Bringing Up Baby

Many women fantasize about having a family. That cute cuddly baby is just what is needed to complete the picture of the house with the white picket fence with the latest model in minivans parked in the driveway. Then that adorable bundle of joy grows up.

During the next two years the sweet baby learns to walk and talk and that’s usually where the excuses start. When a child misbehaves in front of company or throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery aisle, mom just smiles and chalks it up to “the terrible two’s”. Some mothers will either ignore much of the negative behavior or rush to the nearest bookstore to get the latest ‘quick fix’ that has been put on the Best Sellers List.

Then there are the ‘teen years’. The little boy or girl who use to snuggle and hang on to mom’s every move now can’t stand to be seen with her in public or doesn’t even speak as they pass through the kitchen to grab their Ipod. Oh well, just moody teens. Maybe not.

Society today thrives on quick fixes and excuses. No one has the time these days to stop and think about what may be best for the child. It is easier to place negative behaviors into nice neat little categories that someone else has already established for us. It is time for mom and dad to take back control of their little darlings.

Yes, a lot of behaviors have to do with basic human developmental stages and heredity in which a parent has no control. However, the parents can indeed control the child’s environment, which plays a major role in the child’s life. Creating boundaries and examples of what is or is not acceptable in terms of behavior is crucial in developing healthy social skills. Teaching children empathy for others and respect in general needs to start at the earliest stages of their lives and be consistent through time.

Children need to see and receive affection in the home growing up in order to express that emotion to others in their lives. We need to get back to the basics in bringing up baby in today’s times. Put down the books, surveys, and latest psychology journals and start using common sense and human instinct when it comes to basic rules of right and wrong to the children of today. Create a healthy environment for children from the very beginning and make home the best place to be for every family member. Maybe we can make ‘family’ a household name once again.

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