7 Tips for Preparing Yourself to Become a Parent Before You Become One

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I’ll never forget it.

My wife had an emergency c-section and I was sitting in a room off to the side of the operating room, nervously waiting while the doctors cut open my wife and “airlifted” my baby daughter.

I was 25 years old.

When I finally heard her yelping from the other room, I stood up and a nurse escorted me into the brightly-lit, sterile operating room. Like a dream, my life had changed in an instant. My life-focus instantly shifted from thinking about myself to thinking about this little, blotchy red person screaming before me.

In our young life, the thought of children may be far, far away, and even if you’re still in college or single, there are things you can do right now which will prepare you to handle children. In one sense, they’re also the marks of maturity, but not all parents become mature people and not all mature people become parents. Even if you never have kids, you might find these points useful.

1. Put down the iPhone and play.
One of the hardest parts of being a human in the digital age is our complete saturation into our phones and other devices. There’s all sorts of distractions that will constantly pop up and when you have children, where you put your focus will speak volumes about your love towards them and towards others. If your focus is on your phone, computer or other entertainment device with very little time left for your children, the child will come to think of that thing as being more important than they are.

I’m preaching to myself as well when I say this: put down the phone for a while.

2. Build up patience and even if you already have some, build some more.
I always felt like I was a naturally patient person before having kids. When I’d have to wait in long lines at the DMV, I would just smile and twiddle my thumbs. When someone would cut me off in traffic, I was pretty stoic. “I’m not in a rush,” I would say.

But when I had kids, the game changed. Think of it as if adults are on normal playback speed while children (especially preschoolers) are on ultra fast-forward or on super slow-motion. Also, surprisingly, they don’t just do what you ask them to immediately. You have to learn to train your children with a patient attitude. I had to learn that even when I thought I was most patient, I had to gain more because children don’t clock out at 5 p.m. The training never ends.

3. Enjoy your alone time now.
From high school to college and into the workforce, many young people put themselves on a trajectory of constant busyness. There’s so much to get done and to do, but it’s also good to take time for quiet and solitude.

When you have children, these moments will come but there will be far less time for it. Take time out for yourself and no one else now, so that when you do have children, you’ll appreciate it all the more!

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Relevant Magazine
Zachary K. Perkins

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