Raising kind, obedient children is a goal many parents have. You want your little person to grow into a good big person, and you know that likely starts young. In fact, if you haven’t already, now is the time to start instilling boundaries with your baby. Because as he or she is gaining a better understanding of where they fit in the world, they are also learning about cause and effect—which means consequences and reactions to their actions.
Now, with babies, sometimes it is more about redirecting them than about reacting. And with so many parenting philosophies and techniques out there, you will have to find solutions that feel right to you and fit your personal philosophies when it comes to defining those boundaries. But no matter what your views on those parenting choices are, there is one very important thing to remember about teaching your baby right from wrong:
They are still just babies.
Yes, your baby is mobile now, maybe uttering a few words, and certainly more responsive to you and the important people in your life. He or she is absolutely gaining a better understanding of the things you say, and “no” is one of those words they get the concept of—they understand when you tell them not to do something.
But… they are still babies.
Which means that their ability to remember those lessons from one day to the next (or even one hour to the next) doesn’t always exist. And even if they do remember, they are in a testing boundaries phase—they want to know what they can and can’t get away with. Plus, there are a slew of other things driving their behavior on any given day. Teeth coming in, a lack of words to communicate that they’re not feeling well, and practically zero control over their own environments.
Being a baby is tough. So while you are working towards helping them to understand their boundaries, you should still strive to remember that they are just babies.
You will get hit from time to time. You will get bitten. Your hair will get pulled. And nothing you leave within reach of your baby is safe. There will be times when you are frustrated, and even more times when your little one will embarrass you with a tantrum in public.
These things happen. They’re what babies do.
So the best thing you can do is remain calm and consistent. Eventually the messages you are trying to instill will stick; it just takes time.
If you ever feel as though you are on the cusp of losing your calm, ask for help. Have a friend watch your baby for a few hours, or ask your spouse to take over. Get some fresh air, a cooler head, and a clear perspective.
This raising a baby stuff is hard, but you’re doing a great job! The baby stage will pass, and all the work you’ve put in today to instill boundaries will pay off down the line. Promise!
Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.