Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Day 155 - Exercise Restraint

Today's First Time Parenting Tip - Gently divert your baby's "bad" behavior

My son has a new favorite playtoy. His mom's hair. He also enjoys slapping and grabbing onto faces. And when he shakes a maraca, sometimes he gets so into it that he smacks himself in the face, starting the waterworks. Should he be disciplined?

Absolutely not. At this age, babies are too young to understand right and wrong, and nothing they do is out of malice or hurtfulness. So when your son is yanking on your hair, it's not going to help him or you any if you lose your temper or tell him no.

If you baby is engaging in some dangerous behavior, simply divert him to something more productive. If he's trying to climb up the coffee table, give him some pillows to crawl around on instead. If he's pulling your hair and it hurts too much, give him a stuffed animal with fur or something fuzzy he can wrap his fingers around.

Besides keeping your hair, this has an added benefit of teaching them to express themselves and explore in different ways, which is all he was trying to do in the first place.

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