Advice for New Parents: What to Keep, What to Do
Do you know what advice I always want to give new parents?
It’s not the usual about sleeping when the baby sleeps, or what to buy, or about diapers.
I always want to the tell them to record the sounds that their newborn makes–those gurgles and grunts and coos and sighs that only the tiniest of people do because those are so unique, and they don’t happen for very long.
I want to tell them to write down the funny words and expressions that their four year old says because you can’t make those up.
I want to tell them about how to raise up a child who is well-behaved, but more than that I want them know how secure their child feels when you tell him, “I want you to do good, but I love you even when you don’t.”
I want to tell them not to worry about scrapbooking. My mother didn’t scrapbook, and I am relieved that I don’t have to keep albums full of every trip we ever took, but I’m thankful for digital images and notes that I typed out in a hurry instead of trying to make it look more beautiful. But maybe I still will, someday.
And don’t talk about your child as if she can’t hear what you say about her to your friend. Respect her privacy, and don’t put all of her awkward child photos on the internet as if Google won’t save them forever.
I want to tell them not to beat themselves up when they make a wrong parenting move, but that it’s the perfect chance to tell your child, “I’m sorry,” so you can show them about falling short and forgiveness.
But mostly I want to stay quiet because I know they will learn as they go, and I don’t want to step in. But those are the things I would say.
What would you say?
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