No 2 in our series on how to use Positive Discipline with your babies and children. Loneliness
If you are an isolated parent try to find other parents to befriend. You can do this at clinics, parks, toddler groups, church, recreation centres – just get talking and be friendly. Small beginnings can bring long term friends. Remember other parents may also be feeling isolated and be wishing they had more support and friendship. And even the most perfect looking parents are far from perfect!
A stay at home parent really does need other adult company from time to time. And if your baby is cared for by a nanny make sure she gets some company and support as well. If you have had to send your baby to a crèche it will mean your babies need for closeness and extra attention will be greater to ameliorate the unavoidable institutionalisation.
Arrange regular meetings with other parents. Work it into your weekly routine. It will be good for you and your small child. Make sure that the meetings take account of when your child needs to sleep. It makes child rearing so much more fun to have people to share it with and your baby and child will feel your enjoyment of him/her and know that ‘all’s right with the world’. And this feeling needs to happen often in your baby so that this is what s/he seeks and desires. Because a person who seeks this uncomplicated cheerfulness and ‘all’s right in the world’ also seeks to maintain it in themselves and others. It is the start of positive self-discipline!
Parents need other adults to parent well! And being lonely can result in feeling more anxious, resentful, guilty and other unpleasant emotions than you need to be about the ordinary ups and downs of baby and child rearing.
But do be careful of people who undermine you or make you feel inadequate by being judgemental and try not to be that kind of person too! Being judgemental of yourself or others does not help. When you start feeling that way think ‘why, what and where?’ And be try to be honest with yourself even if you have to face up to something you are ashamed of. You are only human like the rest of us!