As I crumble into bed, every nerve in my body is on edge. Before I had my son, my images of motherhood always included a rocking chair — a mother with an infant cradled in her arms. Of course babies cried and got upset, but mothers soothed. I knew parenting would drive me to frustration, but I would never be like those bad mothers at the mall who yelled at and spanked their screaming children.
So it was a shock to me the first time I felt the passion rising, the desire to squeeze him just a little too hard, wanting to cause him some of the agony he was causing me. I murmured in agreement, my body tense at the thought.
You will always grieve to some extent for your lost child. again is not a sign that you have stopped missing your baby, but an example of a love that is eternal. I, too, loss my baby on his way home from meeting with friends of a respectful group of . I am a single mother who just recently lost my one and only child my son, . After reading your story about losing your son, you definitely struck a nerve with me. .. He was my eldest son, my constant companion and my best friend.
During those first few days at the hospital, I had vivid images of my wrinkled and cooing newborn hurt in some way — I would close my eyes and see his arm broken, his face turning purple, or his body falling out of a high-rise window. Perhaps it was the powerful postpartum hormones surging through my body, the primordial nature of motherhood. I would shake my head to clear the horrible images away, chastising myself for such awful thoughts.
He was so vulnerable. A living being, body and soul, who without the assistance of another, could not eat or even move. Without me, awful things just might happen to him. The first weeks on the job quickly changed my idyllic image of myself. When a night with five straight hours of sleep seemed an impossible miracle, when his screaming caused my blood pressure to rise and my nervous system to go haywire, the discovery scared me: I could be the one to harm him. He had sassed at something she said, and she smacked him across the head.
It was the s, and the subsequent hospital visit resulted in no questioning of my parents. My brother described his earache to the doctor, a diagnosis was made and antibiotic drops were prescribed. My mom only mentioned it to me once or twice — her voice quiet, face flushed. Anger is not new to me, and I knew Will would eventually evoke it. I was just surprised it came so soon, before he was even capable of sitting up.
Amidst all the baby showers, tiny sweaters and socks, plush blankets and stuffed toys, our image of babies is all tenderness. When I was pregnant, mothers with grown children told me of the instant mother-child bond, of tightly curled fingers and toes, of how peaceful his warm sleeping body would feel against my chest. No one told me my anger would make me, at times, want to hurt him. To feel anger toward a child, particularly a baby, is something most new parents hide.
Especially in an age of over-parenting perfection, we pride ourselves on being so well-read and educated that bumps in the road are our own fault, stemming only from our own ignorance. We know much more than parents of the past. We know the harm that expressing our anger can cause. We have seen children ravaged from anger turned violent, their stories a dull ache in our chests.
And just why is anger so maligned? Higher princess involvement through toys and media consumption was associated with higher levels of so-called "female" behavior. All parents have in common the wish to raise children who are good people. You surely care about how your child will treat others, and how he or she will act in the world.
In some households, regular participation in a religious institution sets aside time for the family to reflect on its values and lets parents convey to their children that those beliefs are held by members of a broad community that extends beyond their home. Even in the absence of strong spiritual beliefs, the celebration of religious holidays can act as a key thread in the fabric of family life. Though it is universally true that children benefit when their parents provide both structure and warmth, even the most diligent parents can struggle to achieve both of these on a regular basis.
The rituals and traditions that are part of many religious traditions can bring families together in reliable and memorable ways.
Of course, there are everyday opportunities to instill your values in your child outside of organized religion, including helping an elderly neighbor or taking your children with you to volunteer for causes that are important to you. Studies indicate that children learn resilience when they hear what their relatives before them have faced. At every age and skill level, children benefit when parents help them focus on improving their abilities, rather than on proving them.
In other words, children should understand that their intellectual endowment only gets them started, and that their capabilities can be increased with effort. Children who adopt this growth mindset — the psychological terminology for the belief that industry is the path to mastery — are less stressed than peers who believe their capacities are fixed, and outperform them academically.
Students with a growth mindset welcome feedback, are motivated by difficult work, and are inspired by the achievements of their talented classmates. To raise growth-mindset thinkers you can make a point of celebrating effort, not smarts, as children navigate school. Well done! It does not tell us how far you can go in that subject. Stick with it and keep asking questions. It will come. Parents should step in when students face academic challenges that cause constant or undue stress.
Some students hold themselves, or are held by adults, to unrealistic standards. Others missed a step along the way, study ineffectively or are grappling with an undiagnosed learning difference. Determining the nature of the problem will point the way to the most helpful solution. When a parent wants to post on social media about something a child did that may embarrass the child, Ms. Are you posting it to draw attention to yourself? As cute as it may seem to post pictures of a naked toddler, consider a "no butts" policy.
