- Family and Parenting
Parenting Young Children
The Formative Years
The ages of birth to seven, are the most important in the development of children. It is at this time, during this window of opportunity, that attention to detail and the correct guidance when given will set the path by which the future life and achievements will be directed.
The brain of the newborn is like an empty vessel into which the ebb and flow of knowledge and philosophy will vie with natural instincts and self preservation. In the first few years a young child clings to its parents, probably more to its mother, and absorbs the world around like a sponge soaking up moisture.
He or she will imitate and gravitate to the familiar and reject and be repulsed by the unacceptable. These are triggers to learning and the key to success for the wise parent who reads these signs and is in tune with the developing mind.
The First Baby
Don't drop him
Ever fearful that in the first few months of my son's life he might somehow slip through my fingers was because he was so small.. A tiny baby and beautiful in the extreme, at least to me, he weighed just 4 pounds 2 ounces at birth. My first glimpse of him made my heart do something it had never done before. Its hard to describe, really, the sensation. But it jumped and an overwhelming outpouring of love rushed out from me to him. Wow, it was indeed special.
A week later we went home and he was totally now in my care. The joy of feeding him with my milk was unbelievably special as his tiny mouth pumped the breast. Burping him, cleaning him, bathing him, changing him and taking him for walks in his pram were moments of sheer joy, Nothing he did would ever sever the bond that had been formed in those first seconds of his life.
He is 41 now and with two children of his own and a stepdaughter there is the same love in his eyes that must have radiated from mine. He has the same caring attitude, the same type of bonds with them and he loves them to death. Is this the same pattern that he experienced in the early months of his life returning? Yes,I believe so. What you do to and for an infant is what will come out in later years.
In the beginning comes the love, the caring and the routine. Its reinforced! Every day the same routine, the same dependability, the same security and as the mind grows the love, security and bonding grows with it. This is essential for stability and for the baby to know that things are normal. That does not mean that you should stay home because outings are good and visiting others as well. But coming home to the familiar is what matters and the bonding with the home is as important as that with the parents.
Are children the most precious things we have.
Yes, their love and the pleasure of rearing them is the greatest thing ever
How Many Do You Have?
Children, that is?
Spending Quality Time with Them - And getting the right exercis
They will test you but how you react to their needs is important. Take part in their activities. Be a partner in their games and be there when they get the most enjoyment from your company. When they are partaking in family time its mum and dad they will want to share it with.
You Are Shaping His Future
The things he will need
In those first few short weeks my brain was overactive in planning for Andrew's future. He would have to go to the best school and have the greatest of opportunities. So I phoned and ordered enrollment forms for some of the top schools around. The forms went in and he was on the lists of about 4 of them.
But it was his brain that would need protection and guidance and even at this age he was showing signs of recognition and of understanding. He knew my voice and that of his fathers. My mother minded him on several occasion and he quickly recognized her and also his other grandparents. The paternal side had no other grandchildren and they wanted to spoil him rotten.
That's when things got hard for me. We visited them often and they had good access whenever they wanted. But my very watchful eyes were upon them. They had different ideas and values but that could not be allowed to cause friction because it could affect Andrew.
What Happened With Your First?
Were you frightened of dropping your baby?
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Parents Grow Up With Children
What they teach us.
How many times have I heard it said that you can't get pregnant when you are breast feeding. Well, that's wrong! By the time Andrew was 4 months old his little sister had made her presence felt. It was a difficult pregnancy and now I was split in three directions.
First there was the baby shop, which I had opened after getting pregnant with Andrew. Second there was the baby which took a lot of my time. Third there was the morning sickness which lasted all day, every day and every night. There was nothing I could put to my lips almost without chucking. Karen was born a month early and was the sweetest little thing you could imagine. Her beautiful auburn hair and petite shape had everyone admiring her. Of course I did my fair share of that as well.
Next came Margaret only 18 months later. Then things were really tough. 3 babies in nappies, as it turned out was a lot to handle but there is a solution to every problem. We just have to think about it.
