The Most Common Parenting Problems – A Thorough Review with Helpful Advices
For a total of three years, I have experienced several issues that not only affected me, but my child and my husband as well. But all in all, these so called problems can be avoided as long as you have the ample knowledge and support system to help you through it.
For now, all I can attest to is the past and current problems that I have had experiences with and how I was able to overcome them. So for those mothers who have children at the age range of new born to three years, you can more or less relate with what I will be sharing as you continue to read.
Post-Partum Depression and Stress
A lot of mothers tend to forget about themselves once they have their child to take care of. Believe me when I say that post-partum depression is a silent enemy. During the first few months after I gave birth, I solely focused on my child. This includes dressing her, bathing her, feeding her round the clock, changing her diapers, cleaning and sterilizing her bottles and so much more.
First time mothers like me become too busy caring for their babies that they forget that they need rest too. When I visited my OB, he asked me how I was, I said I was fine. But he repeated the question “No. How are YOU coping?” All of a sudden I started to burst into tears and told my doctor that I was having a hard time but I was not aware of it.
He told me that there are two things that I need to do. First is to cry it all out and the next is to take a long rest. He said that mothers usually don’t realize that they are experiencing post-partum blues and thinks that they are just really tired. But what they don’t know is that prolonging this will result in a mental, emotional and physical state that would hinder you from taking proper care of your child.
All in all having yourselves equipped with the right amount of knowledge about parenting and child care and development are the most essential factors to help harness your child into a productive and well-rounded adult. Also remember that parenting coincides with teamwork. In order to have a harmonious parenting style, see to it that your child will have the ample amount of discipline they need to develop. But also allow them to have enough space for their own growth and development.
Fussy or Crying Babies and Uncertainties in Child Care
A Child’s Cry is Your Cue
The only way that your new-born child can communicate with you is through crying, always remember that. They do not cry for the sake of manipulating their parents. They cry because they need something or they are uncomfortable or worse, if they are in pain.
Based on my experience each cry has different meanings. At first, I just assumed that all of my daughter’s cries were the same. But when I listened closely, I found out that she gives off different cries depending on what she needs. All you need to do is to trust your “motherly instinct” and you will start to familiarize yourselves with the different cries your child gives off.
Mother Knows Best
This so called “instinct” is also a mother’s best weapon for child care, especially if your young one is sick. Whatever your gut feeling tells you, it would probably be right. So if you happen to have that unshakable feeling that concerns your child, always address it. It is better to be too careful that careless.
These two are probably the most common and difficult issues any mother will ever encounter. I, for one, have had my fair share of emotional breakdowns and physical exhaustion. But these roadblocks did not waver me into continuing my unconditional care and support for my little one.
But now that she is entering her toddler years, a.k.a. the “terrible twos,” I, along with my husband and our support group, am slowly transitioning our parenting methods in order to compensate her development. We are also continuously adjusting based on the possible issues that we might encounter in relation to our parenting strategies.
Teething and Feeding Problems
Teething is one of the most difficult issues your child will encounter as they grow up. It does not only cause discomfort and pain for your child but at the same time, there is only little help you can do for them.
What I did when I first encountered this problem is that I bought a soft teether that can be placed in the freezer so that when she chews it, the cold sensation will help soothe her gums. Aside from the teether, I was also given a specialized numbing gel that is meant for kids who are teething by my mother-in-law. So far, this combination was effective for the first few teeth but when another two started to erupt at the same time, it was a totally different story.
I still continued using my previous remedy but added additional measures to try to elevate or at least lessen her pain. I made ice chips so that she can nibble or suck on it so that the cold sensation will numb her gums. I also did variations of ice chips like different fruit flavors so that she would still be curious to taste it and would continue her sucking and biting. At the same time, these fruit flavored ice chips will help me introduce the different fruity tastes so I would have lesser difficulties when it’s time to start feeding her with solid food.
Starting Solid Food
Since your baby was used to just milk through the first few months she will, at the start, would not be thrilled to taste new flavors. The key to solving this problem is to introduce solids slowly and gradually. Another factor that can greatly help you with this difficult situation is your imagination accompanied by massive knowledge on different baby food recipes.
I started to introduce solids to my child as soon as she turned one. Of course, I asked permission from her Pediatrician before I started this food shift. The first thing I did was to buy baby food in several flavors. Knowing that I am clueless on what she would want, I prepared myself by creating different variations of the baby food, even mixing them to make a new flavor.
To avoid having spoilage of these baby food (because they are a little expensive), I started with just two to three spoons per feeding. I also made sure that each day, I introduce a different flavor each feeding so that she would not get tired of and loose interest in a particular flavor. Finally, I made sure that, if it is possible, I still add milk to her food all the time so she would have all the sustenance each feeding.
When she turned one and a half years old, I decided to start feeding her with real food. I once again mixed and match her baby food with pureed fruits and vegetables to see what combination and consistency she would like. Luckily, since I already introduced the fruity flavors when she was teething, she immediately accepted and enjoyed it.
Right now, I am once again slowly introducing meat, poultry, seafood and rice to her daily diet. At first she did not like the taste, since these food group tend to be less tasty than what she was used to. But I continued on introducing a wide array of cooking process and observed if she would accept these meals.
