Parenthood Preparation….

Noteworthy Wednesday!

Parenting is one of the most difficult things to do and do well. Your child is unique in his DNA and has a personality that is all his own. The question of whether nature or nurture is the most active ingredient in the formation of child’s personality is something that for me there is no definitive answer just ongoing discussion.

Certainly, most of us can agree that both nature and nurture help to form a child and guide him  through the stages of growth and development. Some characteristics that we observe in our children are definitely those with which we are all too familiar. They are many of our own personality characteristics.

Is it primarily heredity or is the way we as parents are nurturing our little one that is most influential in his growth and development?

I have yet to accept either nature or nurture as a single answer to the above question.

To me , it seems that our children are a products of both heredity and their environment. Parents, family and  surroundings contribute not necessarily in equal measure to  a child’s growth and development  .

In today’s world it seems that few new parents have really had hands on experience with children…by the time they have their own children most adults are as far removed from kids as they can possibly be except for visits with their nieces and nephews and children of their close friends if they are fortunate enough to live near them.

Michael Gross  wrote the above article which appeared in Australia’s Herald Sun.

In it  he makes some interesting points about parenting. This is what he recommends. Keep in mind that he is a new dad.

  • Trust your instincts
  • Build your support networks
  • Form partnerships with professionals (like your kids’ teachers)
  • Build your knowledge base.

As parents or parents to be you should make note of all of the above suggestions. But if you have any common sense at all  and trust your instincts you will likely make it through along with your child so… no worry.

Personally, what I have learned through life experience that “when it does not feel right it probably is not right”.This may seem rather trite but I think that for me  it is one of the most important points. Pregnancy and parenting are one of the many times in life that people will want to share  all kinds of  unsolicited advice.

You will have to call upon your common sense and instincts to tell you how important that advice is and help guide you as to how to use all the well-meaning tips on childrearing that you will, like it not, be receiving. Only you and your significant other  know what it is that will work for you and your family situation.

As a clinical social worker I am trained to listen and work with parents within their particular life situation. In my practice I strive to remember that everyone, all parents and families are unique in their environments and their experiences.

I encourage expectant parents to build their support networks and increase their knowledge base. Support helps you to realize that you are not alone facing parenting dilemmas. There are professionals and friends ready to share experiences with you.

Staying informed from pregnancy onwards will help you face decisions with more confidence … read what you can and stick to the books or websites that you find easy to understand and that are professional. Look for those sites that  have writers and contributors that are experts in their field.

As I have already said, education will give you as parents the confidence to go with your instincts about what is right for you in a world that is almost too full of information. Try not to overwhelm yourselves with too many websites and too many books as this will undermine your confidence in the long run. Pick a few good ones and check in with them as needed.

I came across an interesting “parents-in-progress” book….“from the hips” by rebecca odes and ceridwen morris. These two mothers discuss “ten anti-rules” for parenting. Here are a few of them…

  • strive for imperfection
  • everyone’s an expert, but you’re the authority on yourself and your baby
  • parenting is out of control
  • shift happens
  • there is no right way

This book is worth more than a look…check it out while you are expecting.

One thing that I know for sure is that parenting is demanding but full of unexpected joys with all of its ups and downs.

Get ready for the most important ride of your life.

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