“Parents are teachers, guides, leaders, protectors, and providers for their children.” – Iyanla Vanzant
Parenting starts from the moment your test result comes back positive. After the delivery, it becomes a full time job for both parents. Whether you are the parents of one child, or multiple, it is always a frantic business, but of course enjoyable too! You just have to know the right time to do the right thing. Otherwise, you are in a tight spot.
Look, I am not trying to alarm you. I am a mom of a toddler and a baby so I know that sometimes you need guidance to show whether you are raising your kids the right way, or whether you are doing the right thing. It does not matter if you are experiencing parenthood for the first time or you have been parenting for a long time, it is always beneficial to learn a thing or two. It is said that a worried mother does a better research than the FBI. Here is a list of 10 parenting books I think are important for you and your partner.
This is a perfect book for the new generation of expectant moms. This book contains relevant informations on everything and includes answers to bundles of questions, detailed week-by-week fetal development in each of the monthly chapters, and sections on pre-conception and on carrying multiples. The fourth edition deals with the most recent developments in obstetrics, addresses current lifestyles, and is overflowing with tips, helpful hints, and humor.Advertising
Dr. Harvey Karp discloses an incredible treasure, sought after by almost all parents: how to automatically “switch-off” your baby’s crying. This star doctor has not only successfully influenced pediatricians and working mothers, but also made superstars like Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, turn to him for help. This book will make both the parents and the babies happy since, according to Dr. Karp, calming babies now is as easy as turning off the lights!
Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatric, and Tina Payne Bryson, parenting expert, teamed up to produce a constructive book that offers a state-of-the-art viewpoint to child educating, with 12 key strategies that contribute to healthy brain development leading to calmer, happier children. According to the authors, this book talks about the new science that shows how a child’s brain is wired, and how it matures. This will definitely aid you to the path of nurturing your child to a healthy, emotional, and intellectual development so that your child can lead a proper, balanced, and an equate life.
This book literally talks about all the points covering common problems, and building a foundation for lasting relationships in very innovating ways. The book covers coping with your child’s negative feelings, expressing your strong emotions with hurting your child, punishments, self-discipline, and resolving internal conflicts. Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish did a brilliant job in making relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more fruitful. According to The Boston Globe, this is the ultimate “parenting bible”. This is a book every parent should have.
Every parent should read this before admitting their child to pre-school. More or less, parents seem to fret over the fact how much children should learn. The research, done by three highly talented child psychologists, shows the difference in how play plays a vital role in developing children in maths, reading, verbal communication, science, self-awareness, and social skills. And it is not through academics! This is a very captivating book.
It is accepted that siblings fighting with each other is just a way of life. In a way it’s referred to as sibling love. Well, I can already see my kids fight with each other every single day. Dr. Laura Markham has hands-on, research-based solutions for us, the parents. In this highly anticipated guide, she talks about the methods of cutting through the fights, bridging love for the siblings, and most importantly, how parents should maintain harmony, and a strong connection when siblings are going through disputes. The presentation is simple, yet powerful, and gives equal importance to each child. A significant book for the parents who are having trouble controlling rowdy kids all the time!
7. Design Mom
This is a handy book for all the moms out there who are struggling to keep the house sane from the stream of toys and clothes and what not! The author provides a detailed analysis of how to utilise the smallest of the spaces in your house, how to have a child-friendly environment, and how to design and decor your house with taste so that it tells your family’s story. This book is a room-by-room guide to keeping things organized, creative, and stylish.
A girl’s growing up depends a lot on the role her father plays. The author emphasises how a young woman’s relationship with her father is far more important than you can ever imagine. It talks about the beautiful bond fathers and daughters share, the life lessons a teen should learn from her father, which includes, self-respect, drugs, sex, and alcohol, and the importance of becoming a hero to the daughter, amongst other points. To become a strong, confident woman, she needs her father’s constant support, attention, courage, protection, and wisdom. This is the ideal book to give a helpful roadmap for concerned fathers.
Just like a father’s role can mold his daughter’s upbringing, a mother plays a vital role in bringing up her son. A mother needs to be strong enough to strengthen her relationship with her son. With the amount of challenges a young man faces nowadays, the burden falls on the mother to properly guide her son through them–which can feel overwhelming. A mother must be courageous, bold, and confident in guiding her son. One of the most crucial roles for a mother is to be someone to whom the son can look up to. This helps him gain respect for all of the women in his life. This book provides encouraging, educating, and practical advise for the mothers in building up their sons with self-esteem, support, and wisdom. This book is perfect for all the mothers who have a growing son at home.Advertising
The teen years are the most sensitive period of a girl’s life. This is where a mother can come and guide her through this transition.This book is divided into two parts. In the first part, the mothers are advised on how they should stop the cycle of separation and anxiety that bothers so many, and how to nurture the skills of listening, boundary setting, mirroring, containing, and more. The next part addresses the teens. It advises how they should keep it real with their mothers, while trusting them, and also finding strength in their intuition, friendships, and dreams. This book is packed with practical informations on this kind of relationship, a perfect fit for both mothers and daughters.
Parenting books are like the holy books: you read them and you follow them. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is no school equal to a decent home, and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent”. Be that virtuous parent, educate yourself, educate your children. There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be the real one.
Last Updated on July 20, 2021
How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.
Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:
1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically
According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.
“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor
Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:
If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.
If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.
Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:
- Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
- Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
- Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.
Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.
To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.
Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.
Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.
Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.
Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.
Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:
2. Focus on your goal
One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.
Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’
Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.
Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.
If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.
3. Convert negativity to positivity
There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?
‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’
It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.
Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”
Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.
Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:
4. Understand your content
Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.
However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.
“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor
Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.
Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.
One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.
5. Practice makes perfect
Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.
In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.
Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!
6. Be authentic
There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.
Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.
Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.
To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.
With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.
Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:
7. Post speech evaluation
Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.
Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation
We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.
You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.
Improve your next speech
As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:
- How did I do?
- Are there any areas for improvement?
- Did I sound or look stressed?
- Did I stumble on my words? Why?
- Was I saying “um” too often?
- How was the flow of the speech?
Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.
If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:
- How to Give a Presentation Like a Pro
- 10 Tips for More Effective PowerPoint Presentations
- Tricks to Deliver an Impressive Presentation Every Time
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