Parenting is hard. I won't say "it's the hardest job in the world," because that sounds trite and, frankly, I think that cleaning out sewers would be way harder.
Remember, there are no perfect children OR perfect parents, so get that idea out of your head. I don't CARE what June Cleaver did, your life isn't equipped with a laugh track or filmed in front of a live studio audience.
I will leave you with the one piece of advice that I kept coming back to as a new parent: trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
All children develop their skills at different ages so it's important to have realistic expectations of your child.
Rules must be reasonable for your child's age.
Discipline should always be consistent.
Teach your child how to build self-control.
The best way to get a child to learn something is to set clear, firm rules and consequences if the rules are not followed.
Children, like the rest of us, are unique people; therefore, it's not healthy to compare them to each other.
Embrace differences in your children.
Make some time to talk every day to each member of your family and when you do, make sure that each child knows that he or she is free to talk about any type of emotions.
Listen to what your children say.
Be quick with praise and slow with criticism.
Be affectionate, caring, and kind to your children and your significant other. Show affection and demonstrate love.
Remember that you're a person, too, and be realistic and fair with what you expect of yourself.
Take time for yourself and make sure you have people who can encourage you when you are feeling down.
1-800-352-0528 Parents Anonymous, a volunteer-staffed helpline for parents
Related Resource Pages on Band Back Together
Zero to Three: a national, non-profit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Excellent and thorough links and resources for parents of children of all ages.
Car Seat Safety.Org : a comprehensive list of things to look for in a carseat, how to install a carseat, how to select a carseat, information about the LATCH system, why rear-facing carseats are the best, and a vehicle features buying guide.
Parenting and Child Health: links to many different articles about the multitude of issues that parents cope with.
7 Strategies for Exhausted Parents: An article from BetterParenting.com with suggestions for scheduling "me time" into your day.