Every parent is so keen on teaching his/her kid so much daily. We want our kids to be smarter, healthier, more independent, wealthier, more sincere and happier and the list has no end. The more and more list goes on and on. We all wish the best for our children. Every mom and dad would have millions of plans on nurturing the baby even before having the baby. The wishes for our children are endless and so is the list of teachings/learning/practices or whatsoever. Based on my knowledge, experience and observation I felt the below have to be inculcated first. I use the word inculcated and not taught because this smart age babies don’t learn anything as you say/teach, they learn as you do. They grasp from us so rapidly.
Let me first jot down the first few things which meant more important to me in the whole lot.
- A healthy and regular eating habit
- A daily routine
- Few basic manners
You may ask me why I have highlighted the above among the millions. My entire article would answer to you.
A HEALTHY & REGULAR EATING HABIT:
Until 6 months it is mandatory to only breastfeed but only on demand. Right from day one develop the habit of feeding your baby only when he/she demands. This will not only make you feel comfortable but also help in building a strong digestive system for the baby. Once you start weaning always follow a routine and do not entertain any interruptions in your routine. Talk to your doctor and decide on what to introduce when and how, make your own schedule based on baby’s demand& cues and stick to it no matter what happens. What do I mean by interruption here? Say I feed my son at a 4 hour interval when he is aged 1 year and he is completely satisfied with it. I keep receiving many comments/suggestions/orders to introduce some fillers/snacks in between stating that I make him starve for a longer duration. I never changed my routine because I know my son is not starving as I feed him on demand and this habit for not having some filler in between is absolutely healthy.
“HEALTHY”-Introducing healthy foods is a challenge to moms these days. There are umpteen numbers of directions pointing to healthy diet. To choose one from the lot and fix on to it is the first challenge and by the time you win the first challenge, your peers will pop in with too many suggestions and confuse you enough. And when you overtake that milestone your kid grows up well, to point out and ask for all those unwanted stuffs he/she has watched in the advertisements and seen in the hands of his/her peers. So in order to have your child undeterred, show him the right food in right quantity at the right age. Ensure that you also keep stressing to your kid that advertisements don’t always give you a right choice. A mom has to decide on what is healthy. Don’t give up that right to anyone. Once you fix those items in your menu, cultivate it as a habit.
“REGULAR”– Are you a mom taking pride in saying “My son throws away his bowl of food, My daughter always skips her breakfast”?. It is high time you change and change your kid. The moment you begin to wean, start showing your kid that he/she would be fed only when hunger triggers and not whenever temptation triggers. You can ask me why so strict with a 6 month old baby. This is not being strict. This is being responsible. Unless you don’t cultivate the habit of having food only when hunger triggers your son/daughter might fall into a category of being tempted to eat when others eat or develop an addiction towards snacks and get into clutches of obesity.
Above all, when you ensure your baby is being fed enough the chances of crankiness gets reduced by more than 80%. Most tantrums in toddler stage occur when stomach is not filled. Most importantly the future world which our kids will be facing is definitely going to be more polluted, less immune with too much of technology and innumerable new diseases. Hence it is the duty of a mom to lay a strong foundation for a very healthy living. This is as important as adhering to the immunisation chart.
A DAILY ROUTINE:
When I started talking on this, few raised me a question,”How come a daily routine for babies? They are not machines to be coded.” Definitely babies are not machines and at the same time please remember a discipline is required for a perfect human life. Discipline can sound too much with a baby. I mean not a very stringent and strict discipline here.
A routine can be as simple as making your child pray, greet elders, brush, use potty as soon as he/she wakes up .Once you start showing your baby this routine in the morning, the lovely prince/princess will definitely get to that path as he/grows. Do not impose this on a single dawn. Do it gradually. It might take even 6 months to one year for your little one to catch up but once they get fixed to it, they will definitely not change the routine. Patience and perseverance is the key here. You might feel what is the point in doing these so early even before my child is one. I would like to remind you of the famous saying “Bend the twig, bend the tree “.Once again I stress, Moms! You take the right of fixing up the routine because there is no better person in this world than a mom to know what is right/wrong for her child.
FEW BASIC MANNERS:
I quote the word few because my entire recommendation for your child is to begin these before he/she goes to preschool/playschool. And there are certain basic manners which have to be developed by mother and mother only. A child learns 200% from mother and 100% from all other sources is my strong belief and opinion.
Few of the basic manners which a parent can illustrate to a child on a daily basis are as follows
- Brush twice a day.
- Wash your hands before and after you use your washroom.
- Respect elders.
- Value everything and everybody.
- Clean your hands and mouth after every meal/drink.
- Clean and independent eating habits.
- The habit of saying sorry/thank you/welcome.
- Accept your mistakes.
- Be polite.
The above habits can’t be taught by writing them on a black board or repeating to your kid 10 times a day. These have to be the habits of both the parents in their daily lives. The child starts observing you from the moment he/she out of the womb (even within the womb). If you can showcase these simple things in your day to day activities your children will soon develop an attitude to incorporate all these practices as they grow. One more important habit we have to cultivate is to say “NO” when we have to. Don’t let your child take you for granted when he misbehaves the very first time.
If you would take simple measures to show them the above three most essential (according to me) at a very early stage you will never be in a position to hunt for any articles stating “A guide to withstand toddler tantrums, How to handle adamant nature of your son/daughter, Top 5 ways to make school going children eat healthy “in later stages. You will never face a scenario where your kith and kin feel disgusted/irritated/embarrassed by your kid’s behaviour in a crowd. You can walk with your head held high with a confidence of having laid a strong foundation for your prince/princess.
The main reason behind stressing on these 3 is,I strongly believe that “A healthy person with rich moral values in life will never have any everlasting sad path in his/her lifetime” .And also I chose to highlight this to moms because mothers are like the potters who mould the fresh clay(baby).It is our duty to mould them right. When I penning down this article a old Tamil song lyric flashed in my mind “entha kulanthaiyum nalla kulanthai than mannil pirakkaiyile avan nallavanavathum theeyavan avathum annai valarpinile”. It means every baby is born perfect and becoming a good or bad human depends on the way which “THE MOTHER” nurtures. This doesn’t mean a dad has no role to do. It only means a mom has a better opportunity. Hence moms, grab the opportunity
P.S: All the above points are my personal opinion and I am absolutely not an expert. I have no intention to hurt the feelings of anyone.