Faced with this new situation, every parent will adopt an attitude based on his own upbringing, personality, partner’s personality and the stand already made with any older children in the family.
We have collected three experiences from parents on how they demonstrated their parental authority.
We hope their perspectives will help you find the best approach for you and your baby.
Mark and Mei Yin, parents of Thomas, 20 months
Well-explained authority works!
"Thomas is a very active boy. Right from the time he first started walking, he wanted to touch everything in the house. Life was getting impossible because we constantly had to watch him and tell him not to touch things over and over again.
At first we tried to put everything out of his reach, but there were always things that we missed. We decided to explain to him calmly but firmly that there are things within his reach that are not for him. We took the time to walk around the flat with him, showing them to him. Thomas understood very well that it wasn’t a game. I think the fact that we were both there made an impression on him. Since then, he has sometimes touched "forbidden objects", but that rarely happens. And he seems to be even happy that he has special responsibilities, just like an adult!"
Shamsul and Katrina, parents of Nadia, 16 months
Don’t take different stances!
"For some time now, Nadia has been refusing everything. Whether it’s changing her nappy, getting dressed, taking her bath or eating anything other than pasta, her response to every suggestion is the same — "No!" Faced with this obvious need to rebel, we took a stance of not clashing with her. It won’t do us any good to insist on what we want or just do as she does. We needed to show her some flexibility and let her see that one can make allowances. We’ve decided to set priorities to maintain a pleasant family life."
Bala and Nisha, parents of Vijay, 18 months
Exerting your authority at the right time can be reassuring!
"When he was coming up to 15 months, Vijay suddenly became very difficult at mealtimes. He refused to try new foods. He wanted to eat with his fingers, despite being adept at using his little spoon and fork. Rather than accept or oppose everything, we chose some areas which we wouldn’t give in and we were more tolerant on the rest. Vijay must eat the foods he likes with his spoon and try at least a mouthful of the ones that he doesn’t want to know. In return, he can eat certain "permitted" foods with his fingers, like little bits of chicken or fruits, and he doesn’t have to finish everything on his plate. What we actually did was just set a few new rules. These clear and simple rules have certainly given our Vijay a feeling of security."