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Parents Panel: What's the best piece of parenting advice you've ever been given?

Don’t compare, treat your kids with respect – and stock up on ‘essentials’ before giving birth.
Dec 21st 2017, 5:00 PM 4,767 1


AS PART OF’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. With that in mind, we’ve launched Parents Panel.

This week, we’re asking our panel about the best piece of parenting advice they’ve ever heard or received along the way. What’s the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever been given?

Here’s what our panel had to say…

Parents Panel All 7

Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly.

Breastfeeding is a full-time job (at least for weeks one to eight)
Our midwife advised that breastfeeding would be a full-time 24/7 job for the first eight weeks. She told us to leave the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning, the entertaining and to just focus on feeding and sleeping. That bit of perspective was really helpful.

- Kait Quinn

Quinn Source: Kait Quinn

This too shall pass
Before having my daughter, someone advised me everything was just a stage and would pass quickly. So if it is a lovely time, enjoy and relish in it, and if it is a rough time (say, with sleepless nights) don’t despair. It’ll all be a memory soon.

- Ríona Flood

Kids deserve respect, too
I once read that kids are people too, not just humans in training. I treat Tymek with as much respect as if he was an adult. If he’s addressing me, I answer, I don’t talk about him to others when he’s around, because I don’t do that with adults either. I don’t shout at him (well 98.5% of the time…) and on top of everything I always make sure I’ve time for a hug if he needs one.

- Marta Lisiecka

Liesicka Source: Marta Lisiecka

Carve out some me-time
Kids, especially when they are young, can be all-consuming, as we were warned before having any. Squeezing in a some time to yourself each day can save your sanity, even if it’s only ten minutes with a cuppa.

- Ken Hyland

Boxshall Source: Ross Boxshall

Do an ‘essentials’ shop before giving birth
One of the best bits of advice I was given before giving birth was to stock up on essential products. I knew that I was going to have a C-section which would put me out of action for six weeks, and as a single parent that meant no way to get to the shops. I stocked up on nappies, wipes, baby milk and so on and it was ideal.

- Denise Cumiskey

Trust your gut
I think the best advice that I’ve been given over the years is simply to trust your instincts. It has come in handy many times over the years, especially for A&E visits…

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- Susannah O’Brien

Susannah O Brien Source: Susannah O'Brien

Having kids is tough. Really tough…
We found the life transition from no kids to kids tough going, and that’s something we were warned about ahead of time. In hindsight, maybe the tough time was more about us than about a baby. With two strong personalities in the household, we had to make a transition together.

- Alan Dooley

Don’t compare
Spend your time enjoying your child’s changes and development rather than comparing them to other kids their age. Your child will get there too. We took that approach with potty training. We had the potties at home, but he decided when to use them. I figured that adults know how to use a toilet, so he’d get there in his own time!

- Olly Keegan

dav Source: Olly Keegan

You know your child better than anyone
Probably the most important advice my wife and I have been given is to trust our own parental instincts. On occasions this has been really put to the test, especially in medical situations. Nobody else knows and loves your child in the way you do, and as a parent you instinctively respond to what they need.

- Ross Boxshall

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More Parents Panel: What’s the strangest thing on your child’s Santa list?

More Parents Panel: How do you manage to stay within budget at Christmas?

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