Does your child need complete darkness and silence to go to and stay asleep?

When you put your Toddler to bed at night, do you always make sure he is in complete darkness and everyone in the house is quiet? If this is what you do, have you asked yourself why do you do it? It is a complete myth that a young child needs total silence in order to go to sleep. If he is tired, he will sleep and if he is not, he won’t. It really is as simple as that.

Additionally, how many times have you seen a young child fast asleep in his parents arms in bright sunshine and outdoors? Many times I’m sure.

So when you put your child to bed, you don’t need to close the door. In fact, if you do that from an early age, you may even start creating a fear of the dark for later years. With his door open, if he does wake up in the night, he can hear the rest of the family and any general household background noise and this will be reassuring for him. If you can leave a small night light in his room, or maybe the bathroom light on, it will be even better.

This may even help him in later life and encourage him, when he is a teenager, to leave his bedroom door open and not close himself away for hours on end. If doors have always been open since he was a baby, it will not be so natural for him to always keep it shut. This way, he may become less insular and distanced from the rest of the family during this challenging period of his life.

Something as simple as an open door at bedtime when your child is a Toddler, can really help promote good habits when he is older and these good habits die very hard in later years.

 

 

As a Father, are you Happy with the Nappy? If not, you soon will be

It may not seem like it at first, but getting ‘Happy with the Nappy’ is a key moment of high quality time with your baby. This can be really difficult to imagine, particularly at the beginning, as you change that first one while holding back the instinct to vomit. But don’t worry, you will get to experience some very intimate, funny and of course, messy times together with your baby.

At the time they may seem distressing for you, but not your baby, but they’ll also be times you will recount and laugh about for the next twenty years. Not to mention the potential of embarrassing your teenager in front of people, even if you don’t do it deliberately. They may not all be ‘rosy’ moments and absolutely nothing can prepare you for that first really smelly one, but treasure them nevertheless.

In fact, you’ll wonder how something so small and cute can produce something so toxic and revolting. When this happens, you may be tempted to let your partner take care of the nappy changes, but resist this. As she probably does most of the input, you should do your share of the output!

Of course beware of changing your child’s nappy just before you are going out. There is nothing more frustrating than having to change your suit and shirt as they have just been soaked by a jet of warm yellow liquid. Then to see the look of contentment on your child’s face, together with that little smile. It puts it all into perspective and you can’t stay annoyed for very long. In fact it then becomes one of those special moments to treasure.

So get involved with this important part of your baby and ‘Get Happy with the Nappy’.

What is the most enjoyable period for you during your child’s growing up years?

When you have your first child, everything is brand new from when she is born to when she leaves home. You experience everything first with your eldest. But if you have more than one child, it is only then that you can then start to evaluate what period of your children’s lives is the most enjoyable for you as a Father.

For me, and many dads I have spoken to, this a very interesting question, as sometimes it appears that your child’s growing up years seem to go by all too quickly. All you can then do is look back and say “that was good”, or “I didn’t particularly like that”, without really appreciating it fully. So when do you really have a chance to look at which part of your child’s development is the most enjoyable experience for you?

You might think the joy of having a new born is the most enjoyable, as everything is new, and you are learning literally, every day. Or when your child becomes a Toddler. He is so sweet, apart from those ‘terrible two’s’ tantrums. But hey, they are not too frequent are they? Or it could be the Primary School years, pre-puberty, when you are the ‘apple of your child’s eye’. Then again is it the Teenage years? Probably not, as your child is changing so much physically and mentally, unless you love to see how she handles these challenges and still remains reasonable.

Then when they finish Secondary School and are officially adults, at least in age. Maybe you can start to discuss rationally with them, now they are going off to University or going out to work. Or is the final stage of childhood the most enjoyable for you, when they leave home, but still need you as an advisor or confidante?

When do you think the best period is then? I think it is actually all of them, each part of their growing up period is different, as each child is and therefore your child will react and respond to you in a different way at whatever stage of his life he is at. So you should make the most of whatever period your child is in and enjoy it to the full with him, even if you have to handle the odd sleepless night, sudden tantrum, or unexpected and unwarranted teenage explosion. Every part of their childhood is enjoyable, but like many things you live through in life, sometimes you don’t always realise it while it is happening.

 

Do your Children long for things they had when they were very young? If so, how can you manage this?

When children reach the teenage years, or even early adulthood, very often they long for things that they had when they were very young. These things give them certainty, particularly during the period of their lives when they are most insecure. As your child sees herself changing both physically and mentally, it can be very difficult for her to manage, so she thinks back to things that have comforted her in the past and which made her feel happy and secure.

These could be things like an old cuddly toy, a blanket, a special chair, or her favourite doll. If it is your son, it could be an old toy car or plane. But whatever it is, you as a Father must resist the temptation to stop her having this comfort item. Of course you won’t do it deliberately, but try to avoid making her feel that she is weak or inadequate in some way, for needing something she had as a Toddler. Remember this gives her certainty during a time when she is at her most vulnerable psychologically and also adapting to her changing physical appearance.

Her childhood is changing, the old times as a little child are becoming more distant, everything is in a state of flux. The nature of her relationship with you and her mother is different now, not to mention those with her friends and potential new boyfriends or if you have a son, girlfriends. So if an old cuddly toy, or special chair, or even an old bed can make your child feel better about herself, don’t discourage it. In fact be really supportive and even actively try to help her find what she is looking for. She will thank you for being so understanding, although, as a teenager, she may not want to admit it quite yet….