Recent events have gotten me thinking about how I can protect my baby from the world and all it will throw at him as he makes his journey through life, and I guess the short answer is that I can’t. The more he grows the more his decisions are his own and not mine the less I feel like I will be able to do. The world can be a scary, cruel place, don’t get me wrong I know that it is also a place of wonder and beauty, but I don’t so much need to protect him from beauty and happiness. The thought of Isaac having a secret or burden that he does not feel that he can come to me with is terrible.
I am a firm believer in communication and I feel like this may be the only way for me to help him as he grows up. From a very early age I want to establish open lines of communication and dialogue with him. I want him to be able to come to me with anything, Mum I’m sorry I smashed a pane of glass on the green house, it’s not fair ABC has XYZ and I don’t, I wish that I …nothing too big or small; Mummy is always around to listen, give advice or just be a shoulder.
“Warm, loving communication between you and your child enhances your relationship and helps avoid behaviour issues” Parenting expert Eileen Hayes
I want to encourage Isaac that nothing he says to me is insignificant. I want to listen…not smile and nod, actually listen. It’s funny that something as simple as listening can be so difficult. The world has a funny way of taking over your life, you are so busy that sometimes it is hard just to stop and listen. I don’t want that to be me. I want to be able to stop, get down to his level and really listen to him…nothing in the world is more important to me than he is and I want him to know this and feel secure in this knowledge. When he asks me awkward questions I don’t want to skim over them, I want to give him a truthful answer so that he grows up knowing that if he ever asks me anything I will give him my honest answer and that he can trust me.
I’ve written down a couple of ways that I am planning on nurturing this relationship of openness…if you want to add to them then do feel free to contribute.
- Tell him that I love and believe in him often.
- Cuddle and kiss him often
- Ask him about his day
- Tell him about my day
- Spend one to one time with him doing things that he enjoys
- Have family dinners together around a table.
- When he asks me a question answer him honestly
- Not hide things from him and when I need to tell him something difficult make sure that it is in a way that he will understand and allow him to ask any questions that he wants when I am finished.
- Not have conversations with him through doors or walls…actually go to him to talk.
- When he is angry listen to what is annoying him and talk through a resolution
- When there is an argument listen to ALL sides of the story
- When I mess up say sorry and ask for forgiveness.
- When he messes up tell him that I forgive him and love him unconditionally
- Include him in big family decisions e.g. moving, new car, new pet
- Turn off the TV when he wants to talk to me so I can listen properly
- Have eye contact with him when we are talking
- Not judge him for the things he says and does
- Let him discover who he is
- Let him decide what hobbies he would like to try/continue with.
What I want more than anything is for him to be a happy, healthy, well adjusted little boy who knows he has the full support of his family and friends when ever he needs us!