Archive for December, 2009

Parenting Principles

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

To help M’s self image, self worth, self esteem.

For her to feel good about herself as a person

To be physically fit, to understand the value of excersize, to have excersize as part of her life,  this will help with self confidence, body image and self worth. I want to do a lot of role modelling here.

To learn good eating habits, and to understand food. This will help to understand that your body is important, and to be looked after.

To help make M learn to make good  choices, to learn about consequences, and develop her own wisdom.\

I want to help M understand relationships and family. And have that form a good part of her life. Relationships with relatives and family is a controlled safe environment to learn how to interact.

I understand 0-2 is a lot about learning to trust. To trust the people around you will take care of you. To trust the world is a good place.

Its from 2-6 that this self image is mostly built. So the focus needs to be now, to help M grow into the best person she can.

Especially as they head to school, the influences are much heavier, peer pressure/bullying all come up. Issues of fashion and trends etc. So we need a strong base to start to work on these.

By the time she is a teenager, its really too hard for a parent to help mould their child, as other influences become more dominant.

I want to help M build her skills with emotions and communication. I want M to feel I am available to her, to talk, and discuss what she is going through.

A lot of parenting is focussed on the right foundation, so she makes her own right choices for herself. As opposed to making them because that’s what her parents told her. When she becomes a teenager, she will start making her own choices. I need to innoculate her against poor choices, and the evils of the word before she is a teenager. She needs to respect her mind/body/herself enough to choose for herself on things life friends, lifestyle, drugs, etc.She needs to believe in the good things in life, and that she is deserving. When poor choices are presented, her good self needs to assert itself, understand there is a choice, and make the choice that best fits her self.

I want to have strict rules, this protect kids, and makes them feel safe and loved. At the same time, I want M to enjoy choices and freedom within those bounds.

I need to continue to develop the PPP concept of quality time, being small burst of attention when M requests it. And then allow her to let my attention go. But so she knows she can get it when she needs.

I want to be available , approachable, and understanding. I want to employ active listening. This all leads to a relationship where I can share and engage with M when she needs me in her life.

I want to end up ‘on the right side’ of every issue. This means I wont have any overly strong messages, and that she can always come talk to me, even about the worst things.

Building up a body of family values and traditions. This helps a lot with a feeling of a place in life, and connectdeness, and continuity.

PPP outcomes and learnings

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

I just concluded my PPP aka triplep course.

The most prominent things I learned included:

– not to focus on the child as wrong/bad, but their actions. So the message is ‘i love you, but you just did a bad thing, you shouldnt do that thing’

– the use of logical consequences, swift, direct, consistent

– if the child is acting wrongly, look first at the parenting, not the child for solutions

– flexibility in thinking. alternative strategies. avoiding and planning for high risk situations.

– focus on rewarding the positive. This was difficult to grasp at first, but I get it now.

Positive Rewards

Say your child is getting upset, and hitting back at the other child.

You can off course punish them everytime it happens. But that is only a partial solution. And the child will need to learn themselves what to do.

The better solution is active listening, and find out why the hitting is occurring. Understand the emotion behind it. And give your child an  alternative strategy when they feel that emotion. Like walk away, telling the other child they don’t like that, telling their parents, getting another toy, deep breathing, etc etc. And when you see that alternative behaviour, reward that achievement.

effects of post natal depression on the baby

Friday, December 4th, 2009

I am just watching a program on ABC “Help Me Lover My Baby”.

Its about a mum with post natal depression. I thought post natal depression was only about the mum, and perhaps the dad trying to support the mum.

But this program shows how much the baby needs the mum’s appropriate interaction. The baby needs the smiles. The mum in the program was ill with post natal depression early on, so the baby looks away from her mum. And the mother has trouble comforting the baby. They said the baby is really good at picking up on emotion queues – the baby in the show looks about 6-9 months old.

This really scares and upsets me. As I am pretty my daughter’s mother had post natal depression. Iwas always the one that went and helped M at night. The mother’s only way to comfort M was breast feeding. M just wants smiles, and being held close, and physical comfort and safety. Breast feeding isn’t really an appropriate response.

I am even more upset thinking about how formative the first 2 years of a babies life is, and how much the mother restricted me seeing M, and how artificial the environment was. M really needed me in those first 2 years, and I wasn’t there for her. I am so sorry M, I know I can never make it up to you, I know I can probably never fix it for you. All I can do is really really focus on being a support for you, helping you develop a feeling of being safe and supported. The time I do have with you we really need to help you to bond better with me.

It was really important that I balance the time with the mother, to help support M and her development, her feeling of comfort and safety. Even more important if the mother wasn’t providing the right queues and emotional support.

M already shows some signs of being insecure, and unsure. One of the words she knows is scared. I have encouraged her to talk to me about when she is scared, so that is working well. But there is no real reason 2 year old should be able to know fear.

I’ll make sure you never see anger on my face, or in my voice.

I am going to make sure I protect you, both physically and emotionally.

They finished saying the relationship with her mum, will help her the baby lay down an emotional blueprint. I want to help M with that emotional blueprint. I simply need more than a fleeting hour of time with her twice a week.