Shortcuts to coping with the demands of the arrival of a new baby
Exciting as it is, we can all feel out of our depth with the arrival of a new baby and becoming a parent for the very first time.
You may have read the theory, watched videos, chatted with family and friends but if you haven’t spent much time around babies, tiny infants can overwhelm you and provide you with a reality check.
Being able to cope with the demands of a new baby means parents need
lots of sleep, rest and need to eat properly. Remember, as new parents you will always
benefit from the practical tips, insights and the little pearls of wisdom other
parents who have already been there.
Feeding, sleeping patterns, and bathing a newborn can have their
challenges. It’s important that a baby gets the right amount of sleep for its development.
A newborn baby needs to sleep about four
hours at a time before it wakes and needs changing, feeding, then putting back
down to sleep.
Ten Tips to Help You Cope
Always take care of yourself first, as babies need you to be healthy and able to take proper care of them.
Before a new baby arrives, prepare meals in advance for busy times. When making meals, cook for two nights instead of the one or freeze for another time. Rearrange your normal daily routine eg, cook your main meal in the morning instead of at night, as well as other chores.
The correct amount of sleep for yourself is paramount to your baby’s health and development.
If it’s the only child, you should sleep when they sleep as your rest is also important.
If you have other children to cope with, you should also sleep when they sleep.
Don’t be a martyr and try to do everything as you did before, recognize that a new baby can be stressful.
Allow time for your partner and other children.
Be aware of your baby’s safety at all times. Don’t leave your baby where they may fall or hurt themselves or be unsupervised by others, or with animals.
Avoid loud noises around your baby as a baby needs a reasonable amount of quietness.
Never be afraid to ask for assistance from your health worker as they have the training, knowledge and experience to answer your concerns or questions in all areas of infancy and young children, even if it’s for reassurance.
As new parents or bringing another baby into the home your approach should
be that of inclusiveness. Model good communication
skills, where parents demonstrate love and support, closely listening to and
understanding each child’s needs.
Another baby arrives
Prepare older children for the expected arrival of a new baby, helping
them to understand the new dynamics it will bring to the family. Show them some pictures of themselves when
they were little. Read stories about new
babies, how they grow, cry, and need special looking after. Children need to feel that they also can
assist by watching, helping to bath them and hold them when they are asleep. Even though children don’t fully understand
how the family dynamics will change, they need to know that they too, have an
important role to play by being involved and this makes them feel important. Reassure your children that you will need lots
of help from them. Explain beforehand
that the new baby will need lots of sleep, feeding and the changing of their
nappies. Other children need lots of
love and cuddles from their parents which demonstrates that they too are as
important as the new baby.
As new parents we need to be prepared for the many challenges and situations that a newborn baby will present as normal everyday routines are disrupted.
Being an effective parent can be one of the most rewarding things in life but at the same time it can be one of the most challenging.
From infancy right through to early adulthood, parents can face so many different situations where they can provide opportunities for children to make decisions, within limits, and to be accountable for these decisions. We need to be parents who use encouragement, valuing each child as a unique individual who requires love and respect. It’s imperative that we strive to understand each child’s behaviour, their misbehaviour and their emotions.
Children within the same family can have very different personalities and temperaments from that of their parents… or they may be similar, and this can create many diverse challenges for parents at the different stages of childhood, through to being teenagers.
The Parental Challenge
Our challenge as parents is, “How do we raise co-operative children who are respectful, well balanced, caring and thoughtful of others and will go on to be responsible citizens in the community”.
Parents often ask, “how can I get my children
under control”? It’s the biggest
frustration for parents when children don’t listen, they ignore their directions,
or ignore the family’s rules. Parents get so frustrated when their children
seem to be always challenging their authority. For example, choosing to make them
wait when being asked repeatedly to do something such as pack up their toys, or
when they choose to use the delay tactic when something is asked of them.
Despite your daily instructions
of “BE nice to your sister”, the child’s behaviour does not change.
“Don’t do that again”,
“You need to let me do your
seat belt up”
And so it goes on. Sometimes you feel as a parent that you have lost control of every situation and nothing seems to be working. Everyday seems to be a battle of wills. Who is going to win? Daily battles with dressing, packing up toys, getting in and out of the car or bath and going to sleep at night.
Parents can feel so worn out, despondent and feel they have lost control. All this can lead to increased stress, frustration and arguments as to how best to bring up their kids, and parents then start blaming each other.
Of course, we as parents, are responsible for
their safety and well-being, but we are also the ones who need to teach independence,
good decision-making skills whilst all the while building their self-esteem.
