The Parenting Bible: It pays to Know How to ‘Parent’ Beforehand
When one mentions the word parenting, this particular task does not just solely revolve around providing the basic needs and emotional guidance for a child. This also involves the how’s, who’s, what’s, why’s and when’s of how parents actually demonstrate the so called “parenting” to their young ones.
But having just one parenting method is not enough if your ultimate goal is to prepare your child to become a well-rounded individual in the future. These parenting skills must also be flexible depending on the stage that the child is in.
Of course, parenting styles has several variations which will also result in different outcomes. Each action a parent takes plays a key factor in the child’s developmental growth. All in all, how you “parent” your child starting from day one will have significant impact in their near future.
Knowing the stages of parenting can also greatly help parents. These stages will be based on how they will handle their children depending on how old they are. Each stage of the child corresponds to distinct stages of parenting. These stages will range from as early as the child’s starting months up to their pre-adulthood phase which is 17 and beyond.
Parenting During the Early Years of Your Child
In my own personal experience, when my daughter was just a few months old, I focused more on giving her what she needs, when she needs it, all the time. Having ample knowledge regarding child development and child needs have been my saving grace as soon as my child was born.
With the knowledge that the first stage of my child’s development (which is called the “Catering” stage) will solely depend on me as her primary giver, I was able to meet all of her demands and, with a LOT of practice and patience, I was able to get my own personal routine when it comes to child care.
Now that my daughter is turning three, I am now slowly adjusting my parenting method to compensate on her development. As of the moment, I am using the “Authoritative” style of parenting which, for me, is a good method of parenting to use for kids who are slowly developing their cognitive thinking and decision making.
How I Balance My Parenting Skills
What I basically do is I, along with my husband, start to set some rules that we think our daughter can more or less comprehend and understand. For example, she knows that after she has finished eating her lunch she has to take a nap. If ever she is able to do so, we reward her with toys or treats once she wakes up.
But if she starts to throw tantrums and resist taking a nap, we keep our foot down and still be firm with our rule that she has to sleep. It was really hard to make her obey at first but sure enough, after several tries, she was able to grasp the idea that if she sleeps, she will be rewarded for a job well done.
Basically, the method that I am using right now allows me and my husband to make a set of rules that our child must follow. If she decides to follow or disobey these rules, she will be reprimanded or rewarded respectively.
Now that my little one is starting to ask “why?” I, along with my husband, am slowly teaching her why we need to make these rules and why she should follow it. We try to keep it as simple as possible so that, if ever she would, she could easily understand.
Some of you might think that this method of “explaining the reason to a three year old child” might be useless because these young ones are not yet capable of understanding what we are saying. But I believe that kids are very adept when it comes to understanding.
Children are Smarter than You Think
I had a past experience with my daughter when she was throwing a fit because I took her toys while she was eating. Since we have a rule that there should be no playing while eating, I reprimanded her. She started off crying, then screaming, then finally throwing a major tantrum.
The first thing I always do when she has tantrums is to lie her on a safe area where she can kick, roll around and punch the air without injuring herself. Once I get her secured, I let her tire herself out.
When she started to sober down, I knelt low so that I can be levelled with her and look at her eye to eye. Then I calmly explained to her why I did what I had to do and that what she did was wrong.
To my surprise, she stood up, still sniffing and teary eyed, walked towards me and hugged me tight. Since she still is not that good at talking, I could only hear incoherent sounds. But I firmly believed that this was her way of saying sorry to me.
That was the time I have decided that I should treat my daughter as a young person that can understand what we do and what we say. We should not underestimate a child’s capacity to comprehend what is happening around them.
Trusting Your Instinct
Believe me when I say that when you become a mother, even if you have an educational background that focused on child care and development, you will still question yourself if you are doing the right thing. Most of the time you will question your own decisions even if you are sure that it is based on your knowledge that you got from a book.
This is where our so called “maternal instincts” are activated. At first I thought that this was all hear-say and make belief while I was still studying for my Nursing degree and still considered it as a hoax during my working days. But now that I became a parent myself, I always have this “gut feeling” sensation that keeps on telling me that something is wrong with my daughter or that I have to do something. Miraculously, every time my “mommy instincts” kick in, I am always right.
As the definition goes parenting is the ultimate long-term investment that starts when you conceived your little one. As a parent it is our responsibility to choose the best method we can use in order to help our child grow holistically. But we must also never forget that each child is unique and special in their own little ways. So we should treat each and every youth individually based on who they are and what they are capable to do.