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Learn How to be a Loving and Effective Parent
Parenting Children: Learn How to be a Loving and Effective Parent
By Jennifer Garden
Copyright @2017 By Jennifer Garden
All Rights Reserved.
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Introduction: A Time of Tremors
Chapter 1: Nature and Nurture
Chapter 2: The Wild and the Wily – The Right-Brained Child and the Left-Brained Child
Chapter 3: In the Place Where the Heart Meets the Mind
Chapter 4: The Control of Fear
Chapter 5: The Internet – A Cast of Millions
Chapter 6: Discipline
Chapter 7: When the Warm Front Meets the Cold Front – The Tempest of the Teens
This book is written from the viewpoint of the father, as he relives his experiences raising his child. In many ways, he is the ideal, although imperfect, parent. He doesn’t exist, as you would suspect, but the stories in here about parental and childhood experiences are based on real-life.
Within these chapters, there are typical dialogues experienced parents have had with their children. The dialogues are also based on real-life occurrences. You can easily adapt these interactions to suit your own circumstances. Practical tips will be presented that you can apply to your situation. The dialogues within are amusing at times because your beautiful children possess a refreshing outlook on life the rest of us have long since outgrown. Children tend to get chronic cases of the “giggles,” and you will giggle too as you witness your children assigning childlike interpretations of a word you have uttered. Because of this book, you will have a very rare chance to peek at our world through the mind of a child.
There are also stories herein that portray real-life successful and unsuccessful experiences others have experienced. Sometimes it helps to know what-not-to-do.
Dealing with an Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) or other learning difficulty
Teaching children an awareness of their feelings
Helping children learn to control their emotions
Teaching children empathy and respect for another’s feelings
The Internet and cyber bullying
Sensible and effective discipline
Handling social interaction
This book is energized by solid psychological and biochemical facts one should know in order to take on the awesome and laudable challenge of effective child-rearing.
Raising a child is one of the most challenging tasks you face in life. It is a daunting and selfless pursuit of the highest order. Nonetheless, raising children is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. You already know that you not emerge from that experience unscathed, but you will find within you the courage of a superhero, despite your misgivings. Raising a child for the first time is like mounting a complex child car seat without an instruction booklet. It’s your responsibility not to be perfect, just to get your child and yourself through the day and be alive and happy at the day’s end. The trophy you deserve for doing that is invisible. Your trophy and your reward is Love – pure, powerful, and everlasting.
There he was! So tiny, so delicate! Your world paused in time, and you were enveloped in wonder and awe. How is it possible for anyone that small to become your size one day? All babies do – somehow. Then you looked upon your little wonder lying there, flailing his arms and legs. Wow! He can’t do anything! That’s when the parental fear strikes. It is all up to you and your spouse. Everything! Shouldn’t your child have some milk now? “No,” said Mom. “He wants to sleep.”That’s when you realized he wasn’t entirely impotent.
You looked at him and wondered who he will look like. Mom or Dad? As you analyzed him, you silently admitted to yourself that he doesn’t look like anyone you know! A tiny little head with just a hint of hair. A nose that looks like the baby nose seen in photographs worldwide. Nevertheless, you commented that he looks like your wife, and she said he looks like you. This is the first of many concessions you made in the years to come.
Perhaps you have other children, and you turn to his sister, Emma, as she marched in the room and gave her baby brother a prolonged and critical stare. “His eyes aren’t even open!” she exclaimed.
“No, not yet,” you explained. “It will take a while.”
“How long? When is he going to be able to play with me? You said I would have a new playmate!”
You then took her into her room and explained the facts to her. You told her ways in which she can help with the raising of her brother. Then you reassured her that you will inform her right away when her baby brother’s eyes will open. You handed her a little stuffed animal and told her to place it in his crib. She seemed pleased about that.
That was the beginning of a long list of loving negotiations you need to make between siblings. This tiny package you are gifted with comes along with a huge list of requirements.
In the beginning, you patrolled the hallway like a dutiful sentry. One day, the baby let out an ear-splitting cry. Your daughter who was peeking into his room raced away. You were amazed that two little baby lungs smaller than your fists could render such a sound. Who needs that baby monitor we have when the whole house reverberates with his cries?
Mom arrived swiftly, picked him up, and remarked that he will be in your room for just a short time, but the monitor will be useful when he’s in the nursery or when she is downstairs.
Survival of the Body – First Things First
Then Mom caressed the baby and sat in the rocker. “He’s hungry,” she said, and breast-fed him. As she rocked, she explained that the rocking will imitate the movement he felt when he was in the womb.
“How do you know these things? Maybe he was hurting somewhere,” you replied, as your protective paternal role emerged.
“A mother just knows. You will too. Remember the mouse in the garage?”
You reflected back to that Saturday afternoon when you and your wife were cleaning out the back garage. When you removed a large piece of cardboard near the work shelves, Mother Mouse scampered under an old blanket with her little pink babies still hanging on to her nipples. One poor little one lost his hold. He squirmed and squeaked in desperation. Then your wife picked him up every so gently and placed his little mouth back on the nipple. She forbade you to get rid of the mouse and her tiny babies. Your back garage was then used to store your classic car, to use for your workshop, and run a mouse house. For generations to come, no doubt. The maternal instinct permeates most warm-blooded species, and even a few cold-blooded species as well. This should all come natural to you, but you’re not sure you can trust yourself.
