"They don't come with an instruction manual," is the cry of many a new parent, grappling with sleep patterns, feeding routines, and how to keep their precious new bundle safe and well.
But that's just the start. Once the baby stage is over, it slowly dawns on you that the questions have only just begun. How do you keep an inquisitive toddler entertained, deal with their tantrums, prepare them for school and manage the transitions from nursery, to primary, then high school? How do to teach them to be kind, to share, make friends and ensure they know they can talk to you about their worries?
Before the arrival of the Internet, we relied on our own families to help guide us to shape happy, health little ones, able to cope with life and all its changes. Now we have a world of information at our fingertips, but it is easy to feel overwhelmed and confused by the volume of differing advice out there.
To help simplify things, Parenting across Scotland produced a series of down-to-earth advice guides for getting through some of the trickier times of childhood and adolescence. Developed with experts and tried and tested by parents these succinct guides offer trustworthy and reassuring advice on topics such how to help your baby or toddler (and you!) to get enough sleep, and tips to help you and your child play.
We all need support and a bit of advice to be the best parents we can be, so we want to make sure that these Top Tip guides reach as many parents as possible.
The guides are available to download for free from our website, or bulk order. And over the next few weeks we will sharing excerpts from our sleep and play Top Tips guides on our Twitter feed @ScotParents along with guest blogs on our website from politicians, including Children's Minister Aileen Campbell, and PAS partners.
We will also be encouraging parents to add their own top tips using the hashtags #pas10. What are your family's best messy play ideas? Do you have a bedtime routine and favourite stories to read together? We'd love to hear from the experts - you!
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