June 26, 2020
Why are the parents of some infants relaxed and at ease while other parents are exhausted, guilty, and frustrated with raising their new infant? Is it because of their parenting skills or is it due to something else? Why do some parents have not-so-easy babies?
Everyone believes that statement but are surprised when their baby is not what they ordered: an easy baby. When a Not-So-Easy (NSE) baby arrives and cries more, refuses sleep, and despite taking all advice seems impossible to soothe, you blame yourself. You may have difficulty breastfeeding. You must be a failure. What are you doing wrong? What if your baby does not bond? Worry and guilt follow.
All the uncertainness of parenting seems so stressful. It is not your fault. You are doing nothing incorrect. You have a Not-So-Easy baby. Commonly what follows the trips to the doctor with these symptoms are diagnoses of colic, possibly milk allergies, and sometimes reflux. Feeding routines are changed, occasionally meds are added, and other advice is offered. Around three months you have figured out some things that work. Maybe naps on a running washing machine or driving around in the car but things do calm down, or you are just too tired to notice. The certain fact is your parenting life is harder than others you know.
You have a Not-So-Easy baby, and you need more tools and skills than parents who have easy babies. Easy baby parents may take credit for being great parents, but it is more nature than nurture that decides your parenting experiences these early months. These behaviors are some of the examples of temperament trait differences.
Temperament is a natural part of a child’s personality and disposition. It is the genetic imprint one inherits. In the late 1950s two child psychiatrists, Drs. Stella Chess and Alexander Thomas, mapped nine of these traits in infants and followed these children for 30 years. This research proved that temperament traits change little over time. However, the good news is temperament can be altered by trait-specific training from the parents.
By three months of age, these behavioral style temperament traits can be tested. Some children’s natural temperament combinations are easy, some a challenge at times, and some are plain difficult most of the time. Knowing this critical information can prepare you, your child, and the caregivers and teachers for the likely patterns of behavior that will follow. Testing is available here.
The specific difficulties your children may encounter can be managed by strengthening these at-risk combinations of temperament traits. A parenting plan, a roadmap specifically designed for your child’s unique characteristics, can lessen your frustrations, minimize the daily strains on the family, and prepare the child for a more successful and happy life. This knowledge can prevent situations in the learning environment that can cause behavior problems.
The first trait is the activity level. If your child is ‘on the go’ all the time that is more challenging than if your child is content to sit and play quietly. Other traits children exhibit include:
The blend of these nine traits comprises your child’s unique temperament and behavioral style. Some combinations are easier than others to live with, manage, and even to love.
How well your children fit into the world of your expectations, and the demands of other caregivers and teachers are determined by these innate temperament traits. If there is a good fit for an infant’s temperament and parent’s expectations then there is harmony. But if there is not a poor fit, it will result in behavioral problems. Expecting a highly active child to remain still for long periods of time is a temperament-limiting task.
Parenting all children, the same way is like the ‘one-size fits all’ concept. One-size fits no one well! Having a plan to help your children obtain the best fit can enhance their chances of success and happiness and your mental health.
Remember, your parenting skills and your infant’s disposition are not related. Please, mom, do not ever blame yourself because your infant is a Not-So-Easy baby. There are many cues you will learn about your baby and how to manage him or her. Be patient with yourself and refer all relatives with any criticism to this article. You are doing a great job with a more demanding task than sixty percent of other mothers. Your child will have many qualities that are her or his special traits. Rejoice in your child’s uniqueness.
Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys. Source link
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