3
Nov

Overwhelmed with a New Baby?

Today, I had a wonderful opportunity to help a new mother.  She was loving, concerned, and asked many appropriate questions.  Interestingly enough, I've noticed that more and more mothers are using their Blackberry's as a resource.  This mother "wrote" all her questions in her Blackberry.  Daddy was in the room, supportive and patient.  They warned me when a entered the room, "Mommy has a lot of questions."
I was very impressed, she had her Blackberry question list in her right hand as she breastfed her new infant son on the left.  Talk about multi-tasking!  Her questions included the topics of feeding, breast milk, formula, sleeping, clothing, sleepwear, daywear, etc.  She was very apologetic.  I had to reiterate to her that there was no need to apologize.  A new mother with unanswered questions is a woman with unabated anxiety.  She smiled and pressed on.  She thanked me at the end.  Then, she said the most important thing of all, "I'm overwhelmed."
It was very honest and welcomed.  Admitting you are overwhelmed is the first step towards finding a solution.  I agreed with her - having a newborn is overwhelming, especially as a first time mother.  Most mothers don't admit it because they feel inadequate if they do so.  After all, how many mommy's do you know of admit that they are tired and overwhelmed with a baby that's only 4 days old.  I let her know that she was a wonderful mother at only 4 days old!  She knew what questions she needed answered.  She made a list and asked me all of them.  To boot, she really was taking excellent care of him.  She couldn't possibly do more.

I advised her to keep writing her question list for each visit.  It is a pediatrician's role to answer questions & educate a mother, so that she can be the best mother she can be.  In the process, she will feel more confident and be able to rest more peacefully.  When searching for a pediatrician, I advise you ask if time is taken to answer your newborn questions, so you can feel the same.

She thanked me and agreed, "I feel more relaxed."  Then, she asked, "How long until the next visit?"  He'll be back at two weeks old.  The look on her face was that of relief; I could almost hear her say, 'Whew!  It's not so far off.'  She'll be here with her Blackberry list and a smile.

3
Nov

Kids, Teens & Voting Lessons

How can you have an impact on your child on Election Day? Teach them about the importance of voting through discussion and by example. Regardless of your politics, this election can serve as an important lesson for our children on voting. Young children and teenagers can learn much on the importance of their single vote. Have you talked to your children why it’s important to vote? Do they know that one vote can make a difference?
Schools may teach this to our children, but it needs to come from the home as well. It is much more powerful to a child when their parent explains to them that voting is a right as a United States citizen. It truly is a precious gift. Do your children know that not every country has a voting system? Do they know that “back in the day,” not everyone in this country had the right to vote? Maybe they’re older and do know these facts. Maybe they’ve had a mock Election Day at school or in class. Perhaps, you can have an open conversation with them about this. Consider asking them, ‘How would life be different if we couldn’t vote?’

Elections can also be a lesson in how State Referendums/Amendments are important. Do your teens know how each one could affect their State financially?

Consider taking your child with you to the polls. Talking to them about the process beforehand, followed by seeing the process can make a huge impression.

Most important of all, today is an opportunity to teach our children to respect each other. Do they know to respect each other’s different voting opinions? A child or teen may be impassioned regarding the election. Often, they think others are wrong because they view things differently than they or their family. You can teach them the value of healthy debate and respecting differing viewpoints.

This is just a small sampling of how you can expand your child and families experience regarding voting. Try it; you just might be enlightened by your own child.
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