The baby shops, yes I had 2 by that time, were sold and sadly my mom died before Margaret was born. That left the biggest hole inside that you can imagine and the intensity of love for my children seemed to increase because of it. With every loss there is a gain and my last baby is an obvious reincarnation of my mother. She thinks the same, acts the same, speaks of the same things, has the same type of dogs and even wanted to be a nurse. She never knew that her grandmother was a nurse.
She was my baby because she was the last and also the hardest to keep track of. Her athletic abilities were shining out of her when at just 8 and 9 months old I could not keep her out of the toilet. She would climb in there and paddle her feet in the water while reclining around the bowl as some cling to the side of a pool.
By nine months she wasn't just walking but running with me after her trying to keep up. She had definitely been here before and made no bones about it. By the time she was 2 she was already doing gymnastics and at 4 swam 28 laps of an Olympic pool. Later in life she would come to hold 2 world titles in karate and many gold medals. She also has several Australian titles as well as others. While I was concentrating on the academic side for the three of them it was a mistake because Margaret was champion sports material.
But there was a thing in the family that you don't pressure children into anything. If they want to do something they will do it in their time. That she did and with great success.
How Long is the Learning Curve
Everyday it was something new
There were times when I thought the nappy cycle would never end and there were days when my nerves would stretch out to their limit as coping with 3 children, all toddlers, was something that even the best of mothers would have trouble with. That was especially made worse by the youngest being the most active and always on the go. if we went to the Mall she took off and sure enough would cause me great anxiety looking for her. Often she would hide to make it worse.
But I had my own set of rules. The first one was never to smack my children. They were to me little apprentices. They were learning about life and about society. Above everything else they were an extension of me. If they made a mistake then it was my fault. So my approach was to explain what they had done wrong and to encourage them never to do it again. If they did, however, do it a second time then I would say they had forgotten what they had been told so it was explained to them again. If, and it rarely happened, it happened for the third time then that had consequences. A spell in the bedroom or a loss of some privilege, such as the reading of a story before bedtime, was always enough.
The greatest thing about my children was the love bond between us. If one of them was upset then it called for a massage, a cuddle and a lie down on the bed together until the pain, whatever it was, was gone. It was an astounding thing when one day my head was aching so much that it called for a lie down. Margaret, who was about 2 at the time, came to me, gave a cuddle and started massaging my legs. "Poor mummy" she said. "The pain will soon go 'way." It was not the last time that such a thing would occur.
It was the precious moments that are so well remembered. Like the day when 3 year old Andrew cut his finger while playing and came rushing into me yelling "mum, I'm leaking".
To avoid stressing them about silly things if they dropped a glass and it broke, for instance, my reaction was usually "don't worry, we'll get another one." One day their father was missing while doing something outside. Philosophical Karen, who was about 2 at the time, responded to the news with "don't worry, we'll get another one."
Every day with them was a joy as we worked together on chores around the house, on cooking and cleaning, then we would head off to the shops and the little bosses would likely tell me what we had to buy. They were always consulted about important things so they were never left out or left to wonder what was going on. If it was new furniture they were asked if they liked it, if the color was OK, and so forth,
By the time they were of school age they had taught me much but the greatest lesson was that your children are the most previous things in your life. They give far more than they receive and they are worth every cent you have to spend on them to ensure their future well being. Karen has two degrees now, is happily married with 2 gorgeous little boys`
A Real Baby Soother
This is an amazing device for babies. It can hang on their cots or on a wall to sooth them to sleep. There is nothing nicer than the calming music and the effect of fish swimming in water. This too is a must have device for babies right through to the end of their toddler years.
What Did Your Children Bring to Your Life?
Were they special and they brought you love, joy, happiness and pride?
Set The Rules Early
You will never regret it
Once a baby comes into the house things change. Routine goes out the window, housework gets behind, washing piles up and the temptation to pamper and nurse the newborn is overwhelming. Well that's not the way to do things.
