The Melbourne Age Newspaper recently published a survey that found; “the majority of British parents believe they are doing a bad job of bringing up their children and are constantly plagued by guilt.”
According to the findings, mothers and fathers of teenagers are most likely to be hit with bouts of self-doubt and confusion over how best to treat their offspring as they grow up.
The report found many women seek parenting advice from their friends as a first port of call, yet men are more likely to turn to their own mothers for advice. Men are also more likely to pick up books and magazines or search websites rather than ask their wives or partners.
The UK poll found:
- 54% claimed they were not good mothers or fathers and said they lacked basic confidence in their ability;
- 63% admitted they were racked with guilt on a daily basis over their perceived lack of parenting skills.
- 19% said they had total confidence in the way they raised their children and
- Just one in four believed they were better parents than their own mothers and fathers.
Maybe all that’s not so surprising. One thing for sure is that is good parenting is really about getting the fundamentals right.
- The most important thing that you can give your child is unconditional love. If they mess up, aim your pep talk at their actions, not them personally (it’s not you, Mary, it’s what you’re doing that upsets me);
- The next most important thing you can do is instill in them a sense of self-value. No matter if they’re academic or not, sporty or not, they all need to have a sense of their own value and know they are loved;
- Be consistent. Decide what the rules are and stick to them. Inconsistent parents are a growing child’s worst nightmare simply because the rules change all the time.
- Don’t let them play mum off against dad. Kids are great at this. Always confer with your partner, then make a decision. If it sometimes seems harsh later, live with it, but learn from it yourself;
- Don’t confuse buying presents with being there;
- Help them achieve a balanced diet to maintain optimal health. Load them up with organic food in all five food groups;
- When young teenagers ask after school on Monday to go out somewhere risky with friends on Friday, don’t say “No” and fly off the handle, try “I’ll think about it”. You’ll find that in most cases, come Thursday, other parents have said no and the whole thing is off, saving you from being the ogre once again. So hold your counsel! If it is on, have a discussion about the details, call other parents, check on supervision.
- Encourage them to try new things as much as you can. Give them experiences and a passion for learning. Doesn’t matter if its bike-riding, woodwork, checking out the night sky from a blanket in your back-yard or cooking pancakes.
- In our experience, like most things in life, you get out what you put in.
Yes, parenting can be tough but we are all equipped with the skills.
There is no manual to refer to other than your common sense and talking over your approach with your partner. But don’t sweat the material things, concentrate on a consistent family framework, however your family is made up, and it should work out fine for everyone.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/life/bad-parents-or-trying-too-hard-20110829-1ji30.html#ixzz1WUHJh4FN
We are told that the best thing to do with your baby is to feed your baby as the plane is taking off and as it is landing. This helps her ears adjust to the changes in pressure from the constant swallowing action.
But it is easier said than done. Here are a few practical tips to make happy babies while travelling on planes:
Make sure you can keep them cool
• Planes can get very hot while on the ground waiting for take off and very young babies don’t regulate their own temperatures very well. Take some wet wipes or a damp flannel in a zip lock bag. Don’t hesitate to strip them down to a nappy so they stay cool and calm.
Taxiing takes time
• Never assume that when you start taxiing from the gate, that the plane is actually going to take off any time soon. So wait for the call “cabin crew please be seated for take-off” before you start feeding.
• When my daughter was three months we were flying from Melbourne to Sydney. We started taxiing out to the runway and started the feed. Of course the Captain announces that there are eight aircraft in front of us to take off and another 12 waiting to land. And we all know stopping mid-feed is not an option unless you wanting a wailing siren to start that may just evacuate the aircraft.
Reflux and extra spill-ups is common in babies on planes – even if they don’t normally
• Come prepared with a spare change of clothes (yes one more than the other three you may have in your bag) plus some towels. I have had the experience where my daughter made our fellow passengers quite distressed, but don’t panic, just be the super-cool mum you always are!
Avoid having to make connections
• If you are following the advice of feeding on take off and landing and you are doing domestic connections, you may need to re-think this strategy. There are not many alternatives – if they are a thumb or dummy sucker, it may be a time to reluctantly encourage a bit of sucking action, or maybe try to keep them opening and closing their mouths by playing funny games with them that keep them laughing.
Take pain relief medication with you
• Whilst this is not about feeding, sometimes you may not know that your baby has a sore ear – but you will on the plane. And so will the other hundred passengers. But worse is that if you are not prepared, your little baby will be very sore and there is nothing you can do at 40,000 feet.
Don’t be afraid to ask the cabin crew for help
• Cabin crew are usually able to heat a bottle if you ask nicely and help with getting the bottle out of your bag and the simple things that are a juggle in a space of a matchbox.
Try to break the feed between take off and landing on shorter flights
• On the descent, it may be too early for your baby to feed again. So if possible, (and it’s a short flight) try to break the feed on the take off and finish it on landing. It might just be a trick of distraction in between.
