Help build a wonderful connection with your child with this parenting blog.
THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB
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.
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 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 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 is 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 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!
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 explained to the child later. Talking, explaining, and listening to child’s questions and ideas work is wonderful. 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?
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.
A respected psychiatrist said " The goal of psychiatrists in treating patients of any age is happiness." Maybe that takes a minute or so to absorb! Then, it seems obvious! Happiness is mental healthiness.
Unhappiness is what causes people to go to counseling. In the amazing wonderful job of parenting, remembering happiness as a goal for the child helps everything else fall into place. Some believe it even matters while the baby is still in the womb. Parents should surely want a child who is happy at age two days old, two months old, twelve years old, twenty years old, and seventy years old. And if all parents remembered that as a goal, oh wow!
If every parent was kind and honest and open with every child, helping the child be happy with life itself, just imagine what we would have. We would have a world with fewer insecure, unhappy people and we would have less strife and more peacefulness because happy people tend to be caring about others. Unhappy, confused, insecure people often want to hurt others, physically and emotionally. Criminals are not happy. That is not an opinion, but a fact. Many are trying to analyze the reason for recently publicized mass murders. Usually, after the murderer has been identified, we are told that he had mental problems. Yes, we knew that.
Overall, happiness is a worthy goal that can be spread easily through parenting. Later counseling, to try to undue what was done to the child, need not be necessary. Also it sometimes does not work as well as getting it right in the formative years.of the child's life. As more parents remember to be always kind instead of ever mean to the child and as more parents remember that the primary influence on the child is the parent...not the internet, not the school, not the friends....then oh wow, happiness will come to the child and also to the parent.
STROLLING IS A LEARNING TIME
How sad to see a parent pushing a little baby or toddler in a stroller as the parent talks on the phone instead of to the child... or listens to music with ear phones... or even jogs, paying no attention to the precious little boy or girl who is looking not at all happy as being pushed down the street.
Does such a parent realize that she and the little person she asked to come into the world could be enjoying that time?
The parent can talk with the child about the trees or flowers or the sunshine or clouds or whatever! The parent can talk about the dogs they see or the squirrels running around, or whatever.
In the beginning, the infant is not likely to say anything back, but the parent might be surprised and delighted when a very young child suddenly starts commenting. I know of a two year old who could name what kind of trees were on the roadside because the mother had sometimes casually talked about them as they passed by.
What fun it can be! Being outside together, enjoying nature, enjoying life together! I wonder why a parent would want a child if not to enjoy him or her at every stage of life...and also, to help the child?
It's the parent's decision whether or not to enjoy parenting. Also it's the parent's decision whether the child will enjoy life.
THREE POINTS FOR PARENTS
Who says parenting is difficult? It's easy! And so much fun.
Realize the importance of the job of parenting
Set one goal for the child: happiness (appreciation of life).
Reach that goal by being on the child's side instead of on an opposing side
THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY
Should the child be the number one priority in your life? What matters to you the most, if you are a parent? Maybe make a list! What is number one?
If you care about helping your child be the best he or she can be, you probably have that at the top. If you care more about other things, then oh, should I write it?...Well, why not if I am trying to help parents help their children so that everybody will be helped? If helping the child is not number one, then obviously whatever you wrote as number one matters to you more.
Some parents have more energy than others and so perhaps can do lots of jobs at the same time. I know I could not have done that. My child would have suffered if I had given energy every day to a job away from home. I would have had less energy to help him, to even care about him. Sure we could have had more money. We could have had two cars instead of one that was a bit old, etc. etc. But I would have chosen not to have any car before taking my child to someone else to be influenced in the formative years. I would have chosen to live in a hut with no windows before doing that.
I was thinking of helping my child and also I was thinking of the fun that being with the child was for me! I wanted to be with my newborn baby as I talked to him as if he was my age. He understood a lot! It was incredible! So much fun! He was a delight then, and has been for his whole incredible life. Same for my second child. Parenting was a huge pleasure every minute...and I am not exaggerating.
