The article “Child Parenting Part 2” continues to cover the particularities of raising children within the first year of life.
Read the first part here – Child Parenting Part 1.
How to teach a child about the concepts of “right” and “wrong”?
In order for the baby, and an adult in the future, to follow the moral norms, it is necessary to give him an idea of what is right and what is wrong.
There are two ways:
- Teach and dictate the actions to the child, using the parent’s authority and constantly monitoring his behavior.
- Let the child develop his own sense of right and wrong.
Of course, the latter option is preferable, since its nature is non-violent. In this case, there is no need in constant presence of an adult to make sure that the child follows the behavior norms, the child will have no fear of being punished by his parents, he feels that something is right or wrong by himself.
One’s own idea of what is good or bad is called moral feeling.
When to start developing moral sense in a child?
The basis of the moral sense is a baby’s feeling that he is separate from his mother. By the age half a year a baby begins to realize that there is ego in him, which can be independent of the mother. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the moral sense up to the age of one year. First of all, success depends on a favorable environment; it must be predictable and initially highly adapted to the baby’s needs. He needs a sense of security and confidence that his parents will support him.
As soon as a baby begins to recognize the boundary between himself and his mother, his primitive fears appear. They are based on the instinctive anticipation of danger. Baby can bite, pinch, scream, at this moment it seems to him that the world is full of biting mouths and claws. The task of his mother is to calm her baby, to fill him with the confidence, and this is achieved when the baby sees that his mother was not furious, she calmly went through his such violent outbursts.
The next step is mother’s joy and praise for good baby’s deeds. The baby sits on the pot for his mom, thus expressing love for her. And now he has a new attitude to his aggressive actions, just like to what upsets her. Thus he monitors his feelings; he learns what is perceived as right and what is perceived as wrong. Over the time, the child becomes able to overcome his primitive fears and worries. He knows that everything can be corrected! Sense of guilt appears in him – and it is very important. This sense is being formed while faith in reliability is being strengthened. However, the ability to feel guilt disappears, if trust is lost and the baby cannot rely upon his environment.
As soon as the baby becomes able to feel guilty, he is able to distinguish between what is felt as bad, and what is felt as good. What reduces the feeling of guilt is perceived by the baby as good, and what increases is perceived as bad. This is the very beginning of the child’s own moral sense development.
How to raise a happy baby?
It is much easier to live for a cheerful and happy person. Every mother wants her child not to be capricious and whimper on any occasion, but to be cheerful and smiling. Therefore, a sense of humor, a positive world view should be taught just like politeness, punctuality, literacy, etc.
You should start from the very early days of baby’s life, but first pay attention to your own behavior. For the baby to grow happy and an optimist, his mother must always have a good humor and a smile on her face.
Of course, it is not easy in the first few months. Fatigue after pregnancy and childbirth, such new troublesome care about the little person do not cause a constant fun. But when the baby wakes up several times a night or demands to be constantly carried in arms, avoid every thought that he does it intentionally. Remember that it’s not easy for him in this new big world as well. He takes your negative emotions personally. When hearing meaningless phrases for you: “Why is all this happening to me?”, “When will all this end?” repeated many times, your child will gradually feel unwelcome. It seems that baby is so small, but every gentle touch, caring word is saved in the baby’s mind, stimulates the brain cells forming synapses – a kind of building material of intellect.
Teach your baby to laugh. Already from the age of four months babies can experience delight when kissed on tummy or being thrown up. Now it is just a reaction to pleasant sensations. But later, when understanding of object permanence will be developed, he will laugh just in anticipation of the game, when the parent is just going to tickle him.
Sing with your baby fun children’s songs, clap your hands to the rhythm, and dance.
One of the first stages of teaching children to laugh is playing hide and seek. Once a baby has formed an idea of object permanence (about 9 months), he would be able to guess what would come next. You hide an interesting toy, and he is able to guess that it will be back soon, it did not gone forever. This makes the baby laugh.
If your toddler walks already, try to play with his plush toy – dance and jump with it, attracting your toddler. If he likes the activity, offer him to swap places with the toy: now let the toy look and you both will dance. This is best done in front of a large mirror. Children are especially pleased if they are dressed up in the costumes of their favorite heroes.
The main thing is that all these games are loved by your little one, they make him smile and laugh.
Is it necessary to accustom baby to arms?
Already in the first months of life the elements of world perception start developing in a child, as well as his attitude to life and reality. For a baby to feel needed and loved, he needs to get evidence of parental love in infancy – an immediate response to his desires.
The baby strives to learning about the world around him, strives to the increasing complexity of new information. To develop emotionally he needs as much positive impressions and feelings as possible, and to adapt socially – to communicate with other people. And there is the only solution of all these tasks – carrying baby in arms.
It is believed that a baby should not be carried in arms often, otherwise he will be indulged. Baby becomes accustomed to arms and … oh, God! … will grow up totally independent!
Such harsh methods of parenting deny the basic baby’s need: the constant presence of his mom is a natural need of a baby.
The child who is intentionally separated from his mother will not be able to trust the world later in life. Limitation of physical contact between mother and her child leads to the further non-reciprocal feelings between them. It must be remembered that the strict and demanding parenting is no guarantee of success in a child.
Baby, deprived of frequent skin contact, does not have many tactile sensations so necessary for his full development.
Carrying baby in hands has a number of advantages:
• Vestibular system is being trained (for this purpose mother should keep moving or even intentionally walk clockwise, swing her baby gently from side to side).
• Preparation for independent talking (baby is watching his mother articulation).
• A baby is feeling better, he is quiet (he feels familiar smell, hears the voice familiar for the intrauterine life).
• Mother’s anxiety is reduced, her mood is improved.
Of course, it is necessary to leave a baby alone, in order to develop his independence, but do not disappear from his field of view or leave him for a long time. He must be sure that you are with him. The baby needs sometimes to lie alone and suck the toes on his feet, to explore his own fists and rattles.
Development of good eating habits
During the first year of life many eating habits are being developed in a baby. It often happens, that because of improperly organized feeding the baby loses interest in adult food or his appetite is decreased. If a baby is fed properly from the very beginning, is accustomed to diverse tastes and food consistency in time, and his active behavior during feeding is encouraged, no difficulties usually arise.
As long as a baby eats nothing but breast milk or a baby formula from bottles, everything seems to be OK, especially if he is breastfed. But at the age of five or six months, a baby starts usually eating additional food – cereal or vegetable puree. It’s time for a baby to discover not only a new taste of food, but also a new way of eating – from a spoon. At first you start with the minimum dose – half a teaspoon, and gradually increase to two or three spoons, and then to a complete norm. This rule is not only connected with a possible allergy to a new product, but also with the fact that a baby, if forced to eat at once the full amount of the new food, will have least favorite food. You can start teaching your eight-seven month old baby to drink from a cup, gently supporting it.
Remember to serve your baby’s food in a beautiful way, never feed him directly from a jar. Bright and clean bibs will be of great use for this purpose, your baby will willingly explore them. Beginning with the first feeding, accustom your little one to eat from a spoon. If the baby has not yet learned to sit very confidently, feed him in your arms. Later teach your baby to eat sitting on his own special chair at the table shared with you.
Just at this very time it is necessary to teach the baby to sit at the table with clean hands. Of course, at this early age the baby is not yet able to consciously wash hands as a rule, but the sensations got will be remembered and associated with the following process, i.e. with a meal.
Do not be lazy to wipe a dirty face of your baby while feeding. Otherwise, he will just get used to the “beard” of mashed potatoes or cereals, and there will be difficulty teaching him to use a napkin.
Also read the continuation of the topic here Child Parenting 3.