Enjoy your baby – they grow up so fast!
~ 0-2 Every 3 months they “grow” in size & development
[I love 9-15mths best myself!]
~ 2-6 they become independent children remember to prepare them for school
- read to them every night and help them to learn how to get dressed & feed themselves.
- toilet training – we all did it! lol be patient and explain what they have to do! my Mum always got us on the potty when she changed our nappy to get used to it and then cluey her knew when we were due to do “plops” and more often than not we did it in the potty/toilet! [Oh and to teach boys to aim! Use either a cork or a pingpong ball to “aim” at! Lol]
& treat yourself to a fun activity when they go to school on their first day! You’ve earned it!
~ 6-12 they are your kids your babies still (secretly) don’t fuss with them but remember to give them expectations – kisses goodnight/bye or hello [promotes healthy lovelives] teddies in bed to cuddle [future wives will thank you!] holding hands, hugs and sitting together etc
~ 12-18 they are your babies underneath don’t forget that. Give them space time understanding and expectations. This is where the explanations come into play and KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! Remember to them every crisis is a life threatening major drama! Give them options and TIME is the biggest option to give. If they can’t think of a solution give it TIME! [2 pins they’d forget it occurred before the time is up! lol]
~ 18-death if you’ve done your job right these adults will prosper and achieve whatever their hearts’ desire and the world and their friends & partners will thank you [I have been so thanked already!]
Remember they are people too so treat them with respect and kindness and look for the cause not just react to the symptom [however annoying!]
“Are they hot/cold?” – babies only need one layer more than you but remember to keep their feet warm! But if you took your coat off as you go in then so should they!
“Are they in the sun?” – they can’t move out of it if they’re strapped to a pusher/car seat
“Is the scenery boring/claustrophobic?” – look at life from their angle blank ceilings, loads of legs, clothes racks, walls, etc – & don’t leave them out! If you include them in the activity it helps them to understand converse and form their own ideas and develop their own interests
They do talk to you – 5 kinds of cries – bum – bottle – bed then fed up with the pain of teeth/frustration & whinging for attention [give into that last one even at a month old and you will live to regret it!] hold conversations and teach them how to obtain your attention in a polite way. If you are talking to someone and your child needs you cos they have to go toilet then give them the respect and not just hush them cos you are talking – another adult should wait or were they worth talking to in the first place?
Babies cant read books and don’t tell the time so don’t expect them to live by the guidelines you “learn” about. Books were written about them not for them! Your baby and you will make up your own patterns of life!
Sleep when bub does if you need it and the family/world will just have to help or wait! It’s only for a month or two! Don’t neglect you! they tell you to put the oxygen mask on first in planes because a child cannot put one on an unconscious parent where as you can on them! Lead by example also – dispels fear then! And if you wouldn’t do it why make them?
Don’t be silent during the day baby is only resting/napping and will not sleep deeply at night if they do it during the day! And at night don’t get up to bub unless it’s feed time > It teaches them to go back to sleep on their own, in fact to go to sleep on their own > If you go to them it teaches them that bed is a scary place Mum/Dad takes you out of when you cry. It wont take long for the whinge crying to stop. Don’t fret that they could be trapped/sick/etc you will know the different cries. Look in but don’t go to them if it’s just a whinge. Give them a few minutes then a few minutes more then go in but don’t pick them up unless they need it [ie nappy] just sit with them and pat them – don’t talk to them! – till they go off. Make each waiting period longer and each patting shorter and eventually it will stop. Of course if they have worked themselves into a state then settle them but don’t take them out of the room or away from the bed for long and NEVER into bed with you on a regular basis!
When you talk to them -right from babyhood – give them time to make a reply even just a grunt or a facial expression – you’d hate someone firing questions / talking at you all the time and not letting you get a word in edgewise! – promotes their ability to converse and think for themselves and their respect for you!
- Be firm and constant no matter what right from the start! If they touch the hot iron it will burn them every time not just today cos you said so!
- Be very clear that it is just the behavior that’s unacceptable not the person!
- Discipline at the time of offense not when Dad/Mum gets home! Bub has forgotten then! And I know Nanny says sit them on the naughty chair but really! A simple “Go away I don’t like that behaviour come back when you are ready to apologise” suffices better! It is the expelling that is the discipline
- But don’t forget to sort out the “why” when tempers have cooled – kids often have no idea why they were expelled from the activity or presence but do it after you have cooled down; shouting at a child is a good “heads up” for them and then later a calm explanation conversation is far better to be listened to than while you are still “Barking” at them.
- Be certain they give the apology if it is warranted – never make “sorry” a let off! In calmer discussion you may discover that they did not need to give one, or that they also require one from their “victim” – but usually it is warranted even if it is for the retaliation that drew your attention. Think of a pack of dogs – same behaviour except we add the philosophical discussion.
