Monday, March 12, 2007

Advice for New Parents

My writer friend Kai asked me for some advice, which she is going to put in a book for her friends. This is what came to mind:

1. Your child will always look to you to see how to react to the world, so remember to stay calm.

2. Use “please” and “thank you” when speaking to your child – from the get-go.

3. Behave in the same way you expect your child to behave.

4. Dr. Sears – the famous American pediatrician – warns new parents against becoming desensitized to their child’s cries. Rest so you can be there for him/her.

5. Sleep when your baby sleeps, especially when you are nursing.

6. When your baby gets frustrated by his physical limitations, distract him with laughter.

7. Laughter is always the best medicine.

8. Remain flexible so that you will know when your baby can wait for you to finish whatever it is that you are doing and when you need to drop everything to take care of your child.

9. Always try to give your child two choices (be creative), no one likes to be told what to do. For example, instead of battling about putting on a coat, give her the choice of the red coat or the blue coat.

10. Remember – your child understands everything.

11. Don’t underestimate your child’s intelligence just because he can’t speak.

12. Relax. You will know what to do when the time is right.

13. Trust your intuition

14. Have Fun

15. Listen to your baby. Really listen (don’t just pretend). Your infant is actually talking, even if you don’t understand her language.

16. Crying is actually talking in a high volume to get your attention. How would you feel if you were 100% dependent on another human being for everything (food, potty, comfort)?

17. Don’t worry about a child “manipulating you” in the first six months. How would you feel if you were crying because your teeth are hurting, or you are hungry, or you are in a dirty diaper, or you are cold or hot, or you can’t get your body to do what you want it to do, and no one came to your rescue?

18. When your child is frustrated with his body, try putting him in the position he can’t manage on his own, without him realizing it, by playing.

19. Did I already say, relax and have fun?! Relax and have fun! This is the most wonderful experience in the world. And when your baby laughs…ah, the heart just melts.

1 comment:

Ad said...

some great advice, Dya -- we always try not to pick our little one's nose too... Talk about universal themes. Great blog and great mom.