How to raise your child to be good and competent

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This is an article from our “Doctor’s Corner” series, brought to you by Samitivej Hospital. Make sure to read the entire series!

Every married couple wishes to have a child, and when they become parents, they must take on the full responsibility of raising their children. Before doing so, the couple should assess their situation and readiness. They also need to be sure that they can devote themselves totally to their child without expecting anything in return. Since raising a child is highly demanding, parents will need to give up their usual habits and freedom. And this is not a one-man job. It requires close cooperation between mother and father starting from the time of the pregnancy right through the child reaching 5–6 years of age. The father needs to accept that the mother cannot always accompany him everywhere and he himself should be prepared to relinquish some of the freedoms he may be used to.

Raising your child to be good and competent

The Pregnancy Period
The fetus’ ears develop early, while the eyes develop later. It is recommended that you play classical music to your fetus after the 8th week of pregnancy as the steady beats help stimulate brain function. However, the best (and free) sounds for an unborn baby to hear are the voices of their parents communicating affectionately with their unborn child. In particular, the voice of the mother is the most pleasant and can make the unborn baby feel happy. Therefore, a mother should talk to her unborn slowly and in a deep tone.

The Post-Delivery Period
Physical contact with the baby through breastfeeding and holding can establish a bond that will last for a lifetime. At Samitivej, we encourage mothers to breastfeed their newborns almost immediately after the delivery. In case of a Caesarian delivery, we have the mother hug the newborn and breastfeed briefly with the father also in attendance. We emphasize the importance of breastfeeding, not only because it is very healthy, but also because it helps the mother become very close to her baby. Breastfeeding at this stage is an effective way of creating a natural bond. Furthermore, it can be a way of preventing the child from misbehaving in the future as the child will feel guilty about causing his or her mother grief. Natural bonding can also make the mother less stressful about her child. In order to raise a child properly, it is important to have a safe environment. For example, every electrical socket should be covered and the edges of a table should be rounded. A child’s room should be well arranged with good ventilation and space to play.

The Behavior Formation Period
Half of an individual’s behavior is already formed at birth by innate instincts, while the other half is shaped by parents and the environment. During the period from birth to 6 years old, the child will imitate what he or she sees, especially during the first three years when behaviors and cognitions are formed. At this stage, the child imitates what he or she sees which can influence their sexual perception, especially for boys who spend too much time with a nanny. A boy needs a father figure. Therefore, he should be close to his father who will be a role model in terms of forming male behaviors and manners. Similarly, a girl should be exposed to her mother’s behaviors and manners.

At this stage, parents should not argue in front of their child but should try to stay calm. Be patient and accept your child for what he or she is and not just by his or her appearance, no matter how difficult it is to deal with. This is your child and you need to learn together. If the child feels full up too fast, you need to clear the table and not feed him or her again until the time for the next meal. You need to train your child to have proper eating habits. If the child misbehaves, do not physically punish him or her. Instead explain what to do and what not to do.

In addition, telling stories such as Aesop’s Fables and singing lullabies at bedtime are very important as they can help the child to sleep well. Parents should be a model for giving and sharing. Parents should also teach the child to help himself or herself when he or she learns to crawl or stand. The parents can give moral support and should know about different stages of the child’s development. The child vaccine diary tells the parents about developments at each stage.

The child should be provided with activities in accordance with his or her age. Activities will help the child develop physically and mentally. For example, hopscotch will strengthen the muscles and synchronize balance. Encourage the child to join in activities with family members, friends, and the community. This will teach the child to be cooperative and sociable. Teaching the child to develop a sense of humor will help him or her get along with others. Take a trip together at least once a year. This is even better when visiting other provinces as it will pave the way for parents and child to spend time together. Parents should also not buy too many toys, but instead should train the child to make his or her own.

The health of the child is a very important issue. Although their health is usually fine most of the time, children at this age will commonly have minor ailments like colds and diarrhea. Therefore, it is important to take very good care of them. Apart from the vaccines that the child will receive according to his or her age, it is advisable to have an Influenza vaccine once a year.

Looking for a doctor for your pediatrics health questions? We recommend:
Benjamas Pisalsarakit Benjamas Pisalsarakit, M.D.
Pediatrics, Samitivej Hospital
Questions about your pregnancy, child birth or life with an infant? Ask the Doctor!

Select a school that is matched well with the child. Train your child to be disciplined, to know what to do and when to do it. If your child has not studied before, select a school with a small number of students so that the teacher can take better care of your child. Do not force your child to take extra courses without his or her consent. Have your child take only his or her favorite courses. It is not necessary to take extra course at all if his or her performance is passable. Do not always expect your child to excel. Encourage your child to study art or music for relaxation. Listen to your child. Do not think that he or she argues with you. Train your child to tolerate criticism, not to interrupt while others are speaking, and to wait patiently for others’ explanations.

It takes years before parents feel less worries about their child’s development. But as long as the parents are well-prepared and train their child when they still have strength, it will surely be better than worrying continuously when the child is grown up.

Samitivej, We Care!

For further information, please contact:

Women’s Health Center
Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
1st Floor, Building 2
Tel: 66 (0) 2711-8555-6
Call Center: 66 (0) 2711-8181

Photo Credit: the UMF via Compfight cc

Samitivej Hospital

Samitivej Hospitals are world class international health care facilities located in Bangkok, Thailand.

Fully equipped with the state-of-the-art technologies, our innovative Women's Health Center at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital provides comprehensive gynecological and obstetrical service for women of all ages.

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