The key to successful parenting is to be responsive to your child’s needs, Joanne says.
“Parents need to be aware that their children are constantly growing, so their capacity to learn increases and their interests may change or evolve.”
Joanne shares how Baby Qi was already starting to assert her independence before her first birthday: “She used to sit patiently and eat whatever we fed her.
“Now, she wants to feed herself and is a lot pickier. She flings Food she doesn’t like all over the place.”
Such behaviour was initially frustrating, but Joanne was keen for her to find her own way around stuff.
“She has to learn how to do things on her own, and she must also learn that there are rules she must abide by.”
Meeting a child’s needs while not giving in to her wants is what she learned from The Me, Me, Me Epidemic: A Step-By-Step Guide To Raising Capable, Grateful Kids In An Over-Entitled World by Amy McCready, which teaches parents how to “un-entitle” their children.
When Baby Qi cries now, Joanne says she’s learnt to figure out whether it’s due to distress or a tantrum.
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The latter signals a different need, and is mostly a cry for attention.
She has also started making “mind, body and soul time” for her daughter. That means 30 minutes of uninterrupted time devoted to doing things the little girl enjoys, like playing outdoors.
“You don’t have to take your child to Disneyland. Sometimes, she just wants you around her.”
And this is obvious when Baby Qi crawls over to Joanne and rests her little head on her lap, or hugs Yuwu from the back like a koala.
Next page: No iPad or TV for Baby Qi