- Parents never contradict each other in front of child/ren, talk later and change the deal if need be after – [in court it’s called a revision lol] give compensation too if warranted lol if children see contradicting it will destroy the validity of the parent contradicted.
- Apologies are good to give kids too – teaches them how to do it!
- If you threaten or promise something stick to it! They don’t have the bills and the friends issues and your appointments to keep in their heads so they have plenty of room to remember what you tell them so don’t say it unless you mean it! Then they learn to mean what they say too!
- Teenagers are less resilient than children to change, they need the basic rules to fight against to spar with and test their own philosophy so that they know the right way from the wrong and can trust themselves to make the right choices – if you have complacent teenagers worry! What are they doing and hiding from you?
My 4 discipline stages
i From 0 – 3yo : It is repartition [they don’t have long term memory recall] NB prevention is better than cure! WATCH them and WATCH OUT FOR them!
ii From 3 – 7yo : Is when they learn the rules of life – be firm and constant here no matter how much you want to give in and just mollycoddle them! You love them but they must learn acceptable community behaviour standards. Most importantly BE the role model of how you want them to behave! Lead by example! If you don’t do it don’t expect them to!
iii From 7 – 16yo : Is when you work out together the adaptation of rules then remind them of the rules and dish out the consequences if they deserve them AGAIN even more importantly BE the role model of how you want them to behave! Lead by example! If you don’t do it don’t expect them to! If they copy you don’t blast them if it’s wrong!
iv From 16-death : If you have done the other steps right then this is the time you will benefit and have your children be “friends” with you and trust you & talk to you about everything they need to and help you if you need it.
- House-proof your child NOT Child-proof your house! if you do this right you can take your children anywhere and they can feel comfortable wherever they go. It is a simple respect for others and their space & belongings and use of them. They’ll have to learn it when they’re away from you anyway so best to teach them at home and make your life easier!
- DON’T pick them up/give them money/things every time they ask for it! Kaniva is a town in Victoria but “CANIVA…” doesn’t exist! (& if you put money in those ride things expect to do it every time! If they don’t know it moves they won’t care if it does or not! – but it is a good reward! For good patience while Mummy shopped lol)
Speaking of money [necessary evil that it is]:
- Use pocket money as a wage expect set standards to be met for the agreed price [same $ as age is good!] ie keeping room tidy, reading each night, teeth done whatever chores required. Also offer bonuses for doing work without asking or doing extra work & fines as penalties if they do something wrong [$2 per hour late home or whatever lol]
- A good idea I received (after I need it lol) is to put their allotted money into an account regularly then if they want to spend money give it to them if they have enough in their account to cover the request and don’t pay that into their account next time [if affluent enough allow that to pass if you want but keep a tally] It promotes a sense of saving and not spending if they can see that their money is growing if left alone. Set up a “bank book” with them and allow them to keep the book balanced.
- For major expenses offer to match their fund raising attempts dollar for dollar & don’t be too harsh if they need to readjust to doing extra workloads to fund their part of the deal
- Water is more important to life than food! When you are hungry you are actually thirsty first – hunger is a symptom of dehydration. Even as babies they can have boiled water when it’s hot.
- Food is a substance required to live NOT a reward! Remember when you create fat cells they do not go away they empty and lay dormant to be filled again if need be! Starvation causes the body to save everything it receives just as much as eating more than you can expel!
- Movement is vital for healthy body and mind. Don’t allow them to fall into the trap of being entertained on their bums! [TV/ PC / X-Box / Playstation etc] and the most important activities are walking and reading; walking for the body and reading for the mind! Game playing will be a good second – builds teamwork and confidence and skills.
Lastly but by no means least if you had a natural birth lean forward when you pee!
[never learned that one till baby 5 – man was I annoyed!!! lol]
Use things & Love people, treat them/everyone as you would like to be treated, be considerate and patient, keep the bigger picture in mind and don’t get bogged down in the detail, but remember respect & trust is to be earned and cherished on both sides and above all reasonableness is to be expected
But above all else – give unconditional love at all times!
Your love is not a reward or a privilege to be earned or withdrawn, it is the only love that is not!
Parent’s prayer ; “Lord give me strength!” [it’s as long as we have time for! Lol]
And remember to breathe! Stop and look at the sky, stars, sunrise, sunset, the flowers and the trees and your children laughing!
Prompted by a spat of people I know having children and as I have 5 and am step mum/mom to 3 and adopted mother to everyones friends [Known as “Mumma Red” and “Mumma Rang” lol] they always ask me for help and advise so I wrote it down!
I do have a bit of expertise to go with my experience
- 3 years education degree [admittedly still to be completed but passed not failed!], 20 years Scout Leadership, 2 years adult trainer, 4 years child care certified and mother for 25years.
Ok it’s still a work in progress but it’s a beginning
anyone want to add to these I would most welcome helpful suggestions
NB raising children can only be seen as the most valuable and important vocation in life for without the next generation what is all the rest for?