That may not be the image that your child wants to portray 15 years from now. Homayoun said. Our children will create digital footprints as they grow, and it will be one of our jobs to help them, guide them and get them to think about how something might look a few years down the line — you can start by respecting their privacy and applying the same standards throughout their lives. Steinberg said. Some games encourage kids to be part of a team, or lead one. Homayoun recommends them for specific contexts, such as for a child who may be traveling between two houses and navigating late sports practices.
Consider giving tiered access to technology, such as starting with a flip phone, and remind children that privileges and responsibilities go hand in hand. To put these ideas into practical form, the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidelines for creating a personalized family media use plan. When young women are prompted to reflect on their physical appearance, they lose intellectual strength, research shows.
Some children really do thrive on what would be, for others, extreme overscheduling. Know your child, talk to your child, and when necessary, help your child negotiate the decisions that make it possible to keep doing the things that mean the most, even if that means letting go of some other activities.
Remember, children can get a tremendous amount of pleasure, and also great value, from learning music, from playing sports, and also from participating in the array of extracurricular activities that many schools offer. However, they also need a certain amount of unscheduled time.
The exact mix varies from child to child, and even from year to year. And make sure that high school students get a positive message about choosing the activities that they love, rather than an anxiety-producing message about choosing some perfect mix to impress college admissions officers. Being a parent is the job of your life, the job of your heart, and the job that transforms you forever.
But as we do it, we need to keep hold of the passions and pastimes that make us who we are, and which helped bring us to the place in our lives where we were ready to have children. But we owe ourselves attention as well. Your children will absolutely remember the time that you spent with them — but you also want them to grow up noticing the way you maintain friendships of your own, the way you put time and energy into the things that matter most to you, from your work to your physical well-being to the special interests and passions that make you the person they know.
You may not be able to pursue any of your passions in quite the same way and to quite the same extent that you might have before you had a child. You may have to negotiate the time, hour by hour, acknowledging what is most important, and trading it, perhaps, for what is most important to your partner, if you have one.
But you may well come to realize that the experience of taking care of a small child helps you concentrate in a stronger, almost fiercer way, when you get that precious hour to yourself. Lots of parents worry that their children get an unreasonable amount of homework, and that homework can start unreasonably young. While it may be easy to advise that homework can help a child learn time management and study habits, and to let children try themselves and sometimes fail, the reality is that many of us find ourselves supervising at least a little.
If the homework struggle dominates your home life, it may be a sign of another issue, like a learning disability. For many families nowadays, the single biggest negotiation about time management is around screen time. And remember, some family responsibilities can help anchor a child to the nonvirtual world: a dog to be walked or trash to be taken out.
Ultimately, we have to practice what we preach, from putting down our own work to enjoy unstructured family time to putting down our phones at the dinner table to engage in a family discussion. Our children are listening to what we say, and watching what we do. Save for Later. Your Parenting Style Good news: There is no one right way to raise a child.
More on Parenting Styles In lighthouse parenting, the goal is to balance keeping kids off the rocks with preparing them to ride the waves. How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off Originality is difficult to encourage but easy to thwart. Conquering the Basics Your healthy attitude toward sleep, food and discipline will affect your children in the most important ways.
How to Put a Baby to Sleep Right from the beginning, babies vary tremendously in their sleep patterns. Two techniques for this are: Graduated extinction, in which babies are allowed to cry for short, prescribed intervals over the course of several nights. Bedtime fading , in which parents delay bedtime in minute increments so the child becomes more and more tired. Bedtime For older children, the rules around sleep are clearer: Turn off devices, read aloud at bedtime, and build rituals that help small children wind down and fall asleep.
The Science of Adolescent Sleep Sleep deprivation is linked to behavioral and mental health problems and car accident risk, experts say, and starting school later could help. Which Came First? The Behavior Problems, or the Poor Sleep? Helping Our Children Sleep Better As we ask children to function in school, academically and socially, fatigue can affect their achievement and behavior.
Some tips to try: Talk with small children about "eating the rainbow," and getting lots of different colors onto their plates orange squash, red peppers, yellow corn, green anything, and so on. Take them to the grocery store or the farmer's market and let them pick out something new they'd like to try.
Let them help prepare food. Be open to deploying the foods they enjoy in new ways peanut butter on almost anything, tomato sauce on spinach. Some children will eat almost anything if it's in a dumpling, or on top of pasta. Offer tastes of what everyone else is eating. Many restaurants will prepare something simple off the menu for a child, such as plain pasta or rice.
It really means they need to eat their vegetables. We should be cheering mothers on, and acknowledging their choices. By Perri Klass. The Checkup.
The Joy of Feeding, Without All the Parental Angst While the number of obese babies is not on the rise, some of our standard infant feeding practices and attitudes may need revising. How to Discipline Small children are essentially uncivilized, and part of the job of parenting inevitably involves a certain amount of correctional work.
It is O. The Connections Between Spanking and Aggression In a study, children who were spanked were more likely to show disruptive, aggressive behaviors later on -- and to be spanked more in the future. How Spoiled Are Our Children? Is Snooping on Teenagers Ever O.