In part one of the post interpretation and guiding your baby, we spoke of certain interesting points relating to babyhood to help you understand your baby, her abilities at a given age and why she does the things that she does; in this post we look at how and when to guide your baby.
1. Wait until baby is about 9 months of age because it takes at least that long for a baby to understand simple dos and don’ts. Until she turns one year or so your baby may not be able to make much difference between Yes and No.
2. Punishments are quite simply pointless. They will only bewilder a child who will wonder at the hostile antagonistic behavior of a beloved adult.
He will not be able to make out what he has done wrong at a young age and has no idea why you are angry.
Also don’t keep saying ‘No’. If the child gets used to hearing it all of the time, he will stop listening.
So reserve the no saying for times such as when you need the child to obey immediately (if he is about to touch something hot for instance).
3. Praise is more effective as a means of reinforcing good behavior. Good behavior or actions should elicit attention and positive reinforcement.
4. Set boundaries and be consistent about enforcing them. Say on a given day you are in a relaxed mood and you pardon behavior of a child that would otherwise not be allowed –this will confuse a baby. Be consistent in what is allowed and what isn’t; kids find boundaries comforting. Also be consistent in following routines and so on.
5. Lead by example. If a child learns to speak, it is by imitation, if the child learns to eat off a dish with a spoon this is also by imitation. So try and do as you want your child to be – being friendly and positive with others is a part of this leading by example.
An angry and uncommunicative parent is not as good a role model for a small child as one who tries to keep a more positive outlook and a sunny attitude.
6. Remember to laugh. Kids can be maddening, they can be daft they can try your patience to the limit. If possible try and see the funny side to your baby’s antics; and chalk it down to a delightful memory that you can tell your child about when she is older.