Parenting is a job unlike any other. Parents work hard but are not paid. They are on call 24 hours a day seven days a week, Fortunately, being a parent can bring unique rewards. Parents cherish those times when the family seems especially close or has fun together. They watch with pride as their children become adults, ready to start independent lives of their own. For most parents, the joys outweigh the challenges.

Parenting, caring for children and helping them grow and develop is complicated. It requires understanding those needs. It also requires good judgement.

There are times when parents need to know when to help and when to let children try a task on their own even if it means they will fail. Children have to learn how to bounce back after setbacks and try again.

Parents need to decide when to encourage children when to try different activities. It is important to allow children the freedom to explore their own likes and dislikes. While parents want to avoid pushing children into activities they are not yet ready for, they need to encourage children to engage in enjoyable activities.

The skills parents need change as their children gets older. Parents must adapt their parenting skills to each stage of children's development.

It's not just parents who needs parenting skills. Anyone who lives or works with children can benefit from knowing about child development and parenting. By learning about those skills and how to apply them, people who interact with children have a positive influence on them.

"Act your age" How old are you "? Do these sound familiar? Many parent have made remarks like these to their children. What adults often don't realize is that children do act their age. It is adult's who don't always know what to expect from children at different ages. That is why understanding child development is so important. Having reasonable expectations for children is an essential first step in effective parenting. Even when parents and caregivers know what children are like at different ages, it is important for them to remember each child is an individual. Some children learn to walk earlier than others. Some need extra encouragement in making friends. Some children immediately respond when given directions, while others may need gentle reminders and more time to complete task. It is important to expect differences among children.

There are many different ways to gain skills in parenting. Classes in child development and parenting are good sources of information and help. You can also build parenting skills but reading reliable books or magazines about parenting or you can gain experience working with or caring for children. Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. Because each child is different, ideas or techniques that work with some that don't work with every child.

When a new child joins the family whether by birth, remarriage, or adoption parents feel great joy. Some also feel that a great burden has been placed on their choulders. The decision to become a parent is a serious one. Being a parent radically changes a person's life and creates a new long term responsibilities.

Many new parents say that having children change everything. Becoming a parent does present many challenges. However, as the "newness" of parenthood passes, many parents adjust to the changes and find that their lives are enriched by the presence of a child.

Once people become parents, they can no longer think of their own needs. They have considerably less time for themselves. They must always consider their child's needs first and foremost. Children need physical care, financial support, love and guidance. First time parents can feel overwhelmed by these new responsibilites. With children of any age, parents have limits placed on their personal freedon. They have less time to spend with friends.

Parenthood requires may emotional adjusments. Going through so many changes is stressful. Parents can feel confused and troubled by negative emotions, When people become parents they are likely to notice changes in how they interact with each other and with other family members. A new baby changes the relationship between the new parents and their own parents. Having children can have an impact on careers. Some parents stop working or cut back on their hours to care for their children.

By helping children discover the world, parents often see if with new eyes themselves. Having children can also enrich an already strong marriage. Raising children can also give parents a great sense of accomplishment.

People considering parenthood should also take a close look at what parenting involves but looking at their own emotional maturity as well as health considerations, financial concerns, and how skilled they are at managing personal resources. A person who is emotionally mature are responsible enough to consistently put someone else's needs before their own needs without expecting anything in return. They control their temper when an infant cries for hours on end or a child breaks a favorite possession. They need to be able to handle being constantly on call. Some prospective parent hope that having a child will help them solve some personal problems, such as low self esteem or marriage difficulties. Not all the reason for wanting children show a real readiness for parenthood.