2 YEARS OLD What if you can’t af­ford the ex­pen­sive ac­tiv­i­ties that other kids go to? Over­come your parental FOMO blues with these strate­gies.

Over­come your parental FOMO (fear of miss­ing out) blues with these strate­gies from DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - C Ntents -

Your friends send their twoyear-olds to child­care cen­tres with amaz­ing fa­cil­i­ties and highly qual­i­fied staff, then sign them up for a huge range of fan­tas­tic tod­dler ac­tiv­i­ties.

You worry when you hear them talk­ing with one another about all of this. These ser­vices and ac­tiv­i­ties are so un­be­liev­ably ex­pen­sive – you could never af­ford them – and now you are suf­fer­ing badly from parental FOMO (fear of miss­ing out.)

Here are five ways to over­come the FOMO blues:

Fo­cus on par­ent­ing ba­sics

Your tod­dler can’t care less about how many designer shirts you buy for her, or how much you paid so she could bounce around in that fancy new tram­po­line cen­tre.

She’s just as happy when you painted her face like a cat as she would if a pro­fes­sional face-painter did that in­stead.

What mat­ters to her is that you love her, you nur­ture her, you care for her and you make her feel val­ued and safe. So, con­cen­trate more on the important as­pects of par­ent­ing, and less on the triv­ial.

Value “home­made”

ac­tiv­i­ties with good par­ent­ing, you start to over­come FOMO. Con­sider it ra­tio­nally: You know “ex­pen­sive” doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean “bet­ter.”

Of course, your tod­dler will have a good time paint­ing pre-made pot­tery at that costly class run for two-year-olds. But she’ll al­most have a bet­ter time do­ing that same ac­tiv­ity with you at home. It’s the “you” part that money can’t buy – you are the value-add.

For­get so­cial-me­dia hype

Have you ever no­ticed dig­i­tal-savvy par­ents don’t post pic­tures of their child hav­ing a melt­down? Nor do they proudly up­load pho­tos of them­selves in tears be­cause their tod­dler won’t go to sleep.

If you be­lieve ev­ery­thing other par­ents tell you about them­selves and their chil­dren on so­cial me­dia, you end up be­liev­ing ev­ery­body (ex­cept you) has a per­fect life with a per­fect part­ner and per­fect chil­dren. And that is to­tal non­sense.

Treat par­ent­ing posts on so­cial me­dia with a huge pinch of salt be­cause these are of­ten based on fan­tasy rather than re­al­ity.

Make your own choices for your child

Your tod­dler loves you be­cause of your unique­ness. It’s the way you smile at her with love, the way only you can com­fort her when she is up­set, and the way she has such fun with you. She trusts you and knows you make the best choices for her.

So why should you start to have self-doubt just be­cause oth­ers con­tin­u­ally boast about how much they spend on their chil­dren?

Choose the best ac­tiv­i­ties for your tod­dler; don’t do any­thing with your child just be­cause oth­ers are do­ing it too. Think for your­self.

When you stop equat­ing ex­pen­sive ac­tiv­i­ties with good par­ent­ing, you start to over­come FOMO.

Ab­sorb your­self in the mo­ment

There’s huge se­cret about par­ent­ing you won’t dis­cover un­til your child grows up and leaves home: It all goes by in the blink of an eye.

And that’s when you re­ally un­der­stand that ex­pen­sive classes, fancy hol­i­days, and ridicu­lously costly child­care are ir­rel­e­vant. You won’t re­mem­ber shar­ing a five-star ho­tel bed­room with your child, but you will re­mem­ber when you both splashed in the pud­dle in the street.

So, saviour every ex­pe­ri­ence you share with your child. When you do that, FOMO fades com­pletely.

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