Snacks and bottles a spare bottle or two
• Take a spare bottle of two – you never know when you may be delayed so be prepared for delays.
• If your child is over 6 months old and eating fruits there are great products available that help your child suck healthy choices of food – such as cooled pieces of fruit through cheesecloth like material bag. Babies can spend hours sucking away at these material bags and keeping themselves amused. Parents just need to remember to throw out any remaining fruit when they disembark from the aircraft to keep to Australian customs requirements.
Every baby is different but travelling with your baby is always a logistical and planning exercise of strategic significance in the well being of you and your baby.
It is important to take mindful steps to planning your baby formula feed or breast feed ensuring you too have a happy baby on the flight!
The other day I sat down to the most wonderful bowl of delicious soup that had been made for me.
We all know the term ‘soul food’ and this was one of those experiences. I felt that soup was healing me as well as nourishing me. I contemplated that part of the healing probably came from the range of incredibly healthy ingredients in my bowl, and that it had been prepared with care and love; a complex orchestration of spices and herbs with home-made stock and certified organic grains and vegetables.
I have always felt that to cook for someone is an act of love. To produce something from yourself; to create, with the intention of nurturing and nourishing, for someone, is a special gift.
At some point we have all cooked a special dinner for a loved one. But how often do we put this effort onto our young children’s meals?
It’s always a challenge to find something they like on that particular day, something that reflects healthy choices, and sometimes meals at home (in my experience) seem to feel like a drizzle of finger foods (albeit healthy ones) as quickly as can be produced.
I remember one of my high school readers, Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant.
One of the themes explored was that one’s attitude to life is reflected in one’s attitude to food.
Recently my attitude to life, or perhaps my acceptance of a pattern, was each day is a race, and you get to sit down once the kids are finally in bed. We haven’t even had a useful dining table until today (I will rush from work to collect and assemble in time for dinner tonight!)
I am trying to change that pattern, and adjust my approach to mealtimes, if for no other reason than to have offered my daughter experiences of nurture and care and love on a plate.
If you’d like some further reading, here’s another story on Mindful Eating you’ll find interesting.
An Australian company, Million Dollar Woman, has just released some interesting information: the average stay-at-home mum lifts over a tonne per day – and that’s just the baby!
The maths is simple: you have a 10kg baby and estimates show you lift her 90 times per day, that’s 900kg. Add in the normal daily routine and you’re well over a tonne!
That may not be surprising, but what’s clear is that since stay-at-home mums look like they’re auditioning for the roll of The Bionic Woman, then they’d better eat well to keep up their nutritional levels. What better way to be bionic that to eat organic?
Organic foods are shown to have a higher compliment of valuable vitamins and minerals than alternatives and they taste good too.
So it’s not just your baby that needs a pure start to life with organic baby formula and cereals, but you do, too, with good organic produce.
Since your baby is part of your enforced weight training, you’d better make sure you do it right! If you’re picking her up off the floor, bend your knees and then use your legs to lift as you stand up, not your back. You also need to be careful how you carry your baby. We’ve all walked around with a baby on the hip, but if you’re out and about and you don’t want to take the stroller, get one of those back or front packs that hold your baby safely and give your back and shoulders correct support.
So this is just another reminder of how tough you have to be to be a mum. And how mindful eating can give you the nutrition you both need to get through a tonne and work – and play.
Read more at
There’s so much written about parenting that it’s hard to keep up. I don’t think my mum and dad spent a tenth of the time worrying about my brother and me as we do about our kids! They certainly didn’t start us in life with organic baby formula.
Our house is now following a simple idea when it comes to finding balance between the family, the house and some time for the two of us. Now we try to do what we should, not what we could.
We thought about how we might both apply that thought in managing our two small girls and the house, because we quickly realised that trying to “do it all today” applied not only to Sue doing all the housework, but it applied to me, too.
So, in the same way that organic food has become a priority, I don’t need to spend that hour at work at the end of the day doing emails, I should be home doing things there and the emails can get done after the girl’s bedtime.
Sue could do the housework everyday, but she should leave it to me on the weekend. What we have found is this way of thinking has helped us prioritise, with the girls first and other stuff after that.
If dads in particular, thought about this concept for a minute, they might realise that it is a pointer to getting a more balanced life. There’s pressure on everyone to work hard these days, but as the saying goes, no dying man says “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”
Us dads owe it to our partners, and we really owe it to ourselves, to be there while our children are growing. Our input to them is half of their equation. We have a way of doing things and seeing the world that in itself balances the wonderful mothering side of mums.
So don’t do what you could and send them a bedtime text, do what you should: be there, get down on the floor and play with them. It’ll do you good in the long run!
In our house it’s a principle we apply to our food, too. We could buy any formula, cereals and fruit snacks, but we should try for something pure.
Easy to find at most stores, it doesn’t take any effort to shop organic, so you can do what you should, too.