Dear Parents: Don't Panic!

Being in charge of a baby or child is stressful.  Whether you're a parent, teacher, nanny, or just taking care of a friend's baby for an hour, it's easy to freak out over the littlest things.  The two words I say the most to parents is DON'T PANIC.  Seriously.

Children respond to your reactions.  If your child falls and you immediately scoop them up and scream "Oh no!" they will respond to your emotions.  If you wait a half second to see if they are actually hurt, sometimes they are fine!

Another thing I have learned is that little ones will remember the last thing.  When I teach swim lessons, I never push the child or baby in the last five minutes.  I always try to end the lesson on positivity, and letting them play with toys.

One of my places of work.

One of my clients told me about implementing this in a scary situation.  It was the first time he put his infant daughter into a daycare, just for an hour so he could get in a workout.  When he returned, he found mayhem.  Right at that moment, another child BIT his daughter!

I saw her the next day, and right on her cheek was a circular bruise with tiny teeth marks.

Of course, everyone was in a panic.  But my client remembered not to panic and not to leave the daycare while she was crying.  So he sat with her, cuddled her, and calmed her down.  The little boy who bit her was a toddler, who was probably trying to show affection or maybe was just teething terribly.  Either way, this was not out of malice.  My client even sat with the boy to make sure he knew he did nothing wrong.  He stayed calm and collected, and both his daughter and the little boy were able to calm down.  His daughter wasn't seriously hurt, and since he waited until she was in a better mood, she will remember playing with her daddy and a new friend.

So remember, don't panic.  Chances are, it's not as bad as you think.  Your toddler falls and bonks his head?  Assess the situation calmly.  Your baby won't sleep through the night?  This too shall pass.  If you're worried, you're probably doing a better job than you think.