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Starting the New Year as a parent

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Parenting little children is a big job. It takes a tremendous amount of energy and patience. And parenting is a full time responsibility. It is no wonder that sometimes parents become stressed. Here are a few resolutions or goals that may be helpful in this New Year.

• Take a parenting class. Parenting classes are a helpful way to learn something about child development. It is useful to know what to expect. Plus at a parenting class, you meet other parents and you may find some kindred spirits to act as a support group.
• Resolve to read to your child every day. The best way for a child to learn about language and literacy is to hear stories, poems, rhyme and even plain old conversation. Reading to a child every day is a great way to slow down and connect on a regular basis.
• Count to 10. When you feel yourself getting frustrated with your child, stop and count to 10 slowly before reacting. Trying to be calmer may keep the frustration from turning to anger.
• Take time for yourself. Parenting is such a demanding job. It is important to have even 10 minutes of calm “alone” time to gather your thoughts. Have a cup of coffee or tea, read a short magazine article, visualize something you enjoy, like the beach of lovely mountains. It is a good way to refresh yourself.
• Try to eat right. Food is our fuel. To get the best “performance” from our bodies it is essential to eat a good diet. It will help you feel better and set a great example for your child.

We all want to be the best parent possible for our children. Taking care of ourselves will help us take better care of our children. So Happy New Year and enjoy the best and hardest jobs you will ever have—being a mommy or daddy!

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