Advice from Canpol's experienced mothers.

Stress-free upbringing

How do you understand stress-free upbringing? Ask this question to a person who just after hearing this term:
- eagerly starts explaining that this is the worst thing you can do to your child
- starts arguing that this is an invention of recent years, because this had not been around before, and the children were brought up as well, etc.

Are you sure you understand the term in the same way? Your disagreement may result from different interpretation of this concept. Make sure how you understand it before you get involved in a discussion which may quickly evolve into a jostle of fashionable slogans instead of well-thought out arguments.
I'll try to explain in this article how you can bring up your child without causing unnecessary stress, but making sure not to become a hostage of your own idea and not to pander to your child's every whim. I was raised this way by my mother and I bring up my own children using the same method. It works.

Stress
I have written it already and I will repeat once again: you can bring your child up without unnecessary stress. However, certain dose of stress is good for your child. It motivates him, forces to take action and facilitates development. If you do everything for the child and help him with everything (so that he would not get upset at another failed attempt), he will cease to undertake any action, because you are always there to help him out. You can not protect the child against stress, e.g. in a kindergarten. This is only natural. Even though my daughter has liked her kindergarten from the very beginning, she is deeply involved in everything that happens there. Quarrels with her peers are very stressful for her, but she does not give up. Ask yourself whether you prefer to raise a child who can deal independently with a difficult situation, or a child who finds stressful situations beyond him. Therefore I emphasize it again - a parent can control the stress level but can not eliminate it completely.
The rules listed and described below will help you with this task.

Respect
Remember about the needs of your child and respect them. You can expect the same in return. Depending on your child's age, you should explain more and more things to him. It is hard to justify some decisions to a small baby, but you should patiently explain to a kindergarten-age child why you ask him for something or forbid doing something else. Such a talk will make him feel important and safe. He will be aware of the reasons of your request. If you set such an example maybe next time he will come and explain to you why he acted this way and not otherwise in the kindergarten. You can show your child you respect him in a very simple way: listen to him before you judge his behaviour; explain before you issue an "order".

Shouting and violence
Violence is not only about beating. Definition of the word violence includes also: pushing, pulling, humiliating, insulting language, blackmail. Shouting and violence do not solve any problems. This is the lack of respect I have mentioned before. This way you will not get what you want from your child. Even if he performs a task, he will not understand why he has to do it. Even if he stops an activity that upset you, he will not know why he should not do it, but will associate it with his fear and your anger.
In a difficult situation be firm and communicate clearly, do not be afraid to forbid something to a child, you can use the "no" word, but do not resort to violence and shouting.

Showing affection
Your showing affection towards your baby is a very important element of his life. Do not forget about a hug, a kiss or even a simple statement, such as: "I missed you" or "I love you very much". Do this often enough so that the child does not have to wonder what you feel to him. If you show your feelings to your child, he will also be happy to come and show you what he feels. First of all, he would know how to do that.

Determining rules and limits
Stress-free upbringing does not have to mean the lack of rules of behaviour in your home and your family. The thing is they:
- should be specific and clear for the child
- account for the child's needs and mutual respect
- are not limited only to bans and commands
- covered the consequences of breaching them.

Do not surrender to your child (shouting and anger) and do not break the rules because of his whims, because "stress-free" upbringing should not equal: "I do whatever, whenever and however I want!"

Katarzyna

Mum of 5 year old Gola, 12 years of professional experience