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Parenthood

Parenthood

Whether you are a first time parent or not and bringing home a newborn, it’s important to develop a sleeping pattern/routine for your baby. It’s a lot easier for you to sleep while your baby sleeps because moms need their rest too. As the baby gets older then it’s ideal to do daily chores and/or tasks around the house while the baby is asleep.

Learn as much as you can about your baby by spending a lot of time with him or her and getting a feel for the baby’s behavior. You can do this by observing the baby’s personality and overall response on how he or she views the world. Getting to know baby helps you understand your baby better without guessing at what the baby needs or wants.

It’s also important to make time for other children that you might have by reminding them how much you still love them and that and new baby around the house doesn’t change how you feel about him or her. Try to encourage your other children to help out with chores and taking care of baby. This can be done by assigning certain tasks according to their age level, which helps them know that he or she is equally important and loved like the newborn you just brought home.

“Strong parent child communication mixed with firm yet caring discipline will help your child become a healthy and independent adult. Talk and listen to your child, spend time with them, and don’t be afraid to be firm, but also loving and caring” (OneToughJob.Org). Establishing good communication with your child requires a lot of time and attention every day. This will allow you to create a loving relationship and a special bond between parent and child, which makes it easier on the parent and helps the child open up to his or her emotions. Try communicating with your child by focusing and listening to your child, showing respect for one another, understanding situations, realizing what happened and how it makes your child feel, responding appropriately to content and emotions being exchanged, acknowledging your child’s emotions, identify and reflect your child’s feelings, talking to your child in a calm manner, and helping your child through tough situations and controlling any anger among the child or yourself.

Tantrums in Public

Tantrums in public aren’t fun for your or your child. Tantrums usually occur when your child is hungry or tired, so try to avoid taking your child out into public when this happens. It’s best to have your child eat and rested by taking a nap before considering going out to the grocery store, Wal-Mart, Target, or wherever it might be. However, if you’re out shopping then it’s a good idea to bring a favorite toy, book to read, coloring book, and/or snacks for your child to keep busy and entertained.

A tantrum can be frustrating and embarrassing at times, but remember that you are the parent and the one in control. It’s useless trying to reason with your child and avoiding the tantrum isn’t always possible, so the best thing is to take him or her to the bathroom or parking lot and try to calm him/her down or leave the store altogether and come back another day to get the shopping done. There are positive ways to deal with tantrums. According to Tanya Altmann, MD, advises parents to:

  1. Avoid known tantrum situations and try not to repeat the circumstances.
  2. Hunger and tiredness are tantrum triggers.
  3. Keep children entertained by bring along stickers, books, or a favorite toy during long outings.
  4. Always remember to praise good behavior and encourage them to repeat such acts. Ignore bad behavior and continue on with what you are doing while waiting for your child to calm down.
  5. When tantrums arise give one warning and then leave. It may be inconvenient, but it lets your child know that you are serious and will not tolerate his/her tantrum at the store.

Timeouts

Timeouts can be an effect method of disciplining your child, but some parents are inconsistent with it and the timeouts don’t work effectively. Dr. Tanya Altmann suggests that you remember the phrase in the letters “Calm Down” when dealing with your child:

C- Calm, cool and consistent parent behavior.

A- Always respond to bad behavior promptly.

L- Loudly and firmly say, “No, we don’t (hit, bite, etc.).”

M- Move him to a safe and boring location.

D- Don’t lecture during time-out.

O- One minute per year of age.

W- Words that are age-appropriate to explain what he did.

N- Need to encourage good behavior with acknowledgement and praise.

If you’re out in public and your child needs to be put into timeout then head home. Try to avoid the need for timeouts and limit your errands to just one or two.

Chores

Assigning age appropriate chores to children is beneficial to both parents and kids. The value of chores increases self-esteem, self-confidence, teaches responsibility, encourages physical and emotional safety, self control, to be loved and wanted, and to feel part of the family. Elizabeth Pantley, author of eight parenting books, including Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging, and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate, identifies still more benefits to be derived from chores for children (Stuart, A., 2010, p. 1):

  1. Chores are one of the best ways to build a feeling of competence.
  2. Chores help children understand what needs to be done to run a household.
  3. Chores establish helpful habits and good attitudes about work.
  4. Chores teach real-world skills and valuable lessons about life, easing the transition into adulthood.

Kids can do household chores at an early stage. Parents need to realize that perfection is not the issue here, but rather in getting the kids to complete such tasks on their own. If parents insist on perfection then they turn the situation into a struggled argument, which can be avoided. Remember to praise and encourage the child for the work that’s being done before the chore is completed. It also helps for the parents to engage in some type of household chore in order for the child to see how the chore is done and to see their parents helping out too. A sample of chores provided by Pantley that will work for many children according to age group (Stuart, A., 2010, p. 4):

  Chores for children ages 2 to 3

  • Put toys away.
  • Feed pet.
  • Put clothes in hamper.
  • Wipe up spills.
  • Dust.
  • Pile books and magazines.

  Chores for children ages 4 to 5

Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Make own bed.
  • Empty wastebaskets.
  • Bring in mail or newspaper.
  • Clear table.
  • Pull weeds.
  • Use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs.
  • Water flowers.
  • Unload utensils from dishwasher.
  • Wash plastic dishes at sink.
  • Fix bowl of cereal.

  Chores for children ages 6 to 7

Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Sort laundry.
  • Sweep floors.
  • Set and clear table.
  • Help make and pack lunch.
  • Rake leaves.
  • Keep bedroom tidy/clean.
  • Pour own drinks.
  • Answer telephone.

  Chores for children ages 8 to 9

Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Load dishwasher.
  • Put groceries away.
  • Vacuum.
  • Help make dinner.
  • Make own snacks.
  • Wash table after meals.
  • Put away own laundry.
  • Sew buttons.
  • Make own breakfast.
  • Peel vegetables.
  • Cook simple foods, such as toast.
  • Mop floor.
  • Take pet for a walk.

  Chores for children ages 10 and older.

Any of the above chores, plus:

  • Unload dishwasher.
  • Fold laundry.
  • Clean bathroom.
  • Wash windows.
  • Wash car.
  • Cook simple meal with supervision.
  • Iron clothes.
  • Do laundry.
  • Baby-sit younger siblings (with adult in the home).
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Clean kitchen.
  • Clean oven.
  • Change bed.
  • Make cookies or cake from a box mix.

Reference:

Hudson, J. (2011). What can I do about my preschooler’s public tantrums? Baby Center LLC. Retrieved from http://www.babycenter.com/404_what-can-i-do-about-my-preschoolers-public-tantrums_70272.bc

Stuart, A. (2010). Chores for children. WebMD, LLC. p. 1-4. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/guest-expert-10/chores-for-children?page=1

WebMD (2010). WebMD expert discussion: Time for a time out? WebMD, LLC. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/guest-expert-10/timeout

WebMD (2010). WebMD expert discussion: How do you deal with tantrums in public? WebMD, LLC. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/guest-expert-10/tantrums

 

Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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