The baby stage
- Recovery from childbirth is forty million times more painful - emotionally and physically - than giving birth.
- All the postpartum advice ("get some sleep", "take time for yourself every day", "eat regular meals") is absolutely correct, but entirely impractical.
- Help and resources are obvious to everyone except a new mom.
The growing-up stage
- All parents have endless stories about how cute and smart their kid is, long before the child can walk or talk.
- All parents are terribly proud of their child.
The toddler stage
- Rebellion comes in phases. It seems to last forever, but it always passes.
- You can't take parenting personally. Your child isn't mad at you or disobeying because they don't like you - they are learning, and they have their own set of limitations, emotions, and frustrations they're dealing with.
- There is a bottomless list of things you can't make your child do. You have to feed them, change them, and love them anyway.
- Who you really are and how you really feel, these things will come through to your child, no matter how hard you try to cover them up.
The little kid stage
- Usually the best approach to parenting requires you to hold in your negative responses. Swallow your anger and disapproval and hug your kid. Always be as gentle as you can. There is no good place for negative emotions.
- Even when you're at the end of your rope, your child still needs your love - probably even more so when you're frazzled.
- Children learn far more from praise than criticism. You have to be a parent, of course - you have to parent, but we tend to heap constant criticism on our kids. Try for 200% more praise than criticism. The world will make up the difference - they need to hear from you that they're okay.