Your brain on motherhood

Sarah Walker once said that becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a new room in the house you have always lived in. This description seems precise; after all, motherhood unveils neural pathways in your brain that you haven’t yet discovered.

So, what are these brain changes and why haven’t you discovered them?

These changes mold a mom’s brain in unexpected ways and shift the ways she thinks and her outlook on the world around her. Scientists are now pointing to changes occurring in the brain, especially in areas involved in emotional regulation, empathy, and social interaction. These are largely neurological changes that mothers experience during pregnancy and postpartum, accompanied by a flood of hormones that help strengthen the bond between a new mother and her baby, creating a powerful attraction. Overwhelming love, strong protectiveness, and constant concern all begin with biochemical reactions in the brain. Continue reading

Why is it important to set routines for my baby?

Babies thrive in a predictable world, and for good reason – every day is filled with new learning experiences and excitement. Which is why getting your baby into a routine will provide a sense of safety, comfort, and trust. Another important factor to it is that babies don’t understand the concept of time yet, so they organize their lives based on the events that happen during the day. When things happen in the same order, babies have a better understanding of their world!

When and how should I start?

You might be wondering when’s the best time to establish a routine. It could be surprising, but experts disagree on when exactly parents should begin to set a routine. Generally, when your baby reaches 2 or 4 months of age he’s more likely to stick along with routines; but you can try to start before that because routines will also help you.

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How to: Teach good manners at home

Who doesn’t want well-mannered kids? After all, your child’s behavior reflects on you, right? As much we would like our child to say “please” and “thank you” as soon as he or she starts talking, that’s probably not going to happen… but we can certainty start teaching toddlers how to be polite at a young age.

 

Teach your child how to be sensitive

At the root of good manners is respect for one another and before it comes sensitivity. So teaching your child how to be sensitive will be the beginning. A sensitive kid will naturally care for others, which will lead him to become a well-mannered person. Essentially a sensitive kid will be more prone to be more polite in a creative way and more heartfelt than anything he could have learned from a book of etiquette.

Be a good role model

Modeling behaviors is the best way to teach your child good manners. Essentiality, if you want a polite child you need to show him or her how to be polite through your own actions. Remember that your child learns through observation and imitation! So you need to be careful with your actions and words.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Modulate your tone when you speak to your baby and try using words like “please” and “thank you”. Even though your baby doesn’t (yet) understand the social graciousness of these words, he will understand that “please” is how you get what you want and “thank you” is how you end this collaboration. Remember that children will first understand the use of the word long before they understand its meaning.
  • Show your baby how to treat people, things, and pets. For example, if your baby tends to grab someone’s face or hair, try moving his hand and demonstrating a soft stroke. With time “gentleness” will translate into politeness, as he or she gets older.
  • Encourage your toddler to say “hello” and “goodbye”. At around two years old your baby will certainly will be able to say “hello” when arriving and “goodbye” when leaving. In fact, sometimes your little one might be eager to say “hello” and “goodbye”, but occasionally he or she will be too shy to speak. Don’t worry! You can try preparing him for the occasion, for example if you are going to visit grandma tell him “When we get to grandma’s, we are going to say “Hello, Grandma!”.

Remember that good manners are taught, so it will take time for your child to learn them and incorporate them in his day-to-day life, so be patient.

What to learn more about how to teach your little one good manners? Check out these links: