The moment you announce that you’re pregnant, you are inundated with unsolicited advice about every and anything coming from every direction.
On top of that, everyone wants to share their pregnancy story, -“I was in labor for 72 hours, it was the worst experience of my life. The worst part of my delivery was when the doctor cut my vagina, gawd! Then he had to stitch it up, can you say torture!” Not exactly the kinds of things an expectant mother would want to hear. I most certainly didn’t.
Not to mention when your bump becomes visible, that opens you up to even more advice from everyone and I mean Everyone!
People in the street “the way you are carrying, that is definitely a boy”, “you know you shouldn’t be wearing that”, in the supermarket “oh no that’s not good for the baby”, the dark halls of the theater “did you know your baby can see the movie too?”, even your reflection in the mirror has something to say.
There is always someone who feels compelled to tell you about the time their water broke while standing in line at the bank or someone else who wants to dispense some nugget of advice about what to expect, what to do, what not to do and how to do it.
While I am sure they all mean well I think I would have preferred if they told me this instead:
It’s okay to let them fall
I was and still somewhat am, an over protective parent. Despite that fact and all the advice on the dos and don’ts of parenting, I still managed to make every mistake I could possibly make during my first week (not to mention the rest of his life) as a mom.
For starters, my baby fell off the couch perhaps the first night I brought him home. Just like magic, one minute he was there suckling on my breast, the next, he was on the floor bawling his eyes out and me, tapping all over the couch feeling for him, much like when Velma loses her glasses.
Thankfully when I found him he was unscathed and I assured him I would never fall him again. I gave him that exact assurance quite a few times after that in the early stages, like the time he fell out of his car seat!
What kind of parent are you? A shouter? Or more of the ‘stick in the mud stick up your ass type?’ Maybe you’re the laissez faire-uninvolved-my-kid-is-a-law-unto-himself type. Perhaps you are the do what ever you want I can’t be bothered type.
Whatever type of parent you are according to Diane Baumrind this has an effect on your child’s development and overall social adjustment as an adult.
Apparently, if I shout too much my child has the potential to become the next axe murderer. Jest aside, Baumrind coined four parenting styles which explains the effects your method of parenting has on your child.
This to me is golden! When I first learned about this, I questioned my methods. I thought it was too late to save my kid from Crystal Lake but it was not and all it took was a little adjusting.
Have you ever heard of the fixed and growth mindsets? I hadn’t either till recently when I took a course in Psychology. Carol Dweck purports in a tiny nutshell that the fixed mindset limits one’s potential while the growth, well, that’s pretty obvious right?!
When I read about mindsets and ‘the power of yet’ my eyes were opened and I immediately looked at the ways I was encouraging my son to develop a fixed mindset. I am currently reading the book and thus far it is really a fresh and in my opinion better approach to learning.
Of course I’ve adopted some of the techniques to undo the damage I think I’ve done on my kid.
What about you? What are some of the things you wish you knew before you became a parent? Does anything here resonate with you? How do you parent? Let me know in the comments below.
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