Many people who were poor (in money) when they were children have told me how happy they were then, and are now as adults, because of the mother's spending her time with them and her obvious caring for them and her talking about it all, too...talking about having no water to drink or even no food sometimes...always telling the child what was going on and how loved he or she was. In some cases, it was the mother who did this, and in at least a few cases, I have been told that the father was the special influence that made so much difference. In one case, the father took the child to work with him every day.
There are variations in our personalities and lifestyles. But the way to best help the child is the same. I have been writing about it in these blogs. Kindness is the word to remember, always!
Also I have written three short books which are all on Amazon and Kindle. They are great presents to give to anybody, particularly a not yet parent. But helpful for any parent at any age. The parent decides what the child will be....whether the parent wants to admit that or not!
SMILE, NOT FROWN
If you are a parent, remember that you asked for a child. Now you have a child!
Help your child appreciate life! Hold your baby a lot! Holding a baby close gives that little one a sense of security that is likely to last a lifetime unless the parent changes from being kind to being mean. Always try to answer every cry, every question. A kind parent will have a kind child.
How sad to ever hear a parent talk to her toddler or teenager as if the parent does not like that person. How sad to hear a parent complain about her own child.
And...by the time the child is a toddler or teenager, she or he has become what he is she is at that stage largely because of what the parent has been doing with the child. An interesting thought?
THE SINGLE PARENT
The child of a single parent can be happy, secure, and productive! It does not make sense to say "she is a single parent so her child will be a mess."
Surely we know that a child whose parent treats the child with kindness and openness and happiness with life will be a different person than a child who is treated differently. Does a baby, toddler, and teenager need two people doing this? Of course it is nice, truly wonderful, to have two loving, caring parents and really nice to have one who is present most of the time during the formative years. However, and this may be a shock to some, it seems apparent that one super parent can help the child be a super child.
I am in favor of happy marriages! And the child of such is fortunate. But let's remember that a single parent can have a very kind and happy child if that parent remembers the huge importance of the job of parenting.
THE UNHAPPY CHILD
"The goal of psychiatrists in treating patients of any age is happiness."
These words of a famous psychiatrist, if remembered by every parent, would change everything. We would have more honesty, less crime, more peacefulness, and more productivity, caring for others.
Last week, I watched a little child, about two years old, in a grocery cart as the parents checked out of the store. The child was very handsome, but the face was not the face of a happy child. As I was watching from some distance, I saw and heard a cry, an asking cry that lasted for about a full minute. I immediately thought what was going to happen.
I was correct. Neither of those parents answered the cry. They ignored their child. They looked at the child but did not reply. They did not pick up and hug or even answer with a few kind words.
Perhaps, at some later time, those parents will complain about their little child. They will say they have a problem toddler or insecure teenager or adult with a mental problem. They might have a little "bully" in elementary school because of the insecurity and unhappiness. They might even have a mass murderer, one who is so unhappy that lashing out is a resort.
Do those parents of that very young child not know that the formative years are called formative because they are formative? Do they not know that a kind parent will likely have a kind child? Do they care?
Do they maybe think that answering a child is spoiling that child? Spoiled means ruined. I ask all of you: Which child is likely to be ruined: 1. the child whose parent answers the child with love and caring,with talking and explaining and listening? 2. the child whose parent ignores the child?
THE REAL CAUSE OF THE FLORIDA SHOOTINGS?
Very few people want to commit mass murders.
Those that do are unhappy. (A famous psychiatrist said that the goal of psychiatrists in treating patients is happiness.)
Why are some people unhappy? (depressed. insecure)
The formative years are called formative because they are formative.
In those formative years, the parent is the main influence.
A kind parent is likely to have a happy child.
A mean parent is likely to have an unhappy child, perhaps a "bully" in First Grade, perhaps a mass murderer.
The more I think about the mass murderer in the Florida School Shootings, the more I hope people will think about WHY he wanted to commit mass murders.
When I was on the NY radio show shortly after the murders and said the cause is that the nineteen year old young man was UNHAPPY, the host of the show was shocked. Then, he agreed.