When it comes to parenting, we need to be the
overseers of their safety and well-being, always taking care of them, guiding,
explaining and more importantly, conducting ourselves so as to be examples of the
right way to behave towards others. We need to show thoughtfulness and lead by
Good Parent or Bad Parent?
Parents worry a lot about their
authority constantly being challenged or undermined in anyway and they
especially don’t want to be seen as a “bad parent”. In simple terms, parents just want their
children to do as they are told, when they are told.
We have to remember as parents, that we too can be
stubborn, controlling and purposefully annoying to others. Being unreasonable or unkind brings about
arguments and shouting, and when children are watching or perhaps listening in
another room, they are receiving mixed messages.
Setting the Example
We as adults need to lead by
example, showing our children how we as parents resolve disagreements, how we
speak to each other. We need to watch our
tone of voice. Children need to see that we can apologise to each other, our
children and our broader family or friends.
Children from one-day-old are always listening,
watching and learning from sounds, movements, eye contact, tone of voice and the
world they live in, its surrounds or environment.
Children will always try to test their boundaries,
it’s part of their learning and this shows their cognitive ability is
developing by frequently challenging and trying new things and wanting and waiting
for how you are going to respond. This goes on through into teenage and young
adulthood and probably beyond. We as parents have a great responsibility in our
child’s early childhood years to develop positive skill building abilities
based around love, nurture and security,
What are the Child’s Needs?
Children need a good positive environment where together we can show honesty and respect, along with many other attributes that will stands them in good stead to become well balanced, responsible citizens who can show empathy and respect for themselves and others. It is our job as parents to develop these skills in our children, allowing for their individual personalities to shine and grow into healthy well-balanced responsible teenagers and adults who also have respect for others.
We want our children, over their formative years, to develop the skills to be capable of making good responsible decisions for themselves and to develop into independent thinking people who are thoughtful to those around them.
We, as parents, are of course in charge, but children have a great need to be understood and listened to, even when they misbehave. We expect our children to always remember the rules, but we need to remember that knowing the rules and putting them into practice at a given moment by a 3-year-old or older are two different things.
Tip #1 What to do when your child is behaving badly and continually wants their own way.
child to recognise that their bad behaviour is not acceptable. You need to
follow through with your decisions and help the child to apologise for
Tip #2 Training your child to respect others
child to know that you are in charge and that they need to have respect.
Children need to learn to share with others and it is always good to reinforce
good behaviour with praise when they show respect.
Tip #3 How to avoid tantrums
make your expectations clear. If the child is in the habit of throwing a
tantrum when it is time to leave, give adequate warning at the beginning, then
half-way through the session and again when it is time to go. Reassure them that they will come back again and
always follow through.
Tip #4 How to encourage your child to take responsibility for themselves.
make clear what is required of the child and praise your child when the
required task is completed.
Tip #5 Training a child to be compliant
Sometimes a child will misbehave on purpose, to get your attention and to get you to give in on your demands. This is when it is it is helpful to actively ignore the child until they comply. Eventually they will learn that obedience is in their best interests.
Listen to the advice of the “Supernanny” in this video…
Children who are not taught good manners from an early age have a very distinct social disadvantage. When sending your child to early kinder or preschool you will, as a parent, be more confident that, along with their healthy lunch, they will also be taking with them their learnt social etiquette and politeness.
Good manners and good behaviour can be taught as young as two years, even though they may not fully understand, but it helps them to be more appreciative and aware of others and that their feelings are as important as their own.
Good manners develop into good habits that are an integral part of good behaviour.
Teaching Good Manners to young children is based on valuing others’ feelings and sensitivities while it demonstrates thoughtfulness and respect towards them. These children grow into good, well-mannered teenagers and adults.
Politeness is an expected social etiquette that should be taught at a very early age. However, it is never too late to learn good manners and politeness. By teaching children manners early in life, politeness becomes a natural part of their everyday behaviour and speech.
Introduce polite words such as PLEASE and THANK YOU from an early age. This helps to develop an attitude of gratitude. Even though children don’t understand these terms at first, they are practising using them. Introduce other phrases later, such as “May I?”, “No, thank you” and “Excuse Me” to further develop good child behaviour.
INSTILLING GOOD MANNERS
GOOD MANNERS are an integral part of a child’s social behaviour development. Learning good manners is essential to a child’s overall development and ensures that you will be raising happy children.
Good manners demonstrate respect for another individual. They help a child realise that other people’s thoughts and opinions should be listened to and their self-worth respected. Demonstrating politeness, thoughtfulness and respect develops a true sensitivity towards those with whom they come in contact, and others will respect them in return.
