"There are real challenges in raising kids. But you should start by reminding yourself what a fantastic thing to have in your life – the shaping of a new life, the launching of a wonderful human being into the future." This extract is from Steve Biddulph's book: 'More Secrets of Happy Children' published by Thorsons.
Becoming a parent is a big responsibility; it will challenge your assumptions, make you think about the way you were raised, perhaps make you resolve to do things differently. It will bring out new strengths in you, or a new softness.
Children love to know they're loved, and you'll find your own favourite ways of showing it.
Cuddle, stroke, hug and kiss your children. It's the best way you can let them know they are loveable.
Tell your baby you love them. Notice the little things they do and praise them: "You were really kind to that new girl at playgroup today", or: "Well done you for pedalling all the way to the end of the lane and remembering to stop so that I could catch up!" Be specific in your praise and mean what you say.
Think about what makes them happy and what doesn't. Consider their needs and notice their funny, quirky little ways.
Schedule in activities that they enjoy: "Let's do something nice together this afternoon - what would you like to do?"
Sometimes the arrival of babies in our lives kicks us into a frenzy of overactivity - renovating, working overtime to save for school fees, trying to provide what we think they need... when all the time what they really need is us!" Steve Biddulph