How to promote baby bonding

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Recently my daughter came to visit me with her one year old daughter, Malia. I was so excited to see them. They came to visit as my daughter was involved in some business matters. Amy was selected to accept a marketing award for her company for a plan she orchestrated involving a high-rise condominium in Washington, D.C.


Recently my daughter came to visit me with
her one year old daughter, Malia.  I was
so excited to see them.  They came to
visit as my daughter was involved in some business matters.  Amy was selected to accept a marketing award
for her company for a plan she orchestrated involving a high-rise condominium
in Washington, D.C. 
 
The night of the awards ceremony, my
daughter left Malia alone with me.  As
Amy walked out the door for the evening, Malia stood next to me and began
sobbing.  Tears filled her little face as
she fell to the floor.  I watched with
curiosity.  Abruptly, Malia shook off her
distress, got up and meandered into our family room. 
 
Sensing that she was over her troubled
feelings about her mother`s departure, I proceeded to check some e-mail
messages in my office.  Soon afterwards,
as I glanced back across my shoulder, I observed this little figure approaching
me with a very big book.  Malia was
pointing at the book and making sounds that let me clearly know that she wanted
it read.  She gently handed me the book
and then she surprised me.  With arms
wide open, she was gesturing for me to hold her.  I took her into my arms and read her favorite
book about spring-time flowers. After we read the story and looked at all the pictures, she nestled
into my arms.  I put a blanket around us
and relished the moments of bonding with my baby granddaughter. 
 
Afterwards, I thought about what my
daughter was doing right, and ways in which all mothers can foster their
child`s bonding:
 
  • Don`t “put the breaks” on your life.  As soon as possible, take your baby
    outside the home.  Put your child in
    a stroller, and resume normal activity.  Go shopping, walking, do errands, and take your baby to be around
    other children.
  • Don`t react to temper tantrums.  Don`t display anxiousness, anger, or a desire to fix things for
    your child.  Maintain a sense of
    detachment, wait patiently, and move on.
  • Don`t get hooked into over-dramatizing when your child gets
    hurt. Kids can “read” a parent`s anxiety and will learn to “awfulize”
    negative events. 
  • Never do for a child what he can do for himself.  Let your baby experience frustration
    about handling play tasks without interference.  Appropriate frustration teaches
    self-reliance.
  • Get your baby involved with other children and adults.  Don`t worry if your baby is cautious at
    first.  Keep exposing him to new
    social situations.
  • If you drop your child off at a day-care center or baby-sitter,
    promptly leave.  Don`t get caught up
    in worrying about any emotional fallout that your baby might
    experience. 
  • If you are married or have a partner, make sure that your
    connection does not get short-changed because of the baby.  You need to have alone-time, so hire a
    baby sitter you trust. 
  • Your partner needs to be involved in every aspect of your
    baby`s care.  If he is unwilling, he
    should seek counseling to address the issue.  It is that important. 
  • Displaying affection to your baby is critical.  Put your negative energy aside, and have
    fun with your baby.  Make mundane
    experiences like changing a diaper a playful event. 
  • Surround your child with stimulating toys, games, dolls and
    activities.  Take your baby to the
    zoo, ball-games, art fairs, and social events.
  • Read to your child often, and play soft, soothing music for
    comfort.
  • Read up on child-care topics to develop self-confidence and
    choose your pediatrician wisely.
  • Remember that parenting is an art, and that mistakes will be
    made.  As the Good Book says, “Love
    covers a multitude of sins.”
 
Babies will bond with others when they are
given the freedom to do so.  Don`t get so
caught up in “stranger danger” that you inhibit your child from learning ways
to connect with others.
 
James P. Krehbiel is an author,
contributing writer, and cognitive-behavioral therapist.  He recently released his new book, Stepping Out of the Bubble:  Reflections on the Pilgrimage of Counseling Therapy. 
The book is available at http://www.booklocker.com/books/2242.html.  James can be reached at http://www.krehbielcounseling.com



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