  www.immunise.health.gov.au

Also, you may want to think about private health insurance or including your child in a family plan.

Child safety

It’s not too early to starting thinking ahead for when your baby starts crawling or walking. If you have unsteady bookshelves, vases on low-lying coffee tables or staircases, you may want to start baby proofing your house.

Balance time with your partner

If you’re not a single parent, you will also need to juggle the needs of your partner as well as your bub’s. Maintaining a relationship while trying to adapt to having a newborn at home will seem like a struggle at first. Yet, trying to create a balance between the two will benefit the three of you tremendously. Especially on days when you’re too exhausted to spend time with your bub and need some time out.

Trust your intuition

In spite of the fact that this is your first time raising a child, you’ll soon discover that lots of aspects of parenting will come instinctively to you – if you listen to your heart

Financial support

The media makes a big deal about the supposed costs of raising children. Truth is it’s only as expensive as you can afford it to be. Good parenting doesn’t require a massive income. Heaps of parents let their kids spend their spare time making (free) mud pies or reading (free) library books, without any ill effect. These non-monetary ‘costs’ are the real price we pay for the joy of having kids. And most parents wouldn’t have it any other way.

Government assistance

Most folks have no idea they could be eligible for financial assistance for parents from the government. Some things are means tested, but others aren’t – including the maternity payment and the childcare rebate. Find out what you could get and get parenting advice about family tab breaks. You and your partner could be in for a pleasant surprise! www.familyassist.gov.au

Important Phone Numbers

000

Police, Fire and Ambulance Emergency

1800 022 222

Health Direct. Your 24 hour health advice line

13 11 26

Poisons Information

 

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