Get involved before your baby is born.

The bonding process with your child begins before he is born, it shouldn’t wait till he actually arrives in this world. Despite your partner experiencing your child developing and growing inside her, you can also lead a full part during these months before the birth.

As soon as you can start to see ‘the bump’ getting bigger, you can start interacting with your baby. He will be able to hear your voice, and feel you touching him through the walls of your partner’s tummy, for a few months before he is born. Your partner will also love you doing this, as at times she may feel she is doing it all alone. Even if this is not the case.

When your partner is lying down on the sofa, or the bed, take the opportunity while she is relaxed, to stroke your baby, and talk to him. You can put your ear next to him, and listen to any gurgles in your partner’s tummy. They may not actually be your baby, but it will feel good for your partner anyway. You can gently prod him and feel him move, and feel certain parts of his body. You can even guess with your partner what part of his body you are touching.

It will be a very satisfying and intimate time together for the two of you which you will both enjoy. You will also be starting to get used to the idea that there will be three of you shortly, not just the two of you. So take the opportunity to be involved right from the very start, you will be amazed.

Help, I just found out my child is taking drugs!

This is probably every parents nightmare, it is the moment you dread finding out about. But however painful it is for you to accept, you have got to face up to it, confront it and take remedial action immediately. This will not be easy, that’s for sure

For starters, your child will probably try to hide it, even though you already know about it. Then he will probably deny it or try to play it down with comments like, “it’s only cannabis”. Even though he may have tried something more serious such as ecstasy.

So you have to act straight away. Leaving it, even if it is just for one week more, could be allowing your child to slip deeper into the habit. So, what can you do?

Firstly you need to sit your child down in a relaxed environment. This could be at the dinner table one evening, or when you have just finished watching a film together. In any case, you have to find the moment, so think hard how and where you can raise this issue.

Being angry or indignant, won’t help the situation or the action you are going to take, so stay calm and try not to raise your voice. If you lose your cool, your child will clam up and won’t talk openly to you about it. It may already be a problem to get him to open up, so being calm will certainly help you.

Ask open ended questions such as:- “What do you think about drug taking and young people?”, or:- “What do you think the appeal of drugs is to young people?”. These are general questions to start the discussion off. Then you can start asking more direct questions, but always make sure they are open ended.

Tell your child that you know he has tried drugs, and ask him why he has done this? What is the reason he is doing it? Who is he doing this with? It is very rare that he will be doing it on his own at such a young age. Also ask him where he does it? And how does it make him feel?

Once you have started off the discussion, and you start to understand why he is doing it, then you can agree a plan of action. If you feel you cannot resolve the situation on your own, don’t be afraid to consult and take professional advice. It is not a weakness to enlist the help of others who have experience in handling these types of situation with young people. So do seek help.

If you address the issue, you will eventually find a solution, but don’t try to ignore it and hope it will go away. If you act as soon as you find out, you will be able to rescue the situation, however difficult that may be. But you will succeed.

 

 

Are you a good Role Model to your Children?

Do you ever forget how observant your children are, as you get wrapped up in the daily chores of managing a family and a home? Of course you do, we all do! But you should still try to be vigilant. You have to be a good Role Model to your child, not a perfect one, after all we are all human, but a good one!

How do you do this you may ask, and actually it is quite simple? You should start by setting your child a good example all the time. Boys particularly look up to their Dad, and copy what you do, after all, you are his idol, and everything you do matters to him. Your child’s behaviour will reflect the way you are and how you behave on a day to day basis.

If you are aggressive and short to everyone around you, and always shouting at people, expect your child to be the same. If you are calm and thoughtful to those around you, then your child will be so too. Remember, your children are what you make them, and are a reflection on the upbringing you give them. You must never forget this. So try to be the best possible role model, all the time.

Here are a few tips, but this list is not exhaustive:

  1. Work hard at what you do, whether paid or unpaid
  2. Be nice to people , even if they irritate you
  3. Be kind and polite to everyone you meet
  4. Be tolerant of other people’s differences with you
  5. Always help others if you are able to
  6. Never be aggressive, nasty or violent
  7. Be a good citizen, and respect the laws of the country
  8. Be a good listener, give your time to people you meet
  9. If you haven’t got anything nice to say about someone, then don’t say it all
Wouldn’t you like your child to do all these things, I certainly would? It’s not easy, but it is possible. You just have to remember to be a good role model to your child.

 

 

How do you make bedtimes easy and seamless for you and your children?

How many times have you had to argue with your child when it is bed time, despite your child knowing exactly what time he is supposed to go to bed? However, as I’m sure you know, getting your child to finally go to bed, and on time, can be a real mission. But it doesn’t have to be! By giving your child a warning period of 15 minutes before he is due to go, it will avoid conflict and hassle when the time actually arrives.

First of all, you need to have introduced set bed times for your child from when he starts to go to nursery school. In any case he will need regular and sufficient sleep once he goes to school, as he will now be officially learning, and being academically educated. He needs to be fresh for school if he is to learn well, so bedtimes become very important.

Often your child will say to you, when it is time to go, “can I just finish this program or game”, or “I’m nearly finished”, or “just a few more minutes please”. Then it can easily escalate into an argument if you say no. But by using this method every night, it just becomes the normal routine, and non negotiable. It definitely makes your life easier and less stressful, and helps your child.

How can you make sure you still get some good sleep when your baby wakes up 5 or 6 times a night?

Very often a baby will take a few months to get into a routine and sleep the whole way through the night, and you will have to manage until he does. But there is a way that you and your partner can get a good nights sleep, albeit only six hours in one go. Share the load.

If at all possible, split the night into two parts, so both of you get a full five and a half hours uninterrupted sleep. The first shift is 9.00 pm to 2.30 am, and the second is from 2.30 am to 8.00 am. Whichever one of you is better at early mornings should do the second shift, and the other the first shift. It is not an exact science, but it really can give you some well earned rest. If neither one of you is particularly good early or late, then you will have to toss a coin!

This may only be needed for a few weeks, but could be for several months. Normally when he starts solid food this will become less of a problem. However, this saved our sanity when we had our first child, as he didn’t sleep through the night until he was 18 months old, waking 3 or 4 times every night.

If you plan it well and are disciplined with the time slots, it is possible to manage such short nights, so don’t worry….

Is this how your child sees you and his mother? Divide and Conquer!

How often does your child say to you “mum said I could do this”? You then respond, “in that case, it’s fine with me”. Then later on when you check exactly what his mother said, you find out it was not at all what your child said it was. It was actually “if your father agrees, then it is OK with me”. So when your child asks for, or wants to do something, you should always say “tell me exactly what your mother said”.

If your child can drive a wedge between you and your partner, he will. He will try to do this, often completely subconsciously, as he knows he will get away with a lot more than either of you want him to. So you have to be consistent and united all the time. This means you should never contradict your partner in front of your child, even if you don’t agree at all with what she is saying.

If you show any disunity between yourselves in front of your child, he will exploit it ruthlessly. Once your child is out of earshot however, then you can express your disagreement with each other. Never has the expression ‘Divide and Conquer’ been so relevant in family life, than with a child and his parents.

If your child feels he can get away with something, by creating a rift between you and his mother, he will. Then as he grows up, it may also result in a lack of respect for you and your partner’s authority, and this will be very difficult to manage in the years ahead.