Babies are a gift of life and a real solid responsibility. Parenting any age, but especially babies, takes a ton of time AND a lifetime of devotion to do right. Because of the sacrifice and grit taken to create, birth and parent a child correctly, the result is the greatest joy and reward possible.

Families start with a mom and dad building a relationship on honesty and love. Every child has the right to be born into the world with a mother AND a father. Marriage is the best start. Marriage, the commitment and promises of loyalty and devotion between man and woman, should come before conceiving children. Regardless if this is how your family started, give your all to your children. They are a gift from God and are REAL people. Your life is now all about their safety, their education, and their faith.

“Take steps now to strengthen your family. Spend time together. Establish and maintain family traditions that build happy memories. Maintain a discipline with fair rules and regulations. Express unconditional love to one another through word and act. Develop within each one self-esteem and self-respect by loving and believing in him and having him belong. Provide security that children need. These are the values of which life is made. Establish these, and then we won’t need to worry about the frills that too often concern us. …We will need to be more self-reliant. We will all need to teach more within the walls of our own homes.”

A. Theodore Tuttle, 1979.

Isn’t that incredible? A. Theodore Tuttle said that back in 1979, which has certainly come to fruition. We HAVE to teach our children within the walls of our own homes during a worldwide pandamic and will all appreciate this more as we move forward. I love how he prescribes the tasking of building confidence in each child:

  • Spend time together.
  • Establish (and maintain – that is the hard part) family traditions.
  • Maintain (there is that hard word again) a discipline with fair rules and regulations (not letting kids tell YOU what to do and being fair).
  • Express unconditional love through word and action.
  • Love and believe in your child.
  • Help your child know that they belong in your family and to you.
  • Provide security that children need (I think that includes physical health and safety as well as emotional health and safety).

I agree. “These are the values of which life is made.” If we establish these in our children then our worries will be lighter (especially when they are teenagers). Develop a secure child now and this self-esteem will benefit the child in the tender teenage years when they have so many other issues to combat.

So what does a new parent do about this overwhelming task of raising a self confident person, when the individual is still just a baby? Here are a few things that come to mind:

  • If possible, nurse your baby. This bonding time is priceless and the nutritional benefits undeniable. If you can’t nurse your baby, then be sure to hold him in the same cradle position while he takes his bottle. Close. Skin to skin when you can. Look eye to eye often.
  • Sing to your baby. CLICK HERE for excellent ideas, encouragement and songs.
  • Provide boundaries even now. The book Baby Wise is a good place to start. This includes establishing a routine and sleep schedule. Have your baby sleep in his/her own bed and make sure that you get a weekly date night with your spouse. This has been a must for Duncan and my marriage.
  • Make necessary preparations to have your anger in check. Get exercise, get the appropriate amount of sleep, watch and listen to uplifting media, maintain a healthy diet, and nurture your spirit so that you can be your best self for your family.
  • Express your love to your baby. Also express your appreciation and love to your spouse IN FRONT of your children.
  • Work together on a budget and live within your means. This single commitment will eliminate a lot of stress in your life.

Lastly, develop a close relationship with God. I can’t separate my parenting from my faith. My parenting mistakes have caused me to absolutely rely on Jesus Christ for forgiveness and redirection. My parenting successes have absolutely been because of the guidance of the Holy Ghost and the teachings and assistance of inspired leaders in my life.

Being a parent is one of the greatest adventures of my life and it will be for you too. I know that these principles are true and will help you as you embrace this important privilege of being a parent.

Baby holding person's finger
A bit of heaven

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