Children are little animals and to properly raise one, you must follow quite a few steps. Becoming a parent is no easy task. You must be ready for tantrums, dirty diapers, and lots of money being spent on these little rascals. Here is a manual for taking care of a child, keep in mind: this is only a small portion of the many, and I mean many, things that you must do to raise a child.
Before your precious baby arrives:
  • While you precious little angel is safe in your tummy, unborn, make sure that you gather all of your survival tools: diapers (millions), an inescapable crib (trust me, they will find a way out), bottles, blankets, binkies, and enough stuffed animals to comfort an army.
  • Don’t worry if your personality or attitude isn’t the best, according to the nature side of the nature-nurture controversy your poor baby is going to be a little monster, but according to the nurture side, you still have hope!! Raise those bad boys correctly and you will be a very happy parent.
  • Hopefully you and your partner are attractive! Babies require all of their traits via genetics, so their looks are on you!
  • In order to give your baby the best home available, you are going to want to make sure that you provide all of the needs on the Hierarchy of Needs. These include: psychological needs (food, water, clothing, shelter, etc), safety needs (a safe environment, etc), and belonging needs (a loving family, comfort, play time, etc) in order for your baby to fulfill their esteem needs and self-actualization later in life.
  • You need to learn all of the developmental stages that your dearest will be experiencing. They include: prenatal (where you are now, your baby is a-growing!), neonatal (the newborn period, which extends from birth to the first month after. Good luck with all of the crying!), infant (from 18 months to 2 years), toddler (2-5 years), school age (6-12 years), and teen (13-18). In each stage children will go through changes and it is important for you to be supportive.
Promoting Intelligence in Your Little Angel:
  • In order to have an overachieving and super-smart baby it is essential that you begin teaching your baby now, in a fun and age-appropriate way of course!
  • Young children, especially toddlers, are famous committers of overregularization. Overregularization is the misuse of words and their ending. For example, your baby saying “I eated it”. This does not make sense to us, but they are trying to learn our complicated language. This is normal for children, do not worry.
  • To help your child learn and memorize new words, it is important to use maintenance rehearsal by repeating and using the words frequently to keep the new words from fading. It is also important to use elaborate rehearsal by relating the new words to words that they already know, to further bury these words in their memory. Both of these methods can be applied by simply making your child verbalize what they want instead of just pointing to it because then they are forced to repeat the word and relate it to what they want.
  • When teaching your children skills, it is important to remember their age. Their brains develop over time, so trying o shove them full of information is not going to help you! For younger children, try using heuristics, or “rules of thumb, such as working backwards in a maze to teach simple problem solving skills. For older children, try using algorithms, or equations, such as a2+b2=c2 to solve more complex problems.
  • The forgetting curve is a curve that demonstrates that over time people forget things but if they remember something, they will remember it for years. This is important for you to know as a parent, use it to your advantage! Use free recall to help your children strengthen their memory and be able to hold on to knowledge for a longer period of time. To practice free recall, try having your child remember random words and repeat them back to you after a period of time. To really improve their memory, do this daily!
  • My improving your child’s memory, you are actually changing their brain through plasticity! It is amazing how much of an affect you have on your child’s life.
  • To improve your child’s long term memory, try adding meaning to what you want them to remember! For older children, try memory games to improve their long term memory. Also, use chunking to make the information more meaningful by having it broken down into meaningful bits.
  • If you ever need your child to remember something, try using serial position; tell them what they need to remember either first or last, they won’t remember the middle information.
  • There are many ways to motivate your sweet little cupcakes, but if you want them to grow up and be motivated even when you are not around, you must teach them to have intrinsic motivation .You need to teach them to want to do things for themselves, not have extrinsic motivation and do it for others. To help your child become intrinsically motivated, try telling them that they should be proud of what they do and encourage them to do their best.
  • Having an internal locus of control is also important because children should know that their influences come from inside of them. They should not be simply motivated by outside sources.
  • It is also important that the light of your eyes has a high need for achievement, which means that they strive for their best and you aren’t raising a slacker! To improve their need for achievement, try pushing them to do the best that they can do in a positive and encouraging way.
  • In order to test your baby’s intelligence, you can give them an IQ test. This test can be given multiple times over a lifetime to test progress! You don’t know, you might be hiding a gifted child!
  • Operant conditioning is a good method to get your child to what you want. Rewarding your children can be a good thing, but only to a certain limit. Rewarding your child on a variable ratio is the most effective, this means that you should reward after a random number of times of performing an act. Rewards should be a form of positive reinforcement, they should add something good! Candy and even praise are excellent rewards, fuzzy stickers are also appreciated.
  • Classical conditioning can also be used to get your baby to do what you want them to do. Babies often want to eat at random times but there is a way for you to get them to eat on your time. First, feed your baby as you would regularly (unconditioned stimulus) to elicit salvation (unconditioned response) while ringing a bell (neutral stimulus). Eventually, the bell will cause your baby to salivate which means that they will be hungry whenever you ring the bell! Enjoy this little trick!
Promoting Social and Emotional Skills in Your Dazzling Sunshine of a Child:
  • Babies have been known to have a very good emotional intelligence, which means that they are good at reading emotions. It is important that you are happy and stress-free around your baby, so they do not become stressed out as well.
  • Children also look to adults as adults to learn. This is called observational learning. One mistake many adults make is the fundamental attribution error; they judge the person, not the situation that the person is in. If you don’t commit this error, then your children won’t learn it.
  • Your children also learn their scripts from you. Scripts are the way that a person sequences events and expect actions in certain circumstances. If you teach your child that the script for going out to a restaurant is to run around and act crazy, then they are going to go nuts! Please teach your children proper scripts.
  • If you teach your child prosocial behavior, then they will help others without any reward for themselves. This is an important skill for children to have because it will help them gain friendships and learn the value of the people around them.
  • It is also important that you understand the difference between your child’s id, ego, and superego so that you understand your child. Their id is their raw instinct, what they do without thinking (crying for food), their superego is their conscious of what they know to be right and wrong (helping you clean the house), and their ego is the balancing act between the two (appologizing because they did something wrong). As a parent, you must teach your angel what is right and wrong so that they follow their ego and do the right thing for every situation.
  • As humans we naturally follow conformity, or what our peers are doing. You need to teach your children to be themselves and not follow what everyone else is doing. Sometimes conformity is hard to break, but at least make sure that they are safe.
  • Everyone in your child’s life has a large impact on them. It is important for every child to feel encouraged and loved, which is why as a parent, you must discourage learned helplessness. If a child is told something an excessive number of times, they will begin to believe it and then become it. Make sure you and everyone in your child’s life is positive and good role model.
  • As a parent it is important to watch out for some red flags: acting sad for weeks on end, feelings of worthlessness and sleeplessness are all signs of depression. Depression is a very serious disease that can be hereditary, so if you or a family member has it, watch out! Anxiety disorder is something else to look out for. Symptoms can be obsessive worrying or nervousness. Anxiety can cause extreme stress and panic attacks, which should be taken seriously.
  • Phobias can be caused through experiences, so it is important to be careful around children and avoid traumatic experiences. Some phobias are believed to be innate, such as a fear of the dark. An effective way of helping to rid your child of phobias is systematic desensitization, which is a type of therapy that reintroduces the feared object into the subject’s live in a peaceful way.
I hope my guide helps you raise your little monsters!