As he said, there has been so much discussion about why oh why. There have been town hall meetings, on and on talks, oh what can be done is discussed. Fewer guns available? Or more guns available for teachers and many others! What about security officers? What should be done there? The talks continue.
But... as the host of the show said I was making it SIMPLE. Yes, Yes, Yes. Most people do not want to commit mass murders. So, why do some want to kill other people and sometimes themselves, too?
We should state the REAL CAUSE. A mass murderer is unhappy with his own life and so with life itself.
The famous psychiatrist said that the goal of psychiatrists in treating patients of any age is happiness.
So, what should we do? Send everybody to psychiatrists? Or get it right in the beginning?
What we can do is call attention to the FORMATIVE YEARS OF LIFE. The formative years are called formative because they are formative. In those early years, the beginning of life, the main influence is the parent. (either directly or indirectly it is the parent.)
And... as Frederick Douglass sanid, years ago, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
New scientific research has proved that even genes can change if there is abuse to a very young child, physical or emotional abuse. So, saying that some children are just born to be unhappy does not make sense. Imagine putting two babies who are the same with different parents, in one case kind and loving and in the other case, mean and dictatorial.
What everybody can do is spread the word about the importance of the formative years of life and about the importance of the parent ALWAYS being KIND to the child, never ever mean. A kind parent is likely to have a kind, secure, happy, child, not a bully in First Grade or a mass murderer.
SOME PARENTS DISLIKE PARENTING
How sad it is, after many years of studying parenting, to realize that some parents dislike parenting.
If every parent appreciated the huge pleasure of parenting, this would be a different place. We would have fewer little bullies, fewer criminals altogether, fewer mass murderers. As I have written in previous blogs, the real cause of mass murders is the unhappiness of the mass murderer. A happy person is unlikely to want to hurt others. Instead, a happy person is usually kind and caring about others. A happy person appreciates his own life and life itself.
A person is usually happy or unhappy depending on the formative years which are called formative because they are formative. At that time, the parent is the main influence.
If the parent complains about the child, the child will know it from the parent’s attitude and the child will be harmed. Perhaps the child will feel a bit unloved, confused, and insecure, or perhaps unhappy to the point of later seeking help from a counselor, a psychiatrist. The unhappiness may lead to harming other people and sometimes to harming himself.
If we think about it, happiness is mental healthiness. And a parent can make a child mentally healthy, or not.
Any parent who complains about the child that the parent asked to be born is a sad case to me. But maybe that parent may not be aware that a negative attitude and negative statements are a disservice to the child. Kindness at all times is a better way to teach than meanness. In addition, and this may be a shocker to some, complaining about the child actually means complaining about how the parent had treated the child up until that moment.
I plan to write further in a blog about why any parent would complain about her own child. Some parents may be surprised.
REASONS SOME PARENTS COMPLAIN... AND SOME OPTIMISM TOO
Maybe a big reason some parents complain about their 2 month old, their 5 year old, or their 14 year old is because some who write advice on the internet and in books seem to believe that parenting is a problem. It is presented by some writers as one big problem, full of smaller problems. How sad this is to those of us who know what fun it can be, and how much the parent’s attitude matters in helping the child.
Of course, that is not the only reason some parents complain. Some do simply because some of their friends complain. This surely affects a parent who is unsure what to do. But some who hear complaints will only feel sorry for such a parent and for the child who is being treated with a negative attitude.
And there is still another reason that is perhaps the overriding reason for both the writers who think parenting is a problem and for the parents who just complain as if that is a natural thing to do. I was on a show with the title, Can Unhappy Parents Have Happy Children? There is a theory that it takes several generations for a child who has been abused, physically or emotionally, to have descendants who are truly happy with life. An unhappy, insecure, confused person will not quite know how to treat the child kindly and with compassion. This does make some sense. My bottom line answer to the question was that it helps to have a parent who is happy, but it is not a necessity. Being an optimist when that seems reasonable, I think a parent who was hurt, physically or emotionally or both as a child, can think about the importance of being kind instead of mean and can try and succeed in being a fantastic, caring parent. Why not think that? Almost anything is possible when we care and try!
