Sunday, October 21, 2012

why don’t babies come with a manual?

Recently, I had the opportunity to read the book The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle.  In her book, she describes four energy types that kids will fall into line with (to varying degrees) with regards to their movement.

1: The Fun-Loving Child!
2: The Sensitive Child
3: The Determined Child
4: The More Serious Child

The idea that we need to be parenting each of our children in different ways based on their natural tendencies (and based on our natural tendencies too!), instead of following some cookie cutter approach was enlightening!  Carol actually says in the book that children are their own parenting manual because they will tell us they way they need to be parented (even if it’s in unspoken ways!).

The-Child-Whisperer-Series-6.jpg.0x675.18qkbuy7dv5f80k9tv10s0bd6m45nrk9People will always compare the ways their individual children sleep, potty train, nurse/eat, and play with others, and they notice how their kids all seem to be different, but they want to put them all on the exact same routine their older sibling was on, and use the same phrasing when speaking to them. Why?!?

I am a Type 1 mom.  It means that being fun!, random, and flexible comes easily to me, but there are other things I struggle with. Being organized for one. I love the idea of systems and structure, and enjoy putting them into practice, but I cannot for the life of me seem to stick to them. Mostly because it gets boring! I’ve been working on staying on top of things better and finishing a project when we start one, because I know once we are lucky enough to have 2 (or more!) kids here at home with us, it’s only going to get harder and harder to stay on task for things around the house.

Many of you know that Craig was deployed in Afghanistan for most of my pregnancy with Emily and for her first four months of life.  What you probably don’t know is that I SUCK at accepting help (or even admitting that I would possibly need help in the first place), and so I spent 8 months doing everything myself, including parenting a newborn.

And I loved it. {The newborn stage, not C being in Afghanistan!}

Reading this book I’ve come to realize that the reason it all seemed to come so easily to Emily and I is that she’s a Type 1 too!  So when she wanted to nurse randomly around the clock, I was cool with that.  When I wanted to spend time with our friends in the evening, she would just chill right along with us.

DSC02850[6] Type 1’s have lots of circles and an upward movement with their features!

I think our first big hiccups came about when I started trying to schedule her going down at the exact same time every night, after performing the same ritual night after night.  She hated it! Instead of it being of comfort to her to know that bedtime was coming, she would start crying when you started the bath or you took her into her room.  The girl just wanted to be out and social, and when she was ready for bed, she would let you know!

These days, we’re in the midst of potty training and nursery school, and I’m seeing more than ever how much her natural movement is displayed in everything she says and does.

She LOVES her friends. She can be grumpy and in desperate need for a nap, and the second she hears them coming, she’ll snap right out of it, happy as ever, and will be fine until her normal bedtime.  She feeds off of being social.  If people are upset, she’ll come and pat their back or she’ll try and do something for them because she just wants everyone around her to be happy and having fun!

I noticed that a lot in the weeks after Griffin died (who, for the record, I think was a type 2).  She would always notice when we were sad or crying, and she would immediately start trying to get us to play with her. I can be the same way sometimes in tense situations (between other people); I’ll get silly and start making lots of jokes because a heavy mood makes me uncomfortable.  Emily was definitely making sure that hope and joy were being kept alive in our house those first weeks.

IMG-20120907-00049

At nursery school, she’ll sometimes try and lead me by hand around her classroom to show me toys and her friends, but generally, she happily wanders away from me to go play with everyone else.  If she’s feeling insecure or overwhelmed (she’s the youngest and smallest there), they’ve told me that she just goes to one of the teachers and asks to be picked up and she’ll just talk/play with them for a little while.

By far, the biggest comment I get about Emily is how ‘cute’ she is, or how ‘adorable’.  Her voice is pretty high pitched (but LOUD), and she skip-bounces around a lot, so people are always drawn to watch her.  It’s a good thing she enjoys the attention!

So do you have a child that you just don’t quite get?  The Child Whisperer book can probably help you figure out what they’re really asking of you!

The book launches October 23rd, and everyone orders in the first week will get $317 worth of bonuses, so it’s a great time to buy a copy and even pick some up for family members for Christmas (you could include the special password for the bonus materials in the gift!).

Check it out here on Amazon:

The Child Whisperer, The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, and Cooperative Children

Or visit The Child Whisperer website!

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