Q&A

You have children. Small children. Actually, even  older children. If you are like me, you have a question. Or many. Here is a place you can ask them, and get a response!

7 thoughts on “Q&A

  1. Dear Dahlia

    Thank you for your wonderful site.
    I would like to know your thoughts on co-sleeping with children.
    There are many conflicting studies on this.

    Thank you for your time.
    Best
    Laurie Ann

    • Thank you for such a great question!

      I am reading research about parenting with a great deal of skepticism. The weakest point of such research is the fact that it studies one element in parenting, isolated from all others. It is easy to prove – or disprove- the benefits of co-sleeping if you just compare children with and/or without such experience. In the real world, I found it has to do with what the parents bring to the table as well: their own life experience, their own communication with each other, their own reasons to practice co-sleeping or not to.

      I have seen family who followed their traditional co-sleeping. Some liked it, some did not. I have seen families who were convinced this is the best thing they can do for their child, to discover it only built anger, resentment and marital problems with their spouses. I have also seen families for whom this worked very well.

      Read my general thoughts about this in my upcoming blog entry, and let me know what you think, or what questions you might have!

  2. Before the baby, I swore I would be the kind of mother who will co-sleep, wear the baby, never let him cry, feed him on demand, never let him sleep on his belly.

    After the baby, I discovered that all these ideas, including co-sleeping were not good for us. Co sleeping in particular is robbing me of much needed sleep, while I couldn’t see a direct benefit on the baby. I discovered that my baby (at least), has a very noisy sleep – and I would wake up very grumpy, not in the mood to interact too much with him. After we moved him into his bed and soon-to-come into his room, things were much better, I feel more energetic, I feel like I want to play with him, sing to him, talk to him all day long and he is enjoying this so much better than sharing a bed with us.

    • Thank you for sharing!

      I had many similar experiences as my children grew up. I thought of some kind of ultimate ideal”way” to discover it has to work for me, too! My conclusion: mom and child are a system, they have to work together. It’s like a dance: whatever one does is impacting the other. Therefore, look at your dreams of being the perfect mo as a starting point, and adjust as you go along. You found YOUR way to play with your child, to have fun and joy – that is what counts!

  3. Dear Dalia,

    I have a question: how much and in which fashion can one critique their children?

    My mother was always very critical of me: the way i dressed, behaved, learned in school. This created many fights between us, but now I believe I have a realistic view of (my) life because of her.

    On the other hand, my husband’s mom always encouraged him in respects that were not always true and from my point of view he has a strange take on life. Nevertheless, he has this unshakable faith in himself which seems to help him a lot.

    I want to marry somehow these two approaches, have my son have faith in himself, while keeping it real, but it seems impossible.

    What are your thoughts about it?

    • This is such an important and good question! I hope I can do this subject justice in this answer.

      As you know, it is very important to give compliments to your child. It is a show of support, of trust, of love. But as you noticed, if it is not backed up with reality – it is empty. And dangerous.

      In their book “NurtureShock,” Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman survey the literature about praising children (you can find a summary of it in my blog). They found that just praising or complimenting has the opposite effect of the intention: Children do not live up to their potential if they are told they are smart.

      What happens to children who are praised for no particular reason is that they count on their smartness to work for them, and when they find themselves in situations in which they have to work hard – they think they are stupid. So they do not even try.

      On the other hand, children who get real and honest feedback from their parents about their performance, and are told what to do to achieve better results – work hard, achieve more, and actually score better on intelligent tests!

      So, even without considering this book, you ask the right question: What is a mother to do? I admit that with my own children I was not always successful. I remember so many times they did not like it when I told them they did not do well! Looking back and learning from my experience, I would say that the foundation of it all is good relationship with the child.

      Trust and open communication will create a foundation that allows your son to know that when you are commenting on his performance, you are not criticizing him. The child will know you are on his side, that you want to show him how to reach his goal. You are there to help.

      In addition, there is the question about your husband. Talk to him about it, too. Ask him what was good and what was bad about how he was raised, and together, you can decide what to do.

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