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Monday, December 31, 2007

Loving My Baby

As the chinese saying goes, 教儿婴孩,教妇初来. The first few months are crucial in "teaching" a child.

During those months, other than taking care of my baby's basic needs, I paid extra attention to "teaching" him proper etiquettes and attitudes among other things. What does that mean?

For example, tables are not for sitting. I made sure he was not allowed to sit on tables, no matter how small he was. This was my first step in "telling" him what was proper & what was not. I made sure I was "proper" myself too, like standing & sitting properly, instead of slouching on the sofa or putting my legs on the coffee table. I ought to be a role model, remember? Postures were just the basics.

When he started to eat solid foods, he was supposed to sit down and finish his food, no wandering around. And when he could walk on his own, I made sure he understood eating places are not playgrounds. He was not allowed to play or wander around in a restaurant. This was for his safety as well. Who knows what hot food / soup would land on him?

Another example of how I expected him to behave: If he showed signs of impatience while waiting for his milk / food like banging on the table, I would tell him gently but firmly to "wait", together with hand gesture. I tried to convey the message that I've understood what he needed and he was going to be satisfied soon, and he had to behave properly. He might not understand in the beginning, but I hoped he would soon understand that no matter how hungry (or whatever the circumstances), we are humans and capable of controlling ourselves. I don't mean he has to bottle up his emotions, but certain behaviours are acceptable and certain are not. Courtesy is the most basic attitude.

Sounds paranoid? Don't laugh at me. Sounds strict? Believe me, if you love him & put his welfare first, you will be able to do what's best for your child. Every family & every child is different. Noboby is the "best", and there's no right or wrong way to bring up a child, only a "suitable" way. So I made sure I learned a lot, and adapted my parenting style according to my son's age & temperament.

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