TEACHING TABLE MANNERS
Basic table manners are essential along with social etiquette and good manners in today’s society and need to be taught and practised from a very early age, to become natural when socialising out with friends and family.
Children need to be taught not only good manners but table manners as well. They should be taught how to hold their spoon and fork and when chewing food, to keep their mouth closed until finished. Having good manners and good table etiquette is not talking while eating but waiting until their mouth is empty. It’s also bad manners to put more food into their mouth when they haven’t chewed all of the previous mouth full. Good manners is not talking whilst eating but to wait until they have finished chewing.
Children need frequent reminders and practice at table manners.
Parents raising children need to put time and effort into teaching politeness. Polite children with good manners are a pleasure to take out to a dinner or restaurant. When children are well mannered with good social etiquette, along with table manners, taking children to social events and activities can be much more enjoyable.
They should make a point of teaching them table etiquette and manners so that they feel confident that their children will display good table manners and proper table etiquette when dining out… and it becomes more of an enjoyable outing for everyone.
12 EFFECTIVE WAYS OF DEVELOPING GOOD MANNERS IN CHILDREN
1 Setting an example
We, so often as a society, judge people by their social behaviour and this influences people’s perceptions towards them. Polite children with good manners exemplify good upbringing where consideration for other people and their feelings is paramount.
Parents need to lead by example when teaching good table manners. Teaching children every day, through parents mirroring good manners themselves, demonstrates respect and sensitivity for each others’ feelings. A respectful child will develop naturally into a well-mannered individual.
Mirroring good manners with your children and their friends develops politeness and good behaviour.
2 Correcting your child in public
When you are out in public places with your children, it’s always good to acknowledge other friends’ children and have conversations with them. This helps them to feel included. It demonstrates politeness to your children and that they too should show politeness towards them also, and can reduce any issues of craving attention or acting up.
When they are playing with other children they will then know its important to always be polite and show they have good manners.
Correcting a child appropriately when out
Correcting your child in public in front of others should always done sensitively and having careful regard for your child’s feelings. However, it is best to do so out of earshot of others, if possible. Never make an example of your child, but give careful consideration to the situation, your child’s feelings and to not drawing attention to the situation.
Move your child to a more private area if possible and fully explain quietly your corrections. Always speak to your child at their level, maintain eye contact, using words that they can understand. Always ask for their acknowledgement that they understand that good behaviour is expected. Speaking firmly but quietly often dispels any behavioural issues in children when in public.
3 Good communication
The conversation should only take a minute or two. Always remember it’s the child’s bad behaviour that you are addressing and that needs to change… not them. Make a point of telling them that you love them very much and that good behaviour is expected.
4 Guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways
Communicating to your children in this way acknowledges that they are respected, valued and loved. Children will have a better understanding of how you expect them to behave more sensibly, and that they should endeavour to take on board and know what is expected of them in the future. This is guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways.
Politeness and demonstrating good behaviour is a skill that children need to learn from an early age.
Children need to learn to take responsibility for inappropriate bad manners. When children understand what’s expected of them, they develop their own sense of responsibility for themselves as they recognise and understand bad behaviour in themselves. Bad behaviour often comes from their frustrations, but they fail to ask for assistance.
Parents and guardians need to demonstrate and teach by example. Avoid raising your voice as this creates tension. Children need to know that their frustrations can be overcome by expressing problems to an adult if they are finding it difficult to e.g. play a board game… and that asking for help overcomes bad behaviour very quickly. When children learn to express their feelings and frustrations through asking for help, they take a giant leap towards becoming a person, not only with good manners, but that other people will want to be around.
Children will recognise how exhibiting good manners and good behaviour solves frustrations very quickly.
5 Deal with Interruptions
If your child interrupts you while having a conversation, quietly point out to them that it is bad manners to interrupt but you will attend to their needs when it’s appropriate. This helps them feel noticed and recognised, but they will learn that that interrupting is not ok. It teaches them that politeness is not only having good manners, but is also being patient and waiting.
It very important that parents make sure that they follow through on their promise and don’t take too long in attending to the child as soon as they are finished. This shows respect for the child… that they too are important.
6 Setting the Example
Developing good manners in children takes time, effort, consistency and showing by example. Practise good manners at home, always teach by example. Children will follow your consistent lead. Children need to know that good behaviour and good manners start at home and they are taken with them when they go out. If the rules are consistently applied, children learn very quickly and behavioural problems in children subside.
7 Gentle Reminders
Manners are not automatically learnt. Children need constant encouragement and direction when learning how to display manners. Children need gentle reminders and explanations as to when and where to use these newly learnt manners and politeness.
