Thursday, April 9, 2009

Baby Whisperer: P.C. Parent

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A P.C. parent is one who is patient and conscious (The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, page 5). I love the things Hogg points out as she discusses being a P.C. parent. This comes in handy when dealing with the Big Three problems (sleep, eating, or behavior--I had to laugh at this because these are the three topics I get the most questions about also) as well as your trips to the store and other daily interactions with your child.

Patient
Parenting is a long road and requires perspective (see It's All About Perspective ). Hogg points out that today's big problem is a distant memory in a month. While living that big problem, we forget that. Of course. We don't know when this big problem will go away and we stress about it. These are moments we often create situations that are harder to break in the future. We want to remember the funnel and put work in today so we don't have to reparent tomorrow.

As a parent, you need patience for a variety of things. You need it for the mess that is seemingly never-ending and those finger prints that are constantly on your window. You need it as your child learns new skills. It takes forever for a toddler to button up his shirt, but patience now will give him the chance to learn how on his own, and you the chance to move him toward dressing himself earlier than if you continue to do it for him. Your child will spill food, take 5 minutes to walk up the stairs and 15 to walk down, put the dishes away in the wrong spot, and miss a section on the carpet when he first starts to vacuum, to name a few. You need patience for these situations.

Patience can help prevent you from hovering over your child. I think many moms get a shock when the second-born child starts to do things on her own that the first born child is not yet doing. Why? Child number two has learned to take more initiative and not rely on mom and dad to do everything for her, while child number one has always been told to hold still while mom does it. This is especially true if the children are close in age. I remember before I ever had Kaitlyn a story a good friend told me. She has a boy and girl who are about the same age distance as Brayden and Kaitlyn. She told me one day as she was putting shoes on her oldest, her little girl put her shoes on herself rather than wait her turn. At that moment she realized if her daughter could do that, her son could. I learned from her story and have been patient and encouraging to Brayden to do things for himself. But you still miss things because you just don't have the experience to know what to expect sometimes.

Hogg points out that you must also be patient when changing habits and fixing problems. You can't expect things to be fixed immediately. Be patient through the necessary process.

I also want to implore you to be patient through the bumps in the road. They come. Baby will have short naps. Toddler will challenge every rule you set. Child will act as though he has no hearing. It happens. These are not times to freak out and wonder what we have done wrong and worry that all efforts to this point are now moot. Yes, you want to consider the reasons for these problems, but realize that they are a part of the developmental process. Find the reason and address it, but try to remain patient.

Conscious
Get to know your child and try to see things from her perspective (see Baby Whisperer: Know Your Baby and Get To Know Your Child's Personality: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/get-to-know-your-childs-personality.html).

You also need to think through situations and make a plan. Don't just react to situations. Think them through and be sure your plan of action is the best move to make. You also need to be aware of what you do and say; you are your child's number one example in life. Also, be consistent. Be there for your child and take advantage of the time you have to teach him right now.

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