Updated: Mar 30, 2021
Raising a newborn can be tough. Along with the ups and downs of new parenthood, you are given a whole lot of advice from family, friends, professionals and maybe even a stranger (or two) online or in the grocery store. It can be so overwhelming.
I had my son in October and although I have been very blessed with a perfect baby, all of this advice weighed on my shoulders and I second guessed nearly everything I was doing. One thing that brought me back to my way of parenting is Values Guided Parenting.
As I have mentioned before, my husband and I went through the Values Guided Parenting book written by Parent Like You founder and Family Coach Kirsty Foster. This allowed us to have a lot of conversations while I was pregnant about how we wanted to raise our son and what our dreams were for him.
I was always curious about how we would use our family values with a newborn. There would be no need to refer back to them if we were talking to our child about their behaviour. We couldn’t teach and discuss the values with our son. Encouraging him to show the values in our everyday life seems like a bit of a stretch for a newborn (who just wants to eat, sleep and get their nappy changed).
So can we use Values Guided Parenting with a newborn? Absolutely!
I found that it created a culture in my household where my husband and I could openly communicate with each other and where we knew and understood what is important to both of us as parents.
Values Guided Parenting was an important foundation in preparing us as parents. We are calm and composed as parents and this passes onto our son.
I’m sure everyone does this but I will sometimes give my husband a scenario and ask how he will respond in that situation.
For example, “if our son is throwing a tantrum in the supermarket because he wants lollies and you say no, what would you do?” You can often hear our family values coming through in the responses we have and I am excited to see if we actually do what we have said we will. (I’m happy to not experiment with tantrums in the supermarket though. Hopefully our Values Guided Parenting can prevent that).
Values Guided Parenting created a culture in my household where my husband and I could openly communicate with each other and where we knew and understood what is important to both of us as parents.
It also reminds me to step back (or step in) when my son is meeting milestones as I am reminded of our values. My son has recently started rolling (yay!) but it took him what feels like a long time. He hated tummy time. It didn’t matter where it was or who it was on, he was not interested.
I started to feel like he was never going to meet a milestone that I saw so many others doing. I wanted to step in and make him enjoy it so he would start to roll.
I reminded myself of our family value of uniqueness. He is unique and he will do things in his own time and when he is ready. And what do you know… Mum backs off. Baby starts rolling onto his side and enjoying tummy time and one week later, he did it. He rolled! I let our family values guide me through this and I am so glad I did.
I would recommend reading the book through pregnancy as it sets the foundations for your life as a family. Whether it’s your first child or your third, I think families could really benefit from this book.
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Courtney Abdale-Vague is a teacher and proud mum of a newborn baby boy.
As a teacher with experience working with children with special needs and severe learning and behavioural challenges, Courtney has always kept values at the forefront of her practice.
Naturally, when preparing for parenthood she felt a connection with the book 'Values Guided Parenting'. Courtney and her husband, Ryan, are using 'Values Guided Parenting' to help navigate their shared parenting journey. Each month Courtney is sharing her experiences of becoming a Values Guided Parent.