Care that is loving, responsive, consistent and secure enables children to develop, learn about the world, feel safe, loved and looked after.
This is an ideal way for your child to develop positive relationships and for their brain to develop.
Babies will do various things like smile, make noises, watch faces and cry for attention. When an adult responds positively by gently touching and meeting the baby’s needs, then the baby feels safe and close to adults.
To help develop a loving relationship with your child try:
Talk to Plunket staff or other support services if you are concerned about your baby or how you are feeling about them.
How your parents cared for you may affect how you care for your child. Sometimes this is positive but sometimes it's not. If a parent did not have someone responding to their own needs when they were a child, it can be harder for them to know how to care for their child.
What matters is that when you care for your child you can choose how you want to do it. This means making choices about what you repeat from your own childhood and what you choose not to repeat.
This may mean identifying areas of parenting that you have not been aware of, making choices about what is good for your child and yourself and what you would like to change.
At times you and your partner may have differing opinions and ideas on parenting. These may have come from your own childhoods.
Discuss your feelings and ideas and it may help to think about:
Making changes can take time and effort and you may need to ask for help. Asking for help can take courage so don’t be afraid to.
There are different ways of parenting. If you give your child lots of love and praise, and are sensitive to their needs and views, they are more likely to be motivated, content, friendly and cooperative.
If you listen to them, guide them and are consistent your child will likely have good self-discipline and self-esteem. It's very important that those who care for them support each other, regardless of the living situation. Have limits that you stick to that are fair and ok for your child's age.
Give choices within reasonable limits and children will know what they want and need and how to get it. They are more likely to respect others.
Like adults, all children are different. Different personalities may need different approaches. Often what works for one child will not work for another child. Some children are born easy to settle and placid, while others are wakeful and active.
Understanding how they react to situations will help you choose the best way to respond when they need comfort, and which issues to be clear about, and which to ignore.