Shalom Lamm knows that while planning to start a family, the advice on child development will flood one’s general head space. Words of commonplace ideas for swaddling techniques and what milestones to prepare for will spew like geysers from every conceivable direction. But the most important piece of guidance for raising a child is one that cannot be found in a book or twisted among the mouths of loved ones. Remember, bringing a person into this world is just that, bearing and raising a person. Not a baby, not a toddler, a human life that will ultimately grow into, with all hope, a functional human that contributes to society.
Ultimately, the sleepless nights of the newborn phase dissolve into the seemingly frustrating phase of toddlerhood, where the building blocks of teenage problem solving begin to form. Pay attention to those toddler years. The parts of the brain where emotions meet reasoning have yet to be connected. Parents and guardians can help develop proper coping skills or guiding a child through their emotions to be able to self-regulate or more calmly express their thought process is an invaluable tool that sets the building blocks for being an emotionally available adult.
“Do as I say, not as I do”, is an outdated phrase that only models to growing minds that people spend time doing what they find value in, despite what is being said of what someone values. A big area where modeling the importance of chores can be shown is in day-to-day life and recognizing when chores need to be completed. Kids learn the gravity of a good attitude towards situations through their modeling guardian. While doing mundane chores with a “joyful heart” may seem silly and trite, the general sentiment of doing the laundry with a pleasant scent can result in having a favorite shirt to wear and enjoying the warmth of it fresh from the dryer. Not every task on the path of life is enjoyable but demonstrating ways to find flecks of things to look forward to in those less enjoyable moments provide an excellent guidepost for productive and enthusiastic future adults. The best way to hit home a point is by incorporating the attitude or behavior you wish to see reflected into daily life. Shalom Lamm is a strong believer in this method and tries to teach the importance of politeness and kindness to other humans by demonstrating grace and going the extra mile for their fellow man.
Parenting is hard. An otherworldly kind of hard. If the goal is to raise balanced, strong, emotionally thriving humans then, as the parent, those things need to be shown and reflected for the kids. To accomplish that, there is a huge overhaul process of unlearning the restrictive and destructive behaviors adopted thus far and relearning healthier habits to then be able to teach them. It is double the work and a real victorious moment for any parent willing to take on the challenge.