When Baby first arrives, most of us spend a lot of time just looking, thoughtfully, at our newborn and wondering “Who are you going to look like?” or more importantly, “Who are you going to act like?” We definitely spend a fair amount of time wondering and waiting for our babies to show us who they are. Let’s just say we let nature reveal itself.
It doesn’t take long before we start thinking more about our plans for Baby rather than Baby’s designs on us. We make plans for our personal contributions to Baby’s self-concept, social development, and learning. Some parents I have interviewed have very specific goals in mind for their infants (Brown University—Class of 2030!), while others are more general (good, kind, generous), or religious (at one with God, faithful to morals and ethics). (more…)
A few years ago, I opened a book and out fell my New Year’s Resolutions from decades past. I looked at it and laughed. I was getting ready to write many of the same resolutions all over again. The funniest—because I have now deemed it impossible to achieve unless I was critically ill, was to “weigh an honest 115 pounds.” Those days are long gone; given up as a lie even on my driver’s license. All the other things on the list were similarly honorable aspirations, especially, “pay more attention to my husband.” He says he is still waiting for the “Year of THE MAN,” pointing to himself, of course.
My sister Shelley, the pragmatic type, laughed when I told her about my discovery. (more…)
If there is one thing that is an end-of-year tradition for me, it’s the all-nighters that precede Christmas morning. Are they a tradition or a bad habit? I can’t quite decide. All I can say is those late nights made it possible for toys to be tested, bikes assembled, and a ton of packages to be wrapped. My husband, an only child, always wanted children (plural) and dreamed of giving them BIG, exciting, and overwhelming Christmas mornings. The all-nighters were my necessary prelude to creating that Grand Tradition for the rest of the family.
Having a baby inspires parents to think about everything they ever wanted their child to have in life; the list usually being a combination of everything good and everything that each of us thinks should have been in one’s own childhood. (more…)
Have you ever wondered why we describe age in terms of days, weeks, and months for the very young but are not so precise after a child reaches the age of 3? Or to take the opposite tack, why are we so vague about the age (or definition for) when adulthood begins? I mean, can your 28 year old, unemployed high-school drop-out younger brother be considered an adult when he’s still at home and Mom and Dad pay all the bills?
There are several reasons age is treated differently over the course of the lifespan. Some of these reasons are based on science, others are mainly cultural. Still other age specifications are designed to meet institutional needs, such as when we start and finish a required amount of schooling—not whether or not we actually got educated during that long and laborious process (see younger brother, above). (more…)
I attended a lecture last week that was very interesting. It was given by Michael Thompson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who has written several parenting books, including The Pressured Child, the main theme of the meeting. While Dr. Thompson is not an infant specialist, he made a closing remark that I think is relevant for parents at any stage: “Your child is on his or her own journey, not yours.” He urged parents to do two things:
- Let your children have a childhood.
- Don’t use your child’s life as a way of proving your own effectiveness as an adult.
“Easier said than done,” I thought. After all, parenthood is also a journey, and we are learning as we go.
Besides, new parents should get a reprieve for their ego-involvement during Baby’s first year or so of life; it is the parent’s responsibility to guide, protect, and yes, More >
One day, when your baby is around 18 months old, it will hit you that a walking, talking, knowing little child with a much defined personality has “taken up residence” in your home, loudly calling your name (Mom-eeeee!), and claiming your heart in a new and different way. Walking and getting into mischief was the beginning of the change. But the most significant transformation in your relationship is triggered by your little one’s improved ability to communicate. With just a few words, they can put language, gestures and emotions together. It’s a totally different experience—this emergence of the toddler—who is too grown up to be a infant, but young enough to still be your baby.
When the first 7-10 words appear, the time has come to do some heavy lifting on language development. This is the very beginning of the word explosion. More >