Archive for June, 2011

Effects of Authoritarian Parenting

For those who have children you will know that parenting can provide you with many challenges and can also be the most rewarding thing you can do in your life.  Parents are never perfect when it comes to raising children and all parents make mistakes while negotiating the mine field that is parenting.  All parents want their children to turn out right and posses qualities such as discipline and being able to behave themselves and for some parents adopting an Authoritarian Parenting style is the way to achieve this.

Authoritarian parenting involves the setting of a code of conduct and a focus on shaping and controlling a child’s behaviour in line with the rules of this code of conduct.  Parents who use this parenting style demand total respect from the children and place a very high value on obedience.

This style of parenting generally uses forceful measures to keep in check a child’s behaviour and to make sure that the right behaviour is maintained at all times.  Most parents who use the authoritarian parenting style do so with little flexibility and generally set extremely high standards of behaviour that a child must live up to.

Parents that adopt this style of managing their children stress that it is important to always be in control and be able to exert that control over their children.  The control comes with setting a number of strict rules that are designed to keep some sort of order in the family and achieve this without the need for any affection or emotion on the part of the parents.  Children who are raised in this type of environment are constantly pushed to meet high standards of behaviour and if they fail to meet these high standards they are then subject to harsh criticism or punishment.

One of the main problems with using an authoritarian parenting style is that children who are subject to rules and this type of discipline rarely get to think for themselves and when put in a situation where they are allowed this freedom they are not sure what to do.  Another problem with this type of parenting style is that children can get confused about what they should and shouldn’t do and this provides stress to the child as a wrong move could result in punishment.

Authoritarian parenting is regarded by many as an outdated parenting style and not suited to today’s modern society and family life.  Many parents adopt more flexible ways of parenting which involves treating children with respect and showing them love and affection.

Managing Baby Care Costs

According to Department of Agriculture statistics, raising a child to age 18 can cost over $475,000—the price of a few luxury cars, a sizeable home in a middle-class neighborhood, or at least five years’ worth of paychecks. From birth to age two alone, you can expect to send about $11,000 per year. The costs do add up; there’s no way around it. But if you’re smart with your money, you won’t feel the pinch as much.

Formula is one of the biggest baby costs, if not the biggest. It can run you back more than $100 a month, or as much as $500 if your baby has allergies and needs more expensive brands. Obviously, the best alternative is to breastfeed as long as possible. It’s free, and several studies have proven that no formula can match the nutritional value of breast milk. If that’s not an option—some moms have conditions that make breastfeeding impossible, while others simply do not produce milk—buy powdered instead of liquid formula, and buy in bulk to save money.

Next comes diapers. According to Baby Center, this costs about $72 per month on average. But like any other baby product, the price points are all over the scale. You’ll be surprised at the price differences between department stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies. Look into reusable cloth diapers instead—most babies will need only three or four, assuming you wash them every other day.

If both parents are working, child care would also figure in the budget. In some areas babysitting costs as little as $10 per hour; in others, it’s $20 and up. Send them to a daycare center and you’re looking at a bill of $1,000 or so per month. Governments sometimes offer public daycares with discounted rates, so look into them as well. Of course, there’s also the option of asking a friend or relative to sit in, or having a neighbor do it in exchange for a favor.

Finally, you’ll need to invest in baby gear. This includes strollers, car seats, cribs, clothes, and diaper bags. Since these will all be outgrown, it usually doesn’t make sense to put too much money into them. Look online or ask around for hand-me-downs; even if you don’t get them for free, you’ll get a considerable discount. Make sure to save them for your next baby, and take good care of them so you can sell or give them away when the kids are bigger.

The Basics of Attachment Parenting

Attachment parenting is basically a way to care for your child that instils a close bond between parent and child.  This way of parenting is quite popular as it generally brings out the best in both the baby and the parents.  The basics of Attachment Parenting can be divided into seven steps and deals with different aspects of a babies relationship with their parents.

Bonding at birth is the first of these steps and attachment parenting encourages the mother especially to be close to the baby after birth.  Being close to their mother after birth is said to promote natural biological attachment between the two.  In cases where the newborn baby has been separated from the mother usually due to medical issues the  relationship still goes through a bonding stage to ‘catch up’.

Breast feeding forms part of the basics of Attachment Parenting and is important as it helps a mum to learn to read a babies cues.  Breast feeding is the best option for newborns as it contains all the important nutrients required by the baby at this time in its life and also promotes a chemistry between mother and child.

Carrying and holding a baby is also  promoted in attachment parenting as carried babies tend to fuss less and prefer to be close to mum rather than in a pram or stroller.  Baby wearing also improves the parents sensitivity towards the needs of the baby.

The sleeping arrangements are also important for attachment parenting and co sleeping is encouraged.  Co sleeping for many families involves having the babies bed in the same room as them so that they can be close by if they need to comfort the baby.

Attachment parenting also teaches parents the language value of a babies cry.  Baby’s cry as a way of communicating and this method of parenting also teaches that a babies cry is a signal designed for the babies survival and the development of the parents.  In responding to a baby’s cry parents soon learn to communicate with the child and meet their needs.

The next stage of Attachment parenting involves the use of baby trainers.  Attachment parenting advises against using baby trainers as they are generally rigid and extreme parenting styles which focus more on time management then the babies needs.

Lastly Attachment parenting focuses on balance.  With the arrival of a new baby it is easy for the focus to shift from yourself to the baby.  What is really needed in these situations is a balance between your needs and the needs of the child.  It is important to have some time to yourself and to know when to say no which for some may be difficult.