Understanding Flexibility

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On Becoming Babywise has a section in the book aimed at helping you to understand how to apply flexibility to your daily life (starting on page 116). I remember when Brayden was a baby reading that section often.


The thing is, even with a careful reading (or twenty careful readings) and the ability to take lessons from the examples and apply them to a broad spectrum of situations, flexibility still is more of a “learned skill” — in that you learn it as you go. You can’t really learn it from a book.


I think of it like creativity. You can’t really learn creativity. You can be creatively inspired, but the more you practice at it, the more creative you get.


The same is true for flexibility. The more you try out being flexible and observe the end results, the more you learn how to be flexible. You learn when it is okay to be flexible and when it isn’t a good idea. You learn what the results might be and figure out if the consequences are worth it or not. You learn how to compensate for lost sleep and late meals. You learn to relax a bit.


Summer is a busy time and you might be concerned about how to be flexible without “ruining everything.” So if you are struggling with flexibility, read in Babywise, read posts on this blog, and practice.


But here is my ultimate secret to understanding flexibility. Strive to understand the base theory of Babywise principles. This is the why vs. how. This is far more effective than memorizing the rules taught in a few stories in the book or on this blog. The best thing to do is to know why you are doing what you do.


As you understand the theory behind what you are doing, you will be able to add flexibility to your life without thinking about it very hard.


Here is to happy summer times!


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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. kmbutrfly
    June 13, 2011 / 4:40 PM

    thanks for this post. took my 16 week old LO on an outing with me yesterday to an ice cream festival. she is officially too aware to sleep through such an activity and thus skipped her nap. we just rolled with it. she dozed a bit on the way home, and all was fine. i have started to take a few more liberties here and there. had friends over the other night and again when she would have typically gone down for a nap she sat with them and laughed and played. she still went to bed and did great (although still working on consistently STTN). but they wanted to see her and she had a fun time too. it felt liberating to decide not to put her down (which would have also taken time away from my friends for me, and i was hostess). definitely a learning experience! i am still working toward understanding the reasoning behind how everything works and feel like i understand more every day.

  2. Laura
    June 13, 2011 / 9:33 PM

    Thanks for the very timely reminder!! 🙂

  3. Plowmanators
    July 8, 2011 / 9:51 PM

    You are welcome!

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