The good news which most know, is that, over the past years, more and more people in this country are realizing the importance of the parent being kind, communicating instead of punishing as the better way to help the child. There has been a definite, although gradual, change toward acceptance of this philosophy.
Perhaps more writers of books and internet parenting sites will think deeply and realize that parenting is not a difficult chore, but an enormous joy. As this happens, the world will change for the better.
SPECIFIC ANSWERS TO HARMFUL PARENTING ADVICE
I hope, with my heart and brain, that more writers on the Internet and more writers in books about parenting will continue to change from negative parenting advice toward positive parenting advice. As parents are helped, the world is helped.
1. Recently, a Parenting site on the Internet gave advice to have "less punishment" by parents.
My private response to the writer was that she is on the right track, but not there. There should be no punishment. Positive parenting means helping the child instead of being negative which means being against the child. Communication is the best way to teach the child if the parent cares about really helping the child appreciate life... and therefore being caring about other lives, too. Rules can be replaced by guidelines. Then, when a child who is obviously learning might not do exactly what the parent desired, there need not be punishment. Punishment in the wonderful and unique parent-child relationship is harmful because it makes the relationship a sort of master-slave relationship. It clearly makes two sides, sort of opposing sides. In parenting, surely the parent wants to be on the child's side rather than on some opposite side. Instead of hitting the child or making the learning child miserable in some other way, the parent can talk and explain, being kind always.
2. Recently, an Internet Twitter Parenting site had words about... oh what should a parent do if the child misbehaves in a public place. The answer was a picture of the mother saying something like " I wonder who that child is."
The mother was taking no responsibility for her child. How sad. Did the writer think it was funny, giving such incorrect advice on a parenting site? Instead, there could have been the advice that the mother should go to the child and quietly ask what is wrong. The mother and child should probably go out of that public place to a private place and talk calmly. A motherly hug with words about her love for the child would help, too. The mother should ask the child to say whatever was bothering him, and then have the mother help the child feel more secure and happier with life so that the child would want to do what is right instead of being a bother to people.
A special note to parents:
Even if some Internet writers think parenting is a problem, parents can use their own common sense and realize that it is not. Parenting can be a phenomenal thrill all the time if the parent enjoys the child and helps the child appreciate life.
PARENTING INTERNET QUESTION
Imagine how everything might change if, right now, all writers, internet included, realized that parenting is a huge pleasure.
Recently an internet parenting site focused on " What can be done so that the baby will not wake the parent at night?" That question startles me. The parent not wanting to help the baby at night? It is sad that the writer, giving advice, is thinking that any parent would not want to help her own little child, that she asked for, during the day or night.
After all, an infant cannot change his own diapers or go to the kitchen for milk, or find a warmer blanket. He does not even know yet how to comfort himself with nice thoughts. And some parent may wish the little baby would not make a sound at night, to ask for help? Perhaps the writer could remember that all the baby might want is to see the caring parent and hear some soft words, and perhaps be picked up and hugged or brought into the parents' bed for a while. The baby may want comfort and security. Surely the parent wants to give him that.
Going to the baby when the baby cries is a big part of parenting. And if the parent chooses to ignore the baby's asking for help, the parent will find the child developing far differently than if the parent responds to the baby.
Parenting can be skipped. A person might not want to spend time helping a baby with lots of care and love, but may prefer just to take it easy ... or perhaps might prefer to take on some job other than parenting and devote time and energy to that job. It is a choice.
For those who do choose the important and exciting job of parenting, it is worth remembering that if a child suffers in parenting, the world suffers. As a child is helped by the parent, the world becomes a better place.
WHY HAVE A CHILD?
A child takes time and energy...lots of time, morning, noon, and night...and lots of energy, physical energy and emotional energy... unless the parent does not care much at all about the child in which case the parent will not devote lots of time and energy to the child, but will mostly devote time and energy elsewhere. And if that is so, then why, oh why, oh why, oh why... have... a... child?
If a person considering whether or not to be a parent does not realize that parenting is probably the most important job, but thinks some other job matters more or is more fun, then... ? Do I need to write further? That person should enjoy that other job.
