This is my first of hopefully a series of post exchanges with my readers. Shen-Li from Babylicious wrote a detailed article about parenting styles and what she would have done differently during her baby, Gavin's first year.
It is tough being a parent. I have three children and they are all very different and require different parenting techniques and discipline. My youngest (age 13 mos) is a high needs baby . I nursed him until he was one year old. For a long time nursing was the only thing that would calm him down when he was fussy. He did not sleep much for the first six months of his life. At night he would sleep for 20 minutes and then wake up to be nursed. Like I said this went on for six months. We could tell that the wheels in his little brain were turning when at age five months he said his first word. It wasn't Mama or Daddy like most children's first words either, it was "go." By the time he was seven months old he had a 12 word vocabulary. By nine months it grew to 24. Now at age 13 months he is putting words together, signing, says a few sentences, and with the help of Dora and Diego knows a little Spanish.
Some high needs babies like my son develop cognitavely at a rapid rate while others develop motor skills rather quickly. Conan isn't walking yet but he scares us with the way he is advanced cognitavely. Due to this advancement he requires a lot of attention and stimulous. When he was little nursing was the best stimulous for him. We also co sleeped and I carried him around a lot. He still requires a lot of attention from Mommy.
Our middle child (age 2 1/2) is a little spit fire, stubborn , full of energy, independance and a genuine helper. I nursed her for about 4 months but had to stop when I returned to work and she got used to the bottle at day care. She has always been very independant and even held her bottle by herself at 4 1/2 mos. Ciara did not demand as much attention from Mommy as Conan does. Our parenting style is very different with her. Because she is independant and not afraid of anything we have to be more strict with her. She is at the age where she needs to learn right from wrong. Unlike Shen-Li from Babylicious I believe that it is okay to spank your child given the right circumstances and if that is the kind of punishment your child responds too. Usually when Ciara misbehaves we just give her a two minute time out. If she continues to misbehave or she does something realy bad I spank her; not hard mind you but sometimes a little pat on the butt helps her to learn that Mommy and Daddy do not approve of that behavior.
Our oldest (age 11 1/2) is also stubborn like her mother and has symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome . She demands a lot of our attention due to her emotional instability. She is the opposite of her sister but not as needy as her brother. Courtney likes to be lazy and needs encouragement in order to behave properly. The most effective way to discipline her is by taking away priveleges for bad behavior. She loves to play on the computer so we limit her to 1/2 an hour every day. If she misbehaves then we take that privelge away. When she was little she had severe emotional problems and would throw temper tantrums if she did not get her way. The only way I could control this problem was by letting her throw her fit and calm herself down. I usually just sent her to her room and made sure she could not hurt herself. Then I would step away and wait. Sometimes these temper tantrums would last over an hour. When that happened I would intervene and hug her and tell her that I loved her. This usually worked. If your child is struggling with temper tantrums my best advice is to just let him throw his fit and calm himself down. When Courtney would do this in public I always left or stepped outside with her until she calmed down.
I agree that you can learn a lot from parenting books such as The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears. These are great tools but every child is different. Sometimes you have to just trust your parental insticts and try out different techniques until you find what works best for you and your child.
If you would like to participate in a post exchange here are the rules:
Read some of my past posts and find a category that interests you. Blog about that topic with a link to my post. Then Contact Healthy Moms about doing a post exchange with the link to your post. I will respond with another post on that same topic complete with links to your blog. Post exchanges are a great way to increase traffic to your blog, increase your technorati rankings and search engine rankings.