newsletter banner 740

Who owns my baby's development?

June Newsletter 204x300As we all know, a child’s life is influenced in many different ways by many different people.  Most of those influences are positive but others may go against her healthy development.  Making sure you are in charge as an active participant in your child’s life will help her grow to be healthier and more successful.

"I Do!"

“I do” is the promise made when two adults get married and commit their lives to one another, when they have hopes of a great future and life together.  Even though you don’t say a literal “I do” when your child is born, you definitely become part of this great commitment we call parenting.  You are now a member of the mommies and daddies club.  Making an “I do” commitment to your child’s development is the first step to becoming a parent and enjoying everything you have to do as a parent.

The benefits of taking active responsibility

The idea that you own the responsibility for confronting the life challenges your child will have, as well as finding solutions for them, is a an important commitment parents must make for their children’s benefit.  When parents assume the responsibility for getting actively involved with their babies and young children, they start doing things that benefit their children’s development.  Playing, talking and reading, and other quality time activities, will greatly stimulate a baby’s brain in a way that doesn’t happen when parents just limit themselves to taking care of a child’s basic needs.  A parent’s commitment to these activities means the child will have much better development in the areas of speech, reading, writing, listening, attention, memory, motor skills, and other intellectual, relational and emotional abilities.  Children with parents who get actively involved with them are also usually more confident and more successful at school and in their relationships with others as adults.

Active parenting involvement with a child who doesn’t always have both parents present (because one or both are working, or because they are separated) can help heal many difficulties and insecurities a child may develop because time with a parent is limited.  In other words, spending consistent quality time with your child, even when this is only a for a few minutes in the afternoon or even one day a week, can have positive effects for your child that should not be ignored.

You are the most influential person in your child’s life

The influence you have in your child’s life can’t be overstated.  You are the most important person in your child’s life.  So don’t be shy about getting involved with your child through playing, reading, singing or simply talking to him.  After all, you are the owner of the challenges, the solutions, and the joy of being an active participant in your child’s development.

Dr. David Anglada-Figueroa is a clinical psychologist with a passion for families and children and a spokesperson for First 5 Sonoma County. First 5 encourages parents to Read, Talk, and Play every day with their babies.