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Best parenting advice: It’s NOT in the book!

This post originally published June 22, 2011. But given that the parenting advice contained within it is applicable not only for newborn babies, but also for children, tweens and teens, I thought I might share it again today. 

When I was pregnant with Thing One, I read every book I could get my hands on to know what to expect during my pregnancy and delivery. It’s my way.

I’m a book fiend anyway, so when I have something I need to know

I research it.

To. Death.

And I did the same to prepare for a newborn.

That very first night that our very intense little newborn baby boy was home, he screamed. And he screamed and he screamed some more.

When the basic holding and rocking didn’t seem to be working, I dove into my usual “research it” mode.

I handed the baby to the then-husband, and began flipping frantically through the books.

Yes, he rolled his eyes at me. And probably said a few choice words.

I tried the index.

I tried the Table of Contents.

I tried the “pray and open to a random page” method.

Nothing.

There’s nothing in any book that will really tell you how to stop a screaming baby from crying.

It’s not something that’s easily transcribed.

It takes heart.

And love.

And tenderness.

Patience.

Compassion.

And the best swaddling techniques known to man.

That night I learned that the best parenting comes from the heart, not from an expert in parenting.

Sure, they try.

And they probably have some nuggets of wisdom in their pages somewhere.

But I have learned to listen to my heart.

To listen to my child.

from the heart To listen.

And love.

So far, things keep finding a way to work themselves out.

I think it’s because I know who the expert on my kids is.

And I listen to her.

She’s me.

 Photo Credit: ba1969 on Sxc.hu

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