Acquiring these newly learnt good manners takes lots of encouragement, reinforcement and practice as well as discouraging any bad manners or inappropriate table etiquette that may arise. Consistent follow through by both parents or caregivers ensures no confusion for children.
Learning good manners takes time and plenty of patience and reinforcement as politeness is a learnt skill and adds to their lifelong education.
8 BE A ROLE MODEL AND COACH
Good manners start at home by parents modelling good behaviour. Apart from setting a good example to your children, realise that you are a role model for them and you can also be their coach.
Remember that they are watching and learning from you every day. They will inevitably emulate your good behaviour, both at home, on the road and in public. Politeness and good manners need to be demonstrated in all circumstances and will stand them in good stead for the future because having good manners is an asset.
Children respond to positive encouragement, therefore look for different ways to encourage and build them up for their good efforts. Parents can often too quickly criticise their children for unacceptable bad behaviour, but are slow to react to good behaviour when it is warranted. Practise encouraging children for their good manners and politeness because it reinforces good child behaviour and this builds their self-esteem.
10 REWARD WITH PRAISE
Reward children for their good behaviour. Praising children helps them to feel proud about themselves and valued. Their personal feelings are given a huge boost. Praise always creates a positive attitude. Children will respond more easily when genuine encouragement and praise is given freely. Praise builds confidence and self-esteem.
At every opportunity, praise them for their good manners and good behaviour.
11 TEACH BASIC GOOD MANNERS PHRASES
6 BASIC MANNERS THAT ALL CHILDREN SHOULD KNOW
All of these words demonstrate respect for another.
“NO, THANK YOU”.
These words and phrases don’t come naturally, and children must be trained to see things from the perspective of the other person.
12 SOCIAL MANNERS
Well-mannered children also need to demonstrate Social Manners
Social Manners children need to learn…
+ SHARING WITH OTHERS.
Teaching the importance of sharing is guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways. When children are sharing their toys and activities with others, this demonstrates kindness and thoughtfulness toward other children or adults. It displays respect, good manners and politeness.
Sharing with others is often one of the hardest things for children to deal with, especially if another child has damaged or is likely to damage their things. However, sharing displays politeness, respect and good behaviour.
+ APOLOGISING or saying “SORRY”
Supporting and managing children’s behaviour can be difficult at times. It may be difficult for children to recognise that their actions or words maybe disrespectful, rude. However guiding children’s behaviour in positive ways is understanding that being sorry is important. Children need to accept and recognise that their bad manners, lack of politeness or table etiquette will not be tolerated.
+ WAITING IN TURN
It’s a principle that even adults forget. Children learning politeness and good manners means learning to wait in line or wait for their turn when playing a game. It means not interrupting when others are talking or when you’re on the phone. It’s important for parents to help their children to grasp these very important concepts and parents need to always lead by example. Politeness and good manners are not difficult, it just needs to be taught from an early age.
Behavioural issues in children and bad behaviour can be dealt with fairly quickly if parents, guardians or teachers recognise the signs of frustration, anger or naughtiness when it first appears. With gentle sensitivity, immediate explanation and understanding of their inner frustrations, bad behaviour can quickly revert to good behaviour and politeness in a few days or overnight.
It’s never too late to teach and encourage children to always to have good manners and demonstrate politeness.
REWARD CHARTS CAN BE A GOOD IDEA FOR REMINDERS EACH DAY
As parents, we need to instil in our children particular traits that are essential for them to adopt and to learn to master early in life.
This will assist them as they grow and continue to develop into responsible adults and become self-reliant, responsible and well-adjusted people. These traits need to be inculcated from a very early age.
7 ESSENTIAL QUALITIES THAT PARENTS NEED TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN
The main traits are..
Resilience – the ability to bounce back after setbacks.
Assertiveness – to take on challenges and resist intimidation
Honesty and integrity – essential in all situations
Confidence – for maintaining happiness
Self-esteem – to build character
Creativeness – to develop their own talents, gifts, ideas and abilities
General social behaviours – good manners, eating etiquette, talking etc
Teaching resilience is essential when raising children so that they can bounce back from situations where they may otherwise feel challenged or overwhelmed.
Good strong parental guidance leads by example, showing and explaining how to cope when faced with difficult or challenging situations, dealing with friendships, or falling short of their expectations about school exams, sporting results and the many other challenges that children face.
Children need to learn that by solving problems and keeping everything in perspective, challenges can be overcome. Problems can be faced head-on and solutions can be found.
The young child, as well as the teenager, needs to be guided and encouraged through difficult times, in order to learn that, by analysing a situation and solving problems, with resilience, difficulties can be overcome and that there is always a way.