Mom finished feeding your little boy and she proceeded with “burping” him. She supported his head and held him up to her shoulder where she had a little towel, and tapped him gently on the back to let him dispel any air in his tummy. Whimsically, you remembered your own “burping sessions” in the third grade when you and the other boys would all burb just to see who could burb the loudest.
After he let out a few satisfying burps, you pondered to yourself “Why do they need to do this? Why aren’t they fully functional yet? Surely, he’s not defective.” You certainly weren’t trained in baby biology, but somehow you sensed what his basic survival needs are. Instinct began to kick in.
Mom put him back in the crib, and he fell asleep. Then the two of you tip-toed out of the room.
Parenting is a tremendous responsibility and all parents merit applause for making all efforts to provide for their baby’s needs. Babies need around 16 - 25 ounces of milk per day from the age of 1 month to six months. Larger babies may need slightly more. All parents need to consult a pediatrician to assess a baby’s needs through the early developmental stages. However, in some isolated instances, your baby knows best! Consider Timmy’s story.
Timmy First Picnic
When little Timmy was five months old, his mother asked the pediatrician if it was time to start him on solid food. The pediatrician indicated it was still a bit too early.
One evening, Mom and Dad had Timmy perched up in his high chair on their deck while they were serving themselves barbequed ribs. Mom placed her food-filled plate on a tall table while she grabbed the barbeque sauce. After she turned back, one of her ribs had been taken off her plate. She glanced over to Timmy who was supposed to be drinking a little bottle of expressed milk. Timmy sat up there – proud and happy. The milk bottle was rolled into the corner of his tray, while he gnawed enthusiastically on Mommy’s pilfered barbequed rib! Sometimes babies know best.
The Trial and Error Method of Parental Learning
One evening, a blood-curdling cry came from the baby’s crib. The alarum had brashly sounded. The baby book came out, and you perused it while running into the room. Not hunger...Mom felt his diaper, and started removing it. Wow! What a stench it was! It was no longer the academic exercise that you reviewed in the book. Then you remembered his sister, Emma, and invited her in to watch you put on his diaper. You knew you must both be careful of the jealousy factor. She watched with great interest as Mom tenderly washed your little boy, dried him off and placed him on the changing table. It was your turn next. As you bent over to powder him, you got shot in the face with urine! Little Emma, although astonished, laughed heartedly. Then you dried your baby and practiced the diaper change. Oh, yes, you remembered now from your experiences with Emma who would always fuss and wiggle. Your boy was no different. Perhaps he will run track someday.
Survival of the Self
Basic Psychological Needs
Yet another cry pierced the quiet from your baby’s crib in the early evening one day. You knew he was fed in the middle of the night, and again at daybreak. His diaper was changed. You ran into the room. What could be wrong now? Mom was already there, picked him up, and rocked him in her arms. Like magic, it worked. That’s when you reminded yourself that you’ve been micromanaging his development by focusing almost exclusively upon his biological needs. According to Engle & Lhotska, “Care refers to the behaviors and practices of caregivers (mothers, siblings, fathers and child care providers) to provide the food, health care, stimulation and emotional support necessary for children’s healthy survival, growth and development.”
Mabel and Baby Mike
A few years ago in the waiting room at a clinical psychologist’s office, his psychological assistant noted that a woman by the name of Mabel had her baby in his carriage next to her. Every time the baby fussed or cried, Mabel leaped up and put a bottle into his mouth. There were no plush animals in the carriage and there were no hanging colorful beads dangling from its hood. The child was simply staring at the white ceiling overhead. He appeared to be fatter than most children his size and age, carrying far more weight than baby fat would account for. The assistant made mention of this to the doctor after Mabel entered the room for her session, so he could address the issue.
Sometimes the obligations of parenting responsibly lie heavily upon the parents and there can be a strong need on the part of the parents to ease the burden. You already know how much breast milk or formula your child should drink as a baby. Whole milk may cause some weight gain because of the fats in it. Nevertheless, those fats are wholesome within moderation. Too much milk, on the other hand, may cause a psychological dependency as well as physical health consequences. Milk is not a pacifier. In Mabel’s case cited above, it may have been used as something to keep the baby quiet. Mabel may unwittingly be sentencing herself to a number of years of “pacifying” her child by teaching him that Mom will take care of it whenever her child wants something. That can cost a small fortune in a toy store.
Sometimes eating carries the illusion of comfort when one is distressed or depressed. In its extreme, a dependent personality may result by fostering an atmosphere in which much gratification is obtained from food or even friends. We all know such people as adults. They are the ones who find decision-making difficult without consulting a “committee of friends,” from whom they get advice and emotional support for nearly everything they say or do.
According to Cline and Fay, excessive loving can also stunt a child’s confidence. They said, “We want to do everything humanly possible for our children so that someday they can strut confidently into the real world. And we do it all in the name of love. But love can get us in trouble – not love itself per se, but how we show it. Our noblest intentions are often our own worst enemy.”
Need for Love and a Sense of Belonging
Abraham Maslow, the world-famous psychologist from the 20th century, delineated a hierarchy of needs for all humans. They are innate and persist throughout life. As your children grow, these needs will become more sophisticated. Nonetheless, they start immediately upon birth. On the second rank of his hierarchy sits the need for love and belongingness. You remembered the time when Mom held your little baby in her arms to comfort him. He needed reassurance he was loved. He needed to know she is the Mom and you are the Dad. In fact, he seemed to have an “emergency need” to know that she and you love him and he loves you in return. He wants to be soothed by the understanding that you belong to him, and he belongs to you.