Each of us has the wonderful freedom to choose how to spend our life and whether or not to add another person to this world and if we do add someone, whether that someone will be unhappy or happy with life.
Some people care about having more money or fewer demands at home or prestige in the business world. That is fine if a child is not being neglected or treated unkindly because the parent has taken on too many jobs. Many do not have enough energy to do two jobs well every day; and only later in life, realize what could have been.
About money specifically, all of us have probably heard some parent say she has to work because her husband does not make enough money. Has she realized that she need not have a child so then might not say she "has to work?" And certainly she might choose to have only one child. Also, I know absolutely, without question, that many children grow up with very little money available but are happier with life and therefore kinder people than some who grow up with lots of money. That is a truth worth remembering as a parent may complain about " having to work outside of the home."
Every person can consider that parenting is an experience which many older people look back upon with more appreciation than any other endeavors in their lives... and that some remember with longing to have enjoyed more, appreciated more, and have helped to have been better.
RESPECT THE CHILD
People have asked what to do if the child will not listen to the parent. Maybe that seemingly small question is a big indication of a parent-child relationship that is unhealthy. A good, happy, kind, open parent-child relationship is one where the parent listens to the child and then, naturally, the child listens to the parent. Parent and child respect each other.
Big statement here is this: A parent should respect the child. Enough talk about how important it is for the child to respect the parent. That will be the natural outcome if the parent respects the child. From the moment of birth, that little human being surely deserves respect. All people do. And if a parent respects the child from the beginning of the child’s life, that child is likely to respect the parent. It works better than a parent screaming, “ Respect me! I am your parent! If you don’t respect me, you will be punished! ”
When a parent respects the child, that parent will be kind to the child, which means paying attention to the child, listening to the child, answering the child’s questions starting with the questions from the crib. Yes, a cry from the crib is a question. " Will you please come? I do not know why, but I want to see you and have you help me somehow. I need you. Will you help me ... I hope? "
Listening to the baby and toddler and teenager definitely makes a huge difference in the parent-child relationship. Listening and then always answering with kindness and honesty helps the child feel secure and happy and respectful of the parent. Kindness begets kindness. Respect brings respect. And the child will want to listen to the parent who has been kind and respectful. It is not just the best way, but the only way to expect a child to really listen to the parent.
CHORES FOR THE CHILD?
Here's an answer for a parent who complains that her child will not always do her or his chores: Did you ask for a baby who you could enjoy helping grow into a fine person or did you ask for a cleaning woman?
Some may think that it helps the young child become a good responsible person if that toddler and teenager is required to make his bed, clean his room, take out the trash for the family, and perhaps do more than that. And there are some who even think that the child should be punished if he does not perform the stated chores. Perhaps such a parent may not have thought deeply about whether this is the best way to help the child.
With thankfulness, I write that all parents do not make their child perform chores around the house, but treat the child very differently and for a good reason.
In every endeavor, we want a goal if we care to do the job well. So, in the job of parenting, what might be the goal? Obeying orders? Would that be a worthy goal? Perhaps some adults who may be a bit unhappy and confused about life themselves do believe that the only way to live is by having orders and obedience. However, the child who grows up not making his own decisions about what to wear or what foods he prefers or how to spend every minute of his time will hardly know how to manage his life as he grows older. If his early life is filled with orders, what can be expected as he grows? At some point, a parent may wonder why that child does not seem capable of making decisions, and may even tell herself that it is just genes. As I have written recently, there is now scientific research to prove that genes in a young child can be changed if there is abuse of any kind. Maybe treating a child like a slave is abuse.
If the parent's goal for the child is an appreciation of life, the parent is more likely to pay attention to helping the little one enjoy the beautiful sunshine or the blooming dogwood trees or promoting the child's interest in learning how to read or giving the family pet some loving instead of forcing the child to perform chores for the parent. Whatever path the parent chooses matters.
HOW A MOTHER MATTERS
“The influence of a mother upon the lives of her children cannot be measured. Theyknow and absorb her example and attitudes when it comes to questions of honesty, temperance, kindness and industry.“ — BIlly Graham.
