Here is a look at three important aspects for you, your spouse and your baby.
How do you create a happy home?
Your baby has arrived, and both you and your spouse are relieved and overjoyed. Even as the family celebrates, there are three areas that require your attention – bonding with your child, taking care of your finances and nurturing your own mental well-being. Here’s a look at these three areas.
Bond with your child
It is important that you and your spouse spend quality time with your child. No matter how busy you are with your work, it is important to make time for your child. Give him/her your undivided attention and unconditional love. As parents, you play an important role to nurture, teach and provide a safe and secure environment so that he grows up to be a confident, positive and happy child.
Here are some tips on how to build a strong, happy, and lasting relationship with your little one.
Find different ways to engage your child, and expose him to different age-appropriate activities so that he can expand his thinking, communication, social and creative skills, as well as improve his motor skills. Through fun and games, your child will learn to overcome obstacles and solve problems, which are critical in building his resilience as he grows up. Activities like board games, sports, or home activities like cake or cookie-making session, and simple chores like picking up the toys and folding clothes can have a positive influence on his/her life. Avoid exposing your child to excessive electronic games or media time.
Nature is a great source of stimulation and learning for your child. Grow plants with your little one or take him to the park or to the beach and educate him on the wonders of the natural environment. That way, he gets to enjoy the sun, fresh air, learn and bond with you at the same time. Spending more time outdoors can also protect him against myopia.
Reading is one of the best activities you can enjoy with your child. Not only do you spend quality time together, you can also enhance your child’s learning capacity and inculcate good values as you read to them regularly.
Find the right balance in playing the roles of a parent, a teacher and a friend to your child. While it is essential to have a set of rules or limits to govern your child’s behaviour, it is important to build a trusting relationship with your child so that he feels comfortable confiding in you about his problems.
Consistent rules in the family provide a secure environment for the child to learn what is right and what is wrong. It reduces the conflicts between parents when it comes to disciplinary measures for your child. Your child will also not be confused when there are clear rules and boundaries for him/her to follow.
Positive reinforcement helps your child to grow up to be a confident adult. Therefore, it is important to give your child immediate feedback about his/her bad behaviour, and praise your child when he/she behaves well.
Engage your child by letting him/her choose which story to read, what outfit to wear, what to eat and where to go. However, do not give him too many choices; young children can get confused very easily when that happens. Instead, offer your child two alternatives.
Benefits for your child:
When parents make a conscientious effort to bond and establish a positive relationship with their child, this supports his/her healthy emotional and social development. Hence your child:
Take care of your finances
Financial planning and stability are important components for a stable and secure environment for your family. With some effective money management tips, you will be able to live comfortably as a family of three or even more!
To start, set a time with your spouse to sit down and discuss household budgeting matters. Do this before your baby arrives. For more information and ideas on family budgeting, please visit www.moneysense.gov.sg
Live within your means:
Save a portion of your income instead of spending it all. Be prepared for additional expenses such as doctor’s fees, especially when your baby is really young and may need the attention of a pediatrician (specialist baby doctor). These will add to the medical cost.
Insurance policies and investment:
Start an insurance plan early for your child as premiums are likely to be lower. To cater to future education needs, many parents buy an endowment or education policy to take care of their child’s higher education fees. Ask friends who have financial expertise for views and advice.
Nurture your own mental well-being
Both you and your spouse’s mental wellbeing have an impact on your little one. If you are stressed, angry or depressed, your child will sense it. If you react negatively towards him, it can cause him distress. If you are positive and happy, your child can feel it and he is likely to feel more secure and assured. Thus, it is important to know what your triggers are and find ways to manage your stress or anger.
Here are some ways that you and your spouse can foster mental wellness for yourselves and be good role models to your child:
Lead a healthy lifestyle:
Manage your time:
Practise good coping skills:
Seek or accept social support:
Your child looks up to you as his/her role model. If you cultivate good healthy habits and coping skills, your child is more likely to follow suit. With a loving, safe and stable environment, your child will grow up healthy and happy.
Health Promotion Board