Can you raise babies?

As soon as they can grab and crawl, babies are ready for "nonsense". Can you already teach them rules? Again and again I hear that babies cannot and should not be raised in order not to hinder their free development.

Now it really depends on what you mean by "upbringing". Is upbringing an act of dressage so that my child behaves as it wishes? I say no. Upbringing arises for me through any kind of interaction between me and my child. Seen in this way, one cannot “not educate” at all. We always have an influence on our children, whether we want it or not, whether we let it go or say “stop” and much more. The only question is what kind of interaction we want to have with our children and what kind of influence do we want to exert on our children. That is why it is so important to be aware of this and to take responsibility for it - to educate yourself.

The most important educational measure is listening

How can I listen to my baby when she's not talking yet ?! But you can speak! Babies send all sorts of non-verbal messages right from the start. You perceive what is moving your child at the moment. Parents can usually describe this to a third party very well. But it does not occur to many of them to tell the child, to “mirror” it, so to speak.

You put into words what non-verbal messages you hear or think you hear from your child ("Could it be that you are hungry? ... that the diaper is pinching?"). Babies who are actively listened to are more balanced because they feel loved, taken seriously, and understood. They learn to understand, communicate and develop faster - because with your help they can better process their emotions and impressions.

Can you set limits to babies?

How can you set limits to babies if they still don't understand? We shouldn't underestimate small children: purely cognitively, they cannot understand our arguments, but they can understand their intuitive and emotional meaning! Your baby doesn't need to understand the laws of mass and gravity to figure out that balls fall down, not up, unless you throw them up. Likewise, it can learn to accept what you expect from it and what it must not do under any circumstances. However, this requires attention, focus, and patience. You shouldn't put too much on babies, otherwise you create frustration and stress. The golden rule is: as much freedom as possible, as much limit as necessary. Your baby's natural play and discovery instinct shouldn't be suppressed.

Put baby's perspective into words

So that your baby can better accept your limit, first describe the situation from his perspective so that he or she feels understood, in short, simple sentences: “... you don't like that you can't have this can ..., ... that you have to wait a little longer until I can poke you ..., eating with my fingers is especially fun, but messing around with the food, that doesn't work! "," You really like drawing lines on the wallpaper ... but you can paint only on paper! ”“ Yes, it is difficult for small people. Again and again it says no! "" You know: Mommy takes care that nothing happens to you! "

Talk and act consistently

Baby needs clear words and consistent action, for example if you "simply" stop your baby, prevent it from reaching for a certain object until it "gives up" or consistently pick it up and carry it away. Since this is often frustrating for the baby and it may yell at the same time, understanding words of comfort and a suitable alternative are needed. Your no should be friendly and can also be practiced playfully. In order to "raise" babies, above all, good framework conditions are required that meet the needs of the baby and an apartment that is as "baby-safe" as possible, so that as few bans as possible have to be issued. Your understanding no should also convey: “I have to give you that!” Your firmness in saying no gives children security and they learn more quickly to accept boundaries.

Announce necessary actions in advance

Many scenes can be avoided if we tell the baby what we're going to do, even if, as I said, it doesn't seem to understand: “Now I have to change your diaper. Come on, off to the bathroom ... "" Now you have to hold still, I know this is difficult for you ... "" Oh, now I have to pull your sweater over your head, you don't like that at all ...! "Maybe wait a second, until you have eye contact and say: “Well, let's go!” At this second baby has time to adjust internally: the resistance melts, the eventual protest quickly ebbs away, or it does not happen entirely. Creative parents turn the necessary measures into a game, and baby may even have fun with them.

Communicate your own needs

Here, too, make sure that the time is right and that you announce this: “And now Mommy has to take a shower and you will be alone for a while. Here you have your favorite toys and I'll be back with you in no time! ”It's about your child feeling that they are being taken seriously and that they learn from an early age that mums / dads also have needs and that they don't feel neglected as a result.

In this way, your baby will develop the willingness and ability to cooperate - in other words, you will have a wonderful, easy-care child. However, these advantages must not be an end in themselves, because every baby wants to be accepted as it is: also and especially when it is difficult and does not behave as desired. Your mindful, loving behavior makes good development possible - not the other way around.

Maria Neuberger-Schmidt

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