RESPONSE–ABLE PARENTING

WORDS: JASNA LOVRIC, constructivist coaching psychologist

From baby’s point of view

First months after birth

Babies are communicating by crying. Believe in your baby’s cry. These are cues for communication. Baby is not trying to manipulate you, he needs you.

In first few months the best you can do for your newborn is to learn how to understand him. You absolutely cannot spoil a newborn baby, do not try to sleep train it or discipline it. Simply be there for your baby. If you are not able to understand your baby who will!?

The danger of ignoring the crying is a baby shutting down. Stop reacting to cues and the baby will stop signaling. What does baby learn from you ignoring him? Baby only learns that his cues have no effect on his parents, that they have no value to them.

Baby with persistent personality type will continue to cry louder, in hopes of braking trough the barrier. He will become clingy and anxious trying to stay near her parents.

Baby with a more laid-back personality will adapt more easily to her parent’s lack of responsiveness. That baby will simply give up!

So basically, you end up with training your baby not to communicate with you, not to communicate with her parents.

„Response-able“children, being responsible, has its roots in responsiveness.  In your responding to the baby’s needs. When parents are appropriately responsive to the cues of their children, their children grow up with the ability to respond to the needs of others. They become response-able adults.

Early dependence fosters later independence. Pick up a baby when she’s young, and she’ll get down more easily when she is older.

Listen to a baby when she is young and she’ll listen to you when she is older. Your babe trusts your communication.

You can put your time in at one end of your child’s life or at the other, but remember, a convenient baby will become an inconvenient teenager.

What goes on between parents and babies is not a battle for control. The real issues are trust and communication.  A baby in need communicates by signaling to the person whom he trusts to meet that need. When your child trusts you, you can shape her behavior in gentle, subtle ways. Trust is a much better foundation for discipline than behavior modification.