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Joint Parenting Team Plan for Baby

by Maxine
Posted May 12 2011 11:23am
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Review the following common baby care tasks – tasks that parents need to take care of. Share your thoughts with each other and develop a plan for how you will manage each. If you are not sure yet, don’t worry, review this after a week at home with your new baby and again after the first month. You will probably make some changes based on your actual experience. Use this worksheet not only to plan for baby, but also to identify what might become points of disagreement for the two of you.

Download the Joint Plan Team Plan for Baby Woksheet (PDF).

 

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Creating a United Front

by Maxine
Posted May 12 2011 11:29am
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Do you and your partner agree on everything? Of course not! It’s unusual for two parents to agree on everything. But we do know that the more parents agree, the easier it is to work together as a team. In the end, this allows your child to grow up in a more consistent and positive environment.

Mother: Sweetheart, Antoine looks much better in red. Why don’t you put his new red shirt on him instead of the blue one?
Father: “Red! What are you talking about? I think that blue is his best colour!”

Do you and your partner agree on everything? Of course not! It’s unusual for two parents to agree on everything. But we do know that the more parents agree, the easier it is to work together as a team. In the end, this allows your child to grow up in a more consistent and positive environment.

Below, you’ll find a worksheet that is made up of common areas related to your baby. These are areas where some parents have difficulty finding a common ground. Together with your partner, fill out the worksheet and identify the areas where you present a united front, those where you need to have some further discussion and the areas where you may have to learn to live with some differences. Review the areas where you do not agree. Decide whether you need to find a compromise or if it’s okay to have different beliefs.

Download the Creating a United Front Worksheet (PDF)

 

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Temperament - A Family Affair

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 02:35pm
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What is temperament? Temperament is a combination of 9 emotional building blocks, called “traits” that affect how you respond to life.

These traits are: activity, adaptability, approach, distractibility, intensity, persistence, positivity, regularity, sensitivity.  Each of these traits can appear as either high or low, or something in between. 

Why is temperament important?
Humans are born with the traits.  They appear beginning early in life.  They affect how you, your husband or wife and your children act and relate as individuals and, importantly, with each other

How permanent are the traits?
Traits are biologically-based.  We know traits run in families.  They stay with us over time and we use them in many different situations.

Although traits are biological tendencies, no single gene has been found to cause them, and scientists predict this will never happen.  Genetic tendencies are not simple, but complicated.

These traits are genetically related tendencies, NOT destiny.  They are better at predicting what you will not become, rather than what you will become.  For example, if you are a highly active person, chances are good you won’t become very passive; but in most instances it does not mean you can’t learn to control your tendencies under certain conditions.

These traits appear in different degrees, and some are more dominant than others.  

So why is temperament important in parenting?

Each person in your family has temperament traits.  You have temperament traits.  Your spouse/partner has temperament traits.  Your children have them.  Understanding temperament provides the basis for parents to parent their child more effectively.

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Using Parenting Styles

by Maxine
Posted May 12 2011 12:02pm
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We recommend the Positive Parenting approach, which is based on the authoritative or backbone style of parenting. The Positive Parenting approach will not look the same for every family. Your child’s temperament, as well as your own, will make the Positive Parenting approach unique for your family.

Look at how The Positive Parenting approach might be used in the following scenarios. Read the scenario and then think about what your answer to the question might be. Then read on to see what our experts have to say about these situations.

Scenario One

Tina and Mario’s son, Anthony is 3 ½ months old and they are finally starting to understand this little person. Tina has notice that Anthony gets easily upset in new surroundings. Mario has noticed that Anthony startles very easily around noise and particularly with his grandfathers’ and uncles’ loud voices. They have both noticed that Anthony lets them know with vigorous crying when he is hungry, cold, bored or has a soiled diaper. Using the Positive Parenting approach, what strategies might they use to parent Anthony?

Expert Feedback

  • Anthony appears to be a sensitive baby who is more emotionally intense. They need to respond to the cues he gives them promptly such as when he is hungry, cold or has soiled diapers. Responding to his cues promptly will help make him feel loved and secure.
  • When they do respond to his cues, talking to him about what they are doing will help to build his language skills. “I know you are upset when you have a wet diaper. Let’s go change it right now.”
  • When they take him to new surroundings they should comfort him by cuddling or staying close to him to help make him feel secure.
  • They may want to prepare him in advance for new events or places by telling him what to expect; or gradually introducing him to new people, such as when they use a babysitter.
  • Playing with him and changing the tone of their voices will help to gradually show Anthony that he does not need to fear loud voices. They need to be aware that if they use a raised voice it will frighten him.

Scenario Two

Siobahn and Paddy have a 5-month-old daughter named Kerrie. Kerrie is an active baby and has been since the day she was born. When she is awake she is frequently wiggling or babbling. She is very interested in her environment and reaches out for things that are close by. She has learned to roll over and already rolls off her play center blanket and towards the family dog, no matter where the dog lays. Siobahn and Paddy constantly have to keep an eye on her even when she is in her infant chair on the floor. She is very persistent and is not easily distracted once she becomes interested in something. Using the Positive Parenting approach, what strategies might they use to parent Kerrie?<!--?p-->

Expert Feedback

  • Since Kerrie is an active baby, who appears to have temperament traits of activity, persistence and distractability, it will be important that her parents provide a safe place for Kerrie to play and explore.
  • Comfort her when she becomes frustrated with activities that she can not yet do.
  • Be patient as she will want to continue to practice new skills as she learns them, such as rolling over towards the family dog. She will want to do this again, again and again.
  • Using firm limits and being consistent with these limits will be important, such as with the family dog.
  • Provide Kerrie with physical activities that will help to keep her engaged. Get down and play with Kerrie as she explores her environment whether it is on the living room floor, or the grass in the park.

Scenario 3

Carlos and Juanita have found their 6-month-old daughter Carmel to be an easygoing child. Carmel rarely fusses and is very regular in her eating and sleeping routines. She adapts to any change easily and just quietly watches when she is placed in a different setting. Now that she is older, she stills prefers watching even when she is with her slightly older cousins who she sees on a regular basis. Juanita and Carlos have found Carmel’s quiet easy going nature is very different than their own more extroverted and active temperaments. Using the Positive Parenting approach what strategies might they use to parent Carmel?

Expert Feedback

  • Since Carmel has quieter approach, a lower activity level and an ease in adapting, her parents may have to provide her with activities that will engage her so she can reach her full potential.
  • They may need to take the initiative to help her explore the setting she is in, her toys and her books etc. by actively playing with her. They may need to acknowledge and encourage her when she does explore, or when she plays with toys or other children on her own.
  • They should continue to comfort and cuddle her so that she feels loved and valued.

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