Honesty, oh wow. In my first book, A Present to the Newborn, I wrote that my choice of the most important character trait is honesty. We can only imagine a world full of honest people. We can strive for that! And perhaps an honest mother is almost a necessity in influencing a child to be honest.
Kindness is the word we know to remember as the best way for a parent to treat a child, always, always, always. There is no need for a parent to ever be mean to her little boy or girl, trying to force without explanation, or punishing physically or emotionally. Clearly, a kind mother is likely to have a kind child. ( A mean mother is likely to have a child who is confused, unhappy,and insecure.)
Temperance has been part of the discussion on some radio shows about the reason for the protestors, those who choose to cause trouble in small or sometimes large ways. Temperance means having self control, being moderate, and respectful too. Again, imagine all people having self-restraint instead of feeling a need to march and carry sometimes unpleasant signs of defiance. Temperance matters hugely in making life peaceful instead of the opposite, and again, a mother matters in living it and the child absorbing it through the mother's example.
Industry is the natural outgrowth in a person who has been influenced by an honest, temperate, and kind mother. An industrious person wants to be productive because he cares about others and about being helpful.
A mother who has these four character traits is likely to pass them on to her fortunate child. and through that child, will help make this a better place.
IS IT EVER TOO LATE ?
If a parent realizes there is a better way to help the child than what she had been doing, there is often the question... but what can I do now? Is it too late when the child is 3 years old… or 8 years old… or 15 years old?
It is never too late! Depending on how sincere the parent is about changing the way she treats the child, there will be some success.
Parent can say to the child that she wants to talk with him about something important, and then suggest a quiet place to sit, maybe taking two coca colas or lemonades or whatever the child likes. Then, the parent can say that she just read something on the internet or in a book or heard a talk, whatever is truthful, and realizes she could have been treating him in a different way. She can say she is sorry but wants to change right now! She can explain that there will not be rules and punishment. Instead there can be talking about anything! They can enjoy each other and she will be on his side, that she has always been on his side, but thought she was supposed to be stern instead of kind always.
She can explain that she wishes she had been treated him differently, that she thought was she was doing was best. Then the parent might hug the child, and ask him to remind her if she ever starts dictating again.
Importantly, it is up to the parent to change definitely. It is up to the parent to always be kind and honest, too, as she helps the child by explaining and listening, working together instead of sort of against each other. Only then will the child gradually change and start feeling self-respect and more happiness with his own life. As this happens, the child will probably relax more, smile more, and definitely be kinder back to the parent and to others. Of course, there will not be perfection, as nobody on this earth is perfect and that is worth remembering.
As the parent changes, she will have so much fun with the child, discussing this new relationship and helping the child feel more loved and secure ... and the world will be a better place.
WHY READ THIS
This may be a wake up call to some parents! We know that opinions on how a parent should best treat a child are different. So, every parent should do just what she, or he, thinks makes sense!
A parent can be kind or unkind to the child. And you know what? The child treats the parent back the way the parent has treated the child, and likely treats others the way the parent has treated the child. Those formative years are formative.
Some may think everything is just genes. Not so. Recent scientific studies prove that genes can be changed. The parent chooses what the baby, toddler, teenager, and adult will be.
Parents add another person to this world! A person who looks like the parents! A person who will be “formed” by the parents!
Some parents are so appreciative when the baby arrives. They hug the baby for long times and go to the baby’s crib often, daytime and nighttime, looking at the baby and smiling and often saying to the baby, “I love you.” Recently, I saw a 5 day old baby smiling a big smile! I knew the parents had been talking lovingly with that newborn and the parents had not screamed, “Stop crying!”
Some parents, however, do yell at the baby they had asked to be born. They act as if they do not even like that baby! If this is true, surely we all hope that such parents will realize they do not have to have that child or any more children. Birth control is available or so is giving up the baby for adoption.