For example, I had a hard time feeding her protein, basically fish, beef, chicken or anything that is meat related. She only wanted to eat rice, and nothing more. What I did was first introduce steamed fish, but she immediately rejected it. The next thing I did was to try to change the dish to a fish filet. To my surprise, she loved it and even used her hands to much it down.
This method was the same thing I did with the other meats until I finally figured out what particular cooking style she wanted her food to be. Now, I have lesser hassle in giving her different varieties of dishes. All you just really need is innovation, imagination and a whole lot of patience.
Tantrums and Aggressive Behaviors
This is probably the hardest task a parent needs to overcome during their child’s first few year’s right before they enter school. Sometimes, if not handled properly, their so called “episodes” will even be carried over to school and other public areas.
But before you can address your child’s tantrums, you need to understand one critical factor. Kids during the age of two to five still do not know how to properly handle their anger, frustrations and other strong emotions. It is up to us to help them cope with these emotions and teach them how to resolve it.
Before my daughter had her first ever tantrum, I was already reading several blogs and studies that focused on how to handle kids with emotional outbursts and aggressive behaviors. Since I was really curious as to why children tend to have their “fits,” I learned as much as I could so that I can be prepared once that day would come.
During the span of her second year, true enough, she began to show signs of peevishness. The first thing that I learned and did was to try my best to remove all tantrum “triggers” that my daughter can see.
For example, I know that she will throw a fit if I stop her from playing just to have her eat her meal. What I do is I shift her attention from her toys to other activities. During this scenario, what I usually do is to have her play outdoors or even just walk outside our house while my husband cleans her toys and prepares her meal.
When my husband signals me that everything is all done, that is the time I ask my daughter is she is thirsty or hungry. I found this technique very useful because not only were we able to prevent a tantrum episode from our child but at the same time, we were able to clean her things, prepare our family meal and eat with each other without any outbursts from our daughter.
Of course, there are many variations that you can choose from when it comes to averting your kids attention to prevent a fit. As I have repeatedly mentioned, each and every child is unique and therefore requires personalized methods that can cater to their needs.
If ever my daughter has unavoidable tantrum episodes, I usually do a routine technique that works perfectly for me. Regardless if she has a mild fit or a massive outburst episode, I do three basic steps.
1.) Keep your child safe
Tantrums are accompanied with a sudden wave of your child’s physical energy that they tend to lash out without any concern for their own safety. What I do is that I carefully carry her into a safe place (either our bed or our bedroom floor that has those soft rubber tiles on it) and make sure that she won’t hurt herself even if she rolls around, kicks or arch her body.
2.) Let your child wear himself/herself down
This step sounds a bit off but trust me, this is the best way their fits can be handled. Regardless if her episode is just a couple of minutes or as long as almost more than half of the day, I let her tire herself out.
The reason why I decided to go with this method is because I want to let my daughter realize that not all that she wants she would get. Another reason is that, when you try to comfort them while their fits are still happening, there will be a great tendency that their fit will aggravate even more and there will be a possibility that your kid might get hurt.
During the time that they are having their “episode” make sure that you are present all throughout their fit. This is what I do to ensure my daughter that I am always there beside her even if she has her moody episodes.
I also do not tend to lecture or reprimand her during her fits. Well, not until she calms down that is. Another major no-no for me is to scold, punish or discipline her while she is having her episodes. It would just further elevate the situation and might have a psychological impact on her as she grows up.
3.) Comfort and Discuss With Her What Happened
Once she has finally calmed down, this is the time that I would comfort her, hug her and reassure her that I still love her even if she has her fits. This is also the time I explain to her why I needed to ignore or turn down what she wanted. Again, I try to speak to her as if I am conversing with an adult but the only difference is that I use the simplest words so that she can understand.
Furthermore, to avoid a repeat of the fit, I will divert her attention using her favorite toys or her favorite treats to help her forget her tantrums and allow her to focus on another thing. Finally, once she is already busy with the “bribe” I give her, I always check her from head to toe for any possible wounds or bruises that she might inflicted on herself due to her tantrum.
Parenting Methods Questioned by Others
Issues regarding child care is not just limited with you and your child. Believe me, you will have instances that your relatives, friends or other people tell you that what you are doing is wrong and the famous line “If I were you, I would do what I do” will be brought up.
I could not emphasize this more but DO NOT let them get to you. Your parenting skills must not waver just because someone tells you that you are doing it differently from what they did. Always remember that you are your child’s parents, not them. You know your child best and you know how to handle them accordingly.
Sure it’s fine if they give you tips and suggestions, especially when you feel the need to hear them out. But never let these other people dictate you on how you care, discipline and hone your children. That was what I did for my daughter, I stood firm with how I raise her and care for her. I did not let even my parents or my in-laws take over how I parent my kid.
These are just the beginning problems that we can encounter during the first five years of our child’s lives. In order to prepare myself for future endeavors with my daughter, I am starting to read, learn and educate myself as much as I could. But of course, I will always prioritize my motherly instinct when difficulties will arise in the future.