First off you will be feeding for most of the day, or so it will seem. And, of course, most of the night as well. If the baby is crying you won't get much sleep and things can get rather tense as the days go on. First off the baby comes first and his/her needs. That means getting the washing done on time so there are clean clothes because, believe me, he/she will sick over and stain them just as fast as you can prepare them.
Baby can be fed while you lie on the bed. I did this with all three of mine. When they had their fill they drifted off and so did I. Believe me there is nothing wrong with this. You need to sleep when the baby does. Don't worry about burping every time either, If he/she is uncomfortable you will soon know it but generally there is little wind consumed while breast feeding. At least that was my experience.
With disposable nappies things are a lot easier now than they were in my baby rearing days, as cloth nappies had to be soaked and washed daily. No one is going to sack you if the floor is not cleaned daily or shoot you if the dishes go unwashed, One thing you need to do is reinforce the need for your partner to lend a hand. He can use the vacuum cleaner and wash dishes despite what he might claim otherwise.
Once the baby is established and settled down things ease off and that's the time for a routine to set in. Do the housework early when you are refreshed. Let the baby know that a little crying is not going to result in him immediately being picked up. Feeds can now be regulated and you can have some time out as well.
Walking the baby in a pram is good exercise for both of you. He/she is stimulated by the sounds, smells and appearance of the streets or shopping centers and will become familiar with the places you go. I have known parents to put crying babies in the car and take them for a drive to put them to sleep. I never had to do that as mine were put down at regular times during the day and then at a specific time at night.
As they get older read them stories once they are in bed and this works like magic. You will find they can't wait to hop in between the blankets to get their story and good night kiss.
Its routine, its reinforcement, its love and its comfort for parents and children alike. Stick to the routine and there is very little trouble afterwards.
Don't Ever Let Your Children Down
If you have rules you must keep them.
My children learned from the start that their mother was dependable and trustworthy. They were not told any lies, they were not kidded to and they were never left in a place that was uncomfortable for them. If they were told something would happen then it did. They were treated as equals and part of a team. There was no discrimination between them and what was given to one was also given to the other.
This had marvelous effects on their discipline. As they got older they were angels to take shopping or into anyone's home or anywhere else. All I had to do was to hold up my finger and they knew to be quiet or that they were crossing the boundaries. They never threw tantrums around shopping centers or asked for stuff while we were out. That's because I would buy treats and leave them in the cupboard and they would get one after dinner at night.
They knew too that if they asked for anything while we were out then that was the very thing they would never get. There was a time during the day when we would discuss anything they needed or would like to have. If it fitted into the budget and was considered a fair requirement then it was purchased or acquired the next time we went out.
From a very early age they were introduced to the public library and we would borrow books and things for their enjoyment. They would go into the library with books under their arms like little students to exchange them. We would look around the shelves and they could select the next lot of stories they would like read to them at bedtime. It worked extremely well.
As they grew this kind of discipline, which was nothing more than good management and mutual understanding, carried weight when they attended school and later in life. Now it is shining through in their own children. It was a fair while ago now since my first baby was born but I remember it like it was yesterday, and sometimes I wish it were yesterday for I miss those beautiful baby cuddles and the smell of their presence.
School holidays were especially joyful to me and we always did special things during that time. So make time to enjoy your children for before you know it they are packing their gear to take off and live their own lives. That's when the emptiness and longing for things to be as they were sets in. You can't stop that but you can take comfort in knowing that you did your best at the time.
Every Baby Needs a Cot
It's usually the first thing expectant parents think of when setting up the nursery. This is a specially good one as it converts and adjusts to the growing child's needs. Check out the different colors.
Related lenses - Its all about Children
- Teach Children Early
The earlier you start to teach a child to do simple things like reading and maths the better his chances later on in life.
- How to Protect Children
Their safety should be the concern of all caring parents, This lens explains how to prevent kidnapping and getting lost, etc.
- Educating Young Minds
There are software systems to help you to teach children early. This lens is a guide.
- How To Build a Child's Self Esteem
this is an important component to their success in later life.
Still images from Dreamstime - click here
© 2009 norma-holt