But, also, a parent who has been unkind to the baby can change! With a change to loving talks, the parent will see the child change! What a thrill! A baby will change more easily than will a toddler or teenager. But it is never too late if the parent really changes first! Loving kindness from the parent will change the child from being insecure and unhappy to being happy with life. And a happy person is likely to be caring about others, a worthy goal for all of us.
How unique it is that a parent can help make this a better place through loving.
Interesting that those who, when asked "What do you do?"and say they are a "Fulltime Mother," seem to say it with a special smile, knowing that parenting is the most important job.
Why would any mother choose to have another job in addition to the job of parenting when aware that she would often come home tired to her little child who would be needing the mother’s time and loving kindness and words and wonderful long hugs? Long hugs from the parent give the baby security forever and even make the child smarter, as recently proved scientifically. Importantly, a kind mother is likely to have a kind and happy child.
"How a mother uses her energy, what job or jobs she does, and how well she does them is her choice. So is her child’s future." A Present to the Newborn p.102
Some new mothers say they leave their child because they need to make money. The three needs in life are food, shelter, and clothing. As for a mother needing to work in a second job, there is much to consider. With caring, here are simplified thoughts to provoke more thoughts:
1. A mother with one child or two children and a husband with a paying job almost never needs a paying job.
2. A mother who is unmarried but chooses to have a child is choosing, unless she has lots of money herself, to work for money and neglect her child much of the time. Neglect may sound harsh, so could say spend less time with her child.
Those statements may provoke questioning. Please email me with comments if you like. I do plan to write further in my next blog. Some mothers choose to leave the child for other reasons.
MORE ON FULLTIME MOTHER
“A lot is possible in this wonderful life on earth, but it is not possible to have a fine son or daughter if that son or daughter is not nurtured.” A Present to theNewborn p.23
Is there any mother who does not realize that the child comes out of her body ready to learn what she teaches? Even genes can be changed in a young child if there is physical or emotional abuse. We did not know that until recently! Unkind words are abuse. What the newborn hears and sees affects that child immediately and forever.
I hesitate to write about the importance of a fulltime mother because of the feminist movement encouraging mothers to have paying jobs. Also, am thinking why not, if it will help make this a more peaceful place.
Some mothers who chose to take another job in addition to parenting may take the child to a loving relative. Some may take the child to a daycare center where there are multiple children needing loving and help. The caregivers cannot give each child total care all the time. There are other options, too. What is clear is that the mother decides who will be the primary influence on the baby and toddler and teenager.
So how important is the job of parenting? What matters more? The child? Money? Social prestige? (Those last words were told to me after my June blog!)
I wrote about money in last month’s blog. So, now social prestige and comments if you want to email or phone me:
To be blunt but realistic, how does that mother feel if
1. she comes home tired most days and the child cries a lot and smiles not much
2. the child does not want to go to kindergarten when the time comes or later to First Grade
3 child seems confused and insecure and unhappy
4. the First Grade teacher phones her to ask that she meet with the school principal about her child seeming to have problems of not being interested in learning, not listening to the teacher, saying unkind things to other students, and generally seeming unhappy.
5. the child is not invited to birthday parties of her classmates
6. the child is not accepted in a college she wants to attend and the mother finds that the previous school had written on a form that the student has mental problems
7. the child turns to drugs
Maybe the mother will tell herself it is just genes. Or maybe the mother will wish she had spent more time with the baby and toddler, hugging and talking about everything and answering questions as the child started talking and always showing the child respect and love. Or maybe the mother will think she had done a good job in a business outside of the home and that is what she cares about more than helping her child be happy with life. Some may wonder why that mother even chose to have a child. Birth control is available and so is adoption. But again, maybe she thinks she is not responsible for her child’s problems. But don’t most parents know that the formative years are formative? I’d think yes. But maybe not. My hope is that more mothers will think deeply and help make this a better place.
There are exceptions to just about everything, of course. Maybe in some cases, the mother takes the little baby to her mother who is kinder than she is and so the baby is better with the grandmother than the mother. I will add here that the loser in that scenario is the mother. As my husband said, and his words are at the ending of my book, A Present to the Newborn, parenting “is like everything else in life. You get out of it what you put into it. The only difference is that success is sweeter,”