Be a Hands-On Parent!
The New Breed of Parents
by: Suzette T. Yu-Kho, mom of two boys and Kindermusik Maestro
We reap what we sow.
Oftentimes we hear older parents complaining about how their children seem distant, how the kids tend to be closer to their friends instead of their families. When we inspect their family lives, we realize that the parents themselves have not spent time with their children and may have delegated their roles to hired nannies. They may have been too controlling and highly critical, causing their children to seek growth and freedom outside the home.
Years down the road, these children (now all grown-up) look back and decide that they do not want to repeat history. They desire to be understanding and supportive parents who will be there for their children no matter what. This resolution has paved the way for the new breed of parents.
The new breed of parents take their 24/7 parenting job seriously yet joyfully. We know that our children are God’s little angels and it is our loving duty to care for them with patience. Here are some ideas we employ and encourage other parents to embrace:
Stimulating the Unborn
Through music, we connect with our unborn child in unimaginable ways. Calm, soothing music is highly recommended as it also relaxes us mothers. By the age of seven months, our unborn baby has his own personality with his own musical preference (research shows that acid rock usually agitates the baby).
The period from conception to birth is critical for brain development. It is also a wonderful time to bond with our baby. The baby who receives prenatal stimulation is born relaxed with hands open at birth, ready to accept the world.
Attending Prenatal/Lamaze Classes
Prenatal classes give mothers the confidence to go through natural childbirth as we are informed what to expect (i.e. the most painful phase is actually the shortest phase) and fathers are involved every step of the way. Natural childbirth decreases the chances of complications arising from epidurals. The best part of attending prenatal sessions is the fact that we receive a certificate permitting the daddy to be at the delivery room, allowing him to bond with the baby the minute she is born.
Today’s new mom proudly bonds with her baby through breastfeeding and says “no bottles, no pacifiers, no water for babies until six months of age”. The antibodies in breast milk cannot be replicated by any infant formula. They reduce the risk of SIDS, cancers such as childhood leukemia, and cold and flu bugs. There is no danger of our baby ingesting melamine or becoming overweight due to high sugar content. Breastfeeding reduces our risk of contracting breast cancer in the future, too.
More and more parents are cutting back on working hours to spend time with their children. They realize that teaching proper values outweighs providing too much material comfort. Hands-on parents are less dependent on nannies and are able to train their children to do chores and become self-sufficient.
Enrolling in Baby and Toddler Classes
Sharing fun, musical moments with our children are magical times indeed. Baby and toddler classes encourage the concept of “scaffolding” which is building up on our children’s ideas. An MRI test has proven that children with early music stimulation learn new languages more quickly than those who did not receive such an opportunity. Baby and toddler classes such as those offered by Kindermusik also build up on our children’s emotional intelligence.
Considering Progressive/Alternative Schooling
Today’s parents are not overly concerned about academic achievement. We realize that grades are not indicative of a child’s future success and we know that each child is unique and has his own way of learning. While the traditional approach may be effective for some children, others flourish in a progressive setting. Other parents may also consider home-schooling depending on the child’s needs and temperament.
Our children are constantly craving for love and attention. By openly hugging and kissing them and saying “I love you”, we are reassuring them that we are always ready to listen to their dreams and share in their heartaches. Studies show that babies who are often hugged and kissed cry less as toddlers; children who are confident of their parents’ love become compassionate adults.
Truly, we reap what we sow. If we want the next generation to build a better world, we have to start with our children RIGHT NOW. By becoming the best parents we can ever be, we are changing society…one step at a time.