Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Disciplining Our Babies..

Well, I've received some comments that I don't have the talent to write in Malay-my own mother tongue! Enough said, I'll do the right thing then. Even though my writing is not superb as i tend to write using simple English (my advice to my students).

Nowadays Azalea is getting busy with her own world. Coincidentally I got this email from Babycentre Baby Bulletin on How to discipline our babies and toddlers. Let me share something that might be useful to mommies out there:

The tools: Babies, toddlers, and up

A disclaimer: These tools aren't guaranteed to work every time, and none of them will be right for every parent and child. But they will give you options — and what parent doesn't need more to choose from in his or her personal bag of tricks?

Tool: Lavish love
Age: Birth to 12 months (and beyond!)
How it works: It's easy to wonder whether you're giving in when you pick your baby up for the umpteenth time. Is it time to start setting limits? Not yet, say the pros. Responding to your baby's needs won't make her overly demanding or "spoiled." "It's impossible to spoil or overindulge a baby," says Kathryn Kvols, an expert who teaches parenting workshops on discipline and development.

In fact, the opposite is true: By giving your child as much love and attention as possible now, you're helping her become a well-adjusted and well-behaved person. "Your baby is developing trust in her parents, and she does that by knowing that you'll be there to meet her needs," Kvols says.

That trust means that in the long run your child will feel more secure and less anxious, knowing that you take her wants and needs seriously. She'll have confidence in you later, when it's time to set boundaries and lay down rules, and understand that you love her even when you correct her.

Real-life application: Your 4-month-old is crying even though you nursed her a half-hour ago. Your mother-in-law says to let her cry it out. Wrong, say experts: By crying she's telling you she needs something, even if you don't know what it is. Try walking with her, nursing her again, or singing to her. She needs to know you'll be there for her, even if all that's wrong is that she wants to be held.

Tool: Remove and substitute
Age: 6 to 18 months
How it works: Like the rest of us, young children learn by doing — so when your baby throws his bowl of peas off the highchair tray, it's because he's curious to see what will happen, not because he wants to upset you or mess up your clean kitchen floor.

That said, you don't have to stand by while your child does something you don't like. And you definitely don't want to stand by if your little one's grabbing for something dangerous. Take the object away or physically move your baby away from it. Then give him a safe, less-messy or less-destructive alternative. "Substituting something else will prevent a meltdown," Kvols says.

Make sure you explain what you're doing to your child, even if he's too young to really understand. You're teaching a fundamental discipline lesson — that some behaviors aren't acceptable, and that you'll be redirecting him when necessary.

Real-life application: Your 8-month-old keeps grabbing your favorite necklace and chewing on the beads. Instead of letting him, or continuing to pull it out of his hands, unclasp the necklace and put it aside, explaining simply that your jewelry is not for chewing. Then hand your baby a teething ring or another chewable toy and say, "This is fine to chew on."

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