Celebrating parenthood, should my child sleep with me and teaching my child to be a good sport.

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How can I celebrate the successes of parenthood? Many parents do not take the time to celebrate the things that they are doing right as parents.  This is important, because everyone needs to be recognized.  Take a few minutes to look in the mirror and reflect on how far you have come with your children.  And, thank yourself for a job well done, because no one benefits from well-raised children as much as the parents.
How can I become comfortable using a babysitter? First-time parents particularly become uncomfortable at the mention of the word. However, everyone needs an occasional break from parenthood and babysitters are often necessary to make it happen!  Ask for recommendations from friends and neighbors and even your church, and feel confident knowing that if someone else is willing to entrust their children’s welfare to a babysitter – you can too.  Start small, using a new babysitter for an hour while you run to the grocery store. Increase the time that you will be away gradually and watch how your children interact with the sitter.  Over time, you will become more comfortable leaving your children with a babysitter.
How do I decide whether to let my child sleep with me? The decision of whether or not to allow a child into the parental bed for night-time sleeping is a completely individual decision. Just know that once you begin to allow your child into your bed, they will be much less inclined to fall asleep on their own.  Therefore, decide early whether you are willing to sleep with your child every night.  Some parents have discovered that infants in the parental bed make nighttime feedings easier.  However, others have determined that putting the infant’s bassinet near the parents’ bed has the same effect.
What are some ways I can make my child’s room enjoyable for me? Many new parents forget that they will be spending a lot of time in their infant’s room.  Therefore, decorate the room for your tastes and with a décor that is welcoming to you.  If you place a comfortable rocker with soft pillows and a warm blanket in the room, you will find it a lot more enjoyable than if it contains only a crib and dresser.  Realize that you will spend time in this room when changing your baby, putting him or her to sleep and even when he or she is sick.
How can I teach my child to be a good sport? Nobody likes a sore loser.  The best way to teach a child to be a good sport is to practice good sportsmanship yourself.  If you are overly competitive, your child will pick up on this and emulate your behavior. If your child is going to play organized sports, be realistic about your expectations and never yell or scream at an official that you think was unfair to your child. Be consistent. If you see your child do something that is not sportsmanlike – correct the behavior and discuss it with your child after the game or activity has ended.

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