20 Things Every Parent Should Know for Their Family's Wellbeing

June 30, 2024

You’ve managed to keep a small human (or a few) alive, fed, and mostly clean. That’s commendable! But as our little darlings grow, morph, and evolve from cute blobs into full-fledged people, the game gets trickier. But, don't worry because here’s your survival guide to getting through life with your family's wellbeing intact!

1. Master the Art of First Aid

Before you can say, “Where did you find that and why is it in your mouth?!” you’ll want to be prepped with some solid first aid skills. Knowing how to handle everything from a scraped knee to the Heimlich maneuver isn’t just impressive at parties; it’s essential. Consider taking a family first aid course - like this one that offersediatric Advanced Life Support training check out  PALS near me). Not only will you feel like a superhero, but you’ll also be prepared to tackle minor emergencies that involve small objects and curious mouths.

2. Embrace the Chaos (and Organize It)

If you’ve ever found yourself questioning whether your living room is a room or a toy bomb testing site, it’s time to get organized. Implement systems that work for your family. Color-coded bins? Sure. Labels that only you can understand? Even better. A place for everything, and everything in its place, at least until the next playtime.

3. Food: You Are What You Eat (Sometimes)

Here’s the truth: feeding kids can feel like negotiating with tiny, irrational CEOs. One day they love broccoli, and the next, it’s the culinary equivalent of battery acid. Aim for balanced diets, sneak veggies into smoothies, and remember, sometimes dinner is three kinds of cereal—it’s about survival, folks.

4. Screen Time: The Digital Babysitter

We all dream of being the parent who doesn’t rely on screens. We also sometimes eat ice cream straight out of the container. Moderation is key. Use screen time wisely; educational apps and programs are great. Just make sure you’re mixing in real-world adventures. And yes, watching cartoons together totally counts as bonding.

5. Sleep: Not Just a Myth

Remember sleep? That thing you enjoyed before kids? It’s still important. Establish consistent bedtime routines to ensure everyone gets the rest they need. And yes, this might involve negotiating with a toddler about why they can’t sleep with a live goldfish. Be firm, but fair.

6. Mental Health Matters

Teach your kids that it’s okay to talk about their feelings, even the messy ones. Emotional wellbeing is just as important as physical health. Encourage open conversations, provide support, and when in doubt, hug it out. Or eat ice cream together—ice cream is surprisingly therapeutic.

7. The Great Outdoors (No Wi-Fi Included)

Nature is amazing therapy. Fresh air, exercise, and a bit of sunshine work wonders on cranky kids (and adults). Plan regular outdoor adventures; they can be as simple as a walk around the block or as ambitious as a camping trip. Just maybe check the weather first—mud baths are only fun in theory.

8. Read, Read, and Read Some More

Books are windows to new worlds. Read with your kids, to your kids, around your kids. Show them that reading is a doorway to adventure, knowledge, and dragons. Yes, dragons. Lots of dragons.

9. Teach Independence (Before They Move Out)

Start teaching independence early. Yes, it’s faster to tie their shoes for them, but teaching them to do it themselves builds confidence and skills. Plus, one day, they’ll make their own breakfast, and you’ll weep tears of joy.

10. Financial Fitness for the Family

Let’s talk money—but in a fun way (is there a fun way to talk about money? Sure!). Teaching kids the value of money and basic financial literacy can save them (and maybe even you) a lot of headaches later. Set up a family savings jar for something everyone wants, like a trip or a new game system. Discuss savings, budgeting, and why sometimes we can’t buy everything we want when we want it. Plus, playing banker can be a pretty fun way for kids to practice math skills!

11. The Power of Routines

Kids thrive on routines. They like knowing what to expect. It makes them feel safe and secure. Establishing regular routines for meals, homework, play, and bedtime can help keep the household from descending into chaos. Of course, a little chaos is fun, but let’s keep it controlled chaos, shall we?

12. Cultivate Curiosity

Encourage your kids to ask questions and explore their interests, even if it leads to messes and more questions. Set up little experiments, take them to museums, or just let them dismantle old electronics to see what’s inside (under supervision, of course). Curiosity builds critical thinking skills, not to mention it can lead to fascinating conversations at dinner.

13. Family Meetings: Not Just for Boardrooms

Hold regular family meetings to discuss what’s going on in everyone’s life. It’s a great way to catch up, plan family activities, and resolve conflicts. It teaches kids that their opinions matter and that they are an important part of the decision-making process. Plus, who doesn’t like to bang a little gavel and call a meeting to order?

14. Make Chores Fun (Yes, It’s Possible)

Chores don’t have to be a chore. Twist them into fun activities or games. Whoever finishes their tasks first gets to pick the movie on movie night. Create a chore chart with stickers for younger kids; they love stickers. For teens, tying chores to privileges can work wonders. It’s all about making responsibilities feel rewarding rather than just necessary.

15. Learn Something New Together

Take up a new hobby as a family. Whether it’s cooking, gardening, or even coding, learning something new together not only strengthens bonds but also keeps everyone’s brain cells firing. It sets an example for kids that learning is a lifelong adventure.

16. Don’t Skip Date Night

If you’re parenting with a partner, remember to set aside time for each other. Regular date nights can help keep your relationship strong amidst the whirlwind of parenting duties. It’s good for kids to see their parents taking care of their relationship. Plus, it’s a great excuse to dress up and eat something other than chicken nuggets.

17. Celebrate Small Victories

Caught your kid reading instead of watching TV? Did they share their toys without a fuss? Celebrate these small victories. It could be with an extra story at bedtime, their favorite snack, or just a big, enthusiastic hug. Positive reinforcement helps encourage behaviors you want to see more often.

18. Volunteer Together

Volunteering can teach compassion, empathy, and gratitude. Find local opportunities where even young children can participate. It could be something simple like helping at a food bank or organizing a neighborhood clean-up. It’s a powerful way to show them the impact they can have on the world.

19. Encourage Physical Activity

Get moving! Regular physical activity is vital for health, but it can also be a great stress reliever and mood booster. Whether it’s dance parties in the living room, family yoga sessions, or biking around the neighborhood, find fun ways to stay active together.

20. Trust Your Gut (It’s Smarter Than You Think)

Last but certainly not least, trust your instincts. You know your family better than anyone. If something feels off, explore that. If a particular parenting trend feels wrong for your tribe, skip it. Your gut is your secret parenting weapon. Use it wisely.

Parenting isn’t about perfection, but it is about raising humans who are healthy, happy, and kind enough to share their future expensive chocolates with you, and the above will certainly help with all three. Oh, and don’t forget to look after yourself too!

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