When children become more confident, assertiveness will follow. Assertiveness is a by-product of confidence. As children grow and develop and experience new challenges or different situations in life, they are less likely to shy away from new difficulties they face and be more likely to speak up and ask for help.
This helps them to feel more capable and builds assertiveness. Children need to understand that we all make mistakes when learning a new sport or playing a musical instrument. The most important thing is having a go… participating and understanding that learning new skills can take time.
Parents need to encourage, not step in and take over, or over-react. Children are watching and learning from adults all the time and sensitive children will not want to participate if they sense a negative response.
Affirmative words and actions and reactions from their parents will reinforce positive assertiveness building skills.
Parents need to be very careful using comparisons between themselves and/or other siblings as this will create feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. They may lead to a fear of rejection and put doubt in their minds, making them feel not capable or that others rights are more important than theirs.
It’s important to build assertiveness in children so their confidence and self-esteem levels will grow and develop. This helps them feel valued, loved and heard. Children being assertive encourages good positive communication between parents and children. Kids will feel free to speak up when they feel something is wrong, or they may feel uneasy about something. They will feel that they have a right to express an opinion when appropriate, knowing they will be listened to.
3 Honesty and Integrity.
Honesty and integrity are integral to a child’s early development and should be learnt from a very early age. When children are playing games or sharing with others, this is when parents can explain clearly about not cheating and being fair with each other, playing by the rules, not the ones made-up on the spot to suit. This develops integrity and demonstrates the importance of sharing.
Children will in turn expect their siblings, other children, and adults also to behave with the same integrity and honesty. Integrity and honesty goes to the heart of proper family values, how parents behave and expect their children to behave, and that everyone can be trusted.
If parents (and children) demonstrate honesty in daily life, and if it is reinforced and rewarded, this helps children to transition into the teenage years, knowing that honesty and integrity is a normal part of their everyday life. This will go a long way in helping them to become well-rounded adults.
Develop Confidence and Self-Esteem in your child.
Parents will not always be around to assist a child when difficulties arise, but if you know how to build confidence in your children, you will be gently using encouraging words and affirmations. Kids’ confidence will thus grow in small steps as adversities arise.
Growing confidence is inevitable and children will be able to stand on their own two feet and be proud of their achievements. These are very important lessons to learn in life, as facing up to challenges builds self-esteem and confidence.
5. Self esteem
Building self-esteem in children is vital and is closely linked to their behaviour and to their overall happiness in life. Children need confidence for their everyday wellbeing, and resilience. Self-esteem building activities for kids are a great way of knowing how to teach self confidence in children.
The ability to bounce back and face challenges enables children to feel accepted and fit in with others. When children are able to be confident, their self-esteem is heightened. Children need lots of praise, when it is due, and strict discipline when their behaviour is unacceptable. The issue should be dealt with promptly, quietly and fairly.
Confidence comes when they are encouraged and praised appropriately without excess. Parents need to teach children how to behave correctly when difficulties arise and not crush a child’s feelings when things go wrong.
Confidence and self-esteem come from within, when a child feels they have mastered something themselves, perhaps a difficult or new challenge that may take some time to overcome.
Your children’s confidence and self-esteem levels will grow with every new difficulty.
All children are born with creative ability and when given the opportunities to develop their creative talents, they learn to explore new possibilities. Their brain forms new pathways, heightening their cognitive ability to try new things and overcome new challenges. Creativity develops imagination and this can be expressed through creative writing, music, dance, theatre, plays and the arts.
Visiting museums and exploring art galleries, appreciating and discussing with others as to what they see and how they feel, is essential to opening up a child’s mind to explore different avenues that they may develop an interest in.
Whilst many screen-based activities can be creative, parents need to allow their children to experience a variety of sporting activities to develop and strengthen hand-eye coordination, ball-handling skills, along with balance and muscle strength. This in turn leads to close friendships through collaboration between team members, developing strategies and helps them to consolidate their opinions, strengths, and values.
This develops new thought processes and cognitive thinking ability, expanding their knowledge as they engage in new creative skills.
7 Good Manners and Social Behaviours.
Good manners are one of the fundamental behaviours that parents need to teach their children, to fit into society. Without proper basic manners, children will struggle and find that others will not approve of their behaviour.
Table etiquette, politeness, queuing in line, eating your food, playing with others and knowing how to behave when playing on the children’s playground equipment, or eating out at a restaurant and many more, all require parental guidance, practice and the setting of good examples. When raising children, these common essential behaviours need consistent encouragement and reminders to reinforce and to eventually become a natural characteristic of every child.