My goal is writing these blogs is to help more parents realize the joy of parenting, the thrill of it, the fun of it, and the huge importance of it.
What would you say is the most important job? We need farmers and carpenters and on and on. Almost every job is important. But how well each job is done matters, and that is determined by the person doing the job. The world can be no better than the people in it. All people arrive in this world slightly different, none exactly the same. Then, the formative years matter. At that time, the main influence is the parent, directly or indirectly.
So, what can a parent do? Does it matter? Of course, it does! And, new scientific research has shown that even genes can be changed in the formative years if there is abuse to the young child. The first years of life matter HUGELY in the child’s development. Everything the parent does and says to the child affects that one child, and also it affects all the people the child interacts with, forever. So, maybe, probably… the most important job is the job of parenting.
As parents, we are free to do what makes sense to each one of us. Some parents complain about their child and are actually mean to the child. Perhaps these parents do not realize that there is an option but think that they are supposed to be dictators, forcing the child to do this and that and punishing the child a lot. Perhaps they think this is helpful to that little person, so ready to learn. How sad. And probably it is the reason I have been spending years writing and speaking about parenting.
Just imagine the difference there could be, overall, if all parents were always kind to their children. Recently, I have been on several shows discussing “Are Mass Murderers Formed in the Crib?” The answer is yes, sometimes.
The parent can be on the child’s side rather than on some opposing side. The parent can help the child learn about life by being open and friendly and honest and kind. A parent who is kind to the child will find that the child is kind back to the parent and to others. Spreading kindness, a real caring about others, is a most worthy job.
2. PARENTING IS A PLEASURE!
It breaks my heart to hear a parent ever complain about her or his child.
The child was asked for by the parent. What did the parent expect…an adult instead of a brand new baby who is so ready to learn whatever the parent will teach? And if a parent complains about that person who was asked for, it means that baby, toddler, and teenager knows it from the parent’s attitude and actions, so the child will be harmed.
Too many articles are written as if parenting is always a big problem, full of smaller problems. That is incorrect. If a parent complains about her child, thinking the child is a problem, then sure, absolutely, there will be a problem full of problems. If instead, the parent realizes that parenting is so much fun and also so very important in determining what that child will be at every stage of life, then parenting is the absolute opposite of a problem. It will be a fantastic pleasure, all the time. And it can be easy.
A few weeks ago, there was an article online about oh what to do when the baby wakes the parent at night, what to do so that the baby would not disturb the parent. Oh what a problem, the article suggested. I thought back to how thrilled my husband and I were when our little baby would wake and ask for us in the middle of the night. We loved it. My husband would get up, thrilled to go see our baby, and would change his diapers and hug him and bring him into bed with us for me to nurse, making our baby so happy. Often we would then fall asleep, all together. It was wonderful. And, after a while, I would take him back to his crib where he would continue to sleep with contentment as I would quietly say to him to call us if he wanted anything.
Complaining was the last thing on our minds. We could barely wait, each morning, to go to the crib and see our little baby and pick him up. Being with our child, and after two and a half years, our two children, was such a thrill, so much fun, and absolutely our favorite thing to do.
All parents can talk to infants and love them, and what they will get back is love and kindness and happiness with life. Parenting need never be a problem if the parent, from the very beginning, is kind to the baby and continues to be kind and open and honest, always. Instead, parenting will be a huge pleasure!
3. ANSWER THE BABY’S CRY
When a baby makes a cry from the crib, it is the start of parent-child communication. A baby cannot communicate then with words, asking the parent to please come. How the parent responds to the first cries matters HUGELY. If the parent goes to the infant right away and starts talking to him, communication has begun! It can continue forever!
Some people advise letting the baby sob and sob until finally giving up on the parent coming to help. How wrong that is! Some say going to the baby all the time will spoil him. Spoil means ruin. I ask this: Do you think a child is more likely to be ruined if the parent lets the child know that the parent does not care about him when he asks for help…or..if the parent makes it clear that the child is respected and loved?
We can imagine, being the baby, how we would feel about the parent and life itself if nobody cared enough to come when asked Then, we can imagine how we would feel if a parent came immediately and picked us up and said we are so loved, and carried us where she may have been, and kept hugging us for a long long time.
Obviously, a parent who is kind to the child is likely to have a child who is kind back. A parent who is not kind to the child is likely to have a child who is not kind. We can think further. Why are some six-year-old bullies? Not all six-year-olds want to hurt their friends, physically or emotionally, but some do. Why do some people want to commit mass murders? Not all people want to do that. Little bullies and mass murderers have something in common. They want to hurt others. They are probably unhappy with life and most likely that is because of early childhood treatment. The formative years are called formative because they are formative.
I have personally heard a number of parents say they wish they had gone to their baby crying from the crib. They said they wanted to, but were told not to do it. How sad.
As for not going to the baby’s cry from the crib to teach that we cannot get everything we want in life, that can be done so easily in other ways. Talking, explaining, and listening to child’s questions and ideas work so well. Some parents get upset when their teenager does not have self-confidence, cannot make decisions, and is just plain unhappy. This need not happen! If the parent has been a mean dictator, then, of course, the child will not feel capable of making decisions, will not know how, and will feel inadequate. However, if the parent has been kind, the child will likely be a secure, happy person who cares about helping others, too. Isn’t that what we all want?
4. GOD AND HAPPINESS
Perhaps God should be included in every blog I write. Perhaps He is included. My feeling is that for those who believe in God, happiness with life is synonymous with believing in God.
Some question whether it is necessary to believe in God in order to understand true happiness. Personally, I cannot know the answer to that because I have always felt His presence and His help. I am thankful. And I feel a need to open thinking if I can and write the hope that every parent alive is, to the best of her or his ability, trying to help the child appreciate life itself. The parent who is kind and open, working with the child instead of against the child, will be helping the child feel secure and happy to be alive instead of the opposite, which is confused, insecure, and unhappy.
There are theories that an unhappy parent will have trouble trying to be kind to the child, that such is difficult for a person who herself is not appreciative of life. However, even if difficult, even if the parent is not quite able to do what some others may do, just trying surely helps. A parent, however troubled by her or his own past, can remember that she asked for the child and the child is being influenced all the time in the important formative years by what the parent says and does. Even the attitude of the parent toward parenting makes a huge difference.
Parenting is a thrilling job and a very important job that is time consuming but can be an enormous pleasure all the time. Those who accept God probably do find that almost any job in life is less difficult than it might be. There is a serenity that exists, that helps make life wonderful and easy, too.
When more individual children are happier, then, overall, there will be less unpleasantness, less crime, more peace. There will be more caring about others. Oversimplifying? Probably not! Overstating the Importance? Probably not!
With personal thankfulness, and with much hope that my writings are helping more people realize that parenting is not only probably the most important job, but can be the pinnacle of pleasures. Appreciating all of life matters.
For many years, I have been writing about parenting, and have three short, easy to read, books available on Amazon, in paperback and kindle.