Ramblings

        13 Nov 2013, 4:33 pm

        The secret to bringing up perfect kids by Tiamari

        I am the lucky parent of a well-balanced, well-behaved, confident, clever and happy 20-year old. He was born that way.

        When this amazing phenomenon was conceived, I was all but 20 years old myself. I didn’t have a clue! In fact, save for holding my cousin for a photo when I was 16, I had never touched a baby in my entire life.

        Needless to mention, he was the sweetest little accident – in other words, rather unplanned.

        Giving birth scared me to death so I simply went into semi-denial. I went for the odd check-up, and one day the doctor booked me into hospital for a caesarian section. I knew there’d be some “cutting” involved, and after that the pregnancy would be over. Beyond that I dared not think.

        The baby they presented me with was way too large for me to comprehend that he came from my body. As far as I was considered I was still happily pregnant. It took me a day or so to get used to the idea that I was now officially a mother.

        After the required 10 days in hospital (during which I was confined to a bed), the nurses gave me a quick once-over about how to disinfect the baby’s eyes and keep him presentable, and I was sent home. Bath-time came. There was no little cotton wool balls drenched in blue and yellow disinfectant in my bathroom, so I went into a panic and called Mother…

        My mom calmed me down sufficiently to be able to take down these simple instructions:

        • Run the baby bath half full with lukewarm water – test the water temperature with your elbow.
        • Lay him down on a clean towel on a flat surface. Make sure he doesn’t fall off!
        • Soap him down with a sponge and ordinary bath soap. Gently wipe his face with a damp face towel.
        • Lift him carefully into the bath and splash the soap off his body. Make sure you don’t let his head go under the water!
        • Do not at any time during the procedure leave him unattended!

        Then she got on a plane and visited me for a week.

        * * *

        Once I realized that it was all just like playing with dolls… it was easy as pie!

        I breastfed until mom told me it was perhaps time for some “extra” feeding. Then I gave him cows’ milk straight from the fridge. Mother had a small fit when she realized what I was doing (she didn’t give proper instructions the first time!). But of course the little one took it all in his stride…

        As a toddler we built sandcastles together. As a little boy we planned elaborate birthday parties with every theme in the book. As a teenager we listened to funky music…

        When he was 14, the situation at home became unbearable. His alcoholic father became violent at the drop of a hat. My son’s basic needs often went unmet. But he survived that difficult period of extreme stress with amazing resilience. When I was falling apart during the divorce, he was the one who supported and comforted me!

        After the divorce I took him out of school for 2 weeks and we went to Greece. The next year I took him out of school altogether and registered him into a home schooling program. People said I was crazy…

        Today he holds a Matric certificate with 5 A’s and a B. With a state bursary he got himself a Commercial Pilot’s License. More opportunities are presented all the time. His future is so bright he is wearing sunglasses!

        * * *

        No books… No workshops… No special knowledge on “how to bring up children”.

        So how did I do it? Or was he really just born that way?

        I’ll tell you the secret:

        Love.

        Love and respect. I treated him with respect as a child. I treated him like a little grown-up. And I remained a little bit of a child myself. Together we grew up. Together we had hardships. Together we had fun. Together we loved.

        He was unplanned. Not unwanted. Not unloved.

        That’s the secret.

        LOVE!

        (written by Tiamari)
        2007

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