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6 More Good Parenting Topics To Discuss Before Your Baby Is Born
From:
Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R) Kathryn Brown Ramsperger -- Author & Intuitive Life Coach(R)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Rockville , MD
Thursday, November 21, 2019

 

In my last parenting article, we looked at type of delivery, sleeping arrangements, breast  vs. bottle feeding, responsibilities, childcare, and circumcision. This time, we’ll cover 6 more good parenting topics to discuss before your baby is born. You might have put these issues on hold or may not have given them much thought, yet if a couple is not in agreement on the important issues early in a pregnancy, they can end in arguments later.

Come on now. Wouldn’t you rather negotiate when you’re not sleep-deprived?

What religion, if any, will you raise your child in?

Parents’ beliefs are near and dear to their hearts whether they consider themselves to be theists or not. However, they can still come to an agreement and honor it as children join their family. There needn’t be strife. It isn’t harmful to raise children in a home where two different belief systems are in place. What is harmful:  an atmosphere of criticism and disrespect for one another’s views. We now live in an age where interracial, multicultural, and interfaith marriages abound. Strong, healthy, and successful interfaith marriages are ones in which parents practice love, acceptance, and
cooperation.

A person’s faith my wax or wane over the years, and what worked when you were newlyweds may not work later on in your marriage. Adapt and remain flexible to keep your marriage and family strong. Be open and honest with your children; don’t avoid questions or family discussions. Don’t force a child to take sides or choose one belief over another. Cooperation and mutual support make a world of difference!

Ultimately, as your children grow, they will develop their own beliefs, and as adults will make their own decisions about religion, spirituality, faith, and practice. The best gift you can give them is a safe and loving home life where the most meaningful traditions of either or both religions are practiced and honored.

How will discipline be handled?

It won’t take long before that first two-year-old “No!” or the public meltdown of your three-year old in a grocery store shocks the senses of mom or dad. How you react will be in part how you were raised as a child. If one of you comes from a home where parents were strict, while the other was raised by permissive or less-involved parents, conflict is sure to happen.

It isn’t necessary for both parents to have the same parenting style or use the same approach. Set Consistent, clear expectations, and follow through with your word. Do your best not to sabotage each other. As long as there is no abuse, support your spouse’s decision and discuss it privately later. It’s far better to back your spouse up when s/he makes a judgment call on consequences for your child’s misbehavior than it is to undermine the decision or get into a disagreement in front of your child.

Harvard Medical School psychologist Dr. Lawrence Kutner recommends that spouses take parenting classes together. My husband and I took specialized parenting classes for our children with differences, including adoptive parenting classes. Doing so will give you a shared knowledge-base from which to draw on when it comes to approaches to discipline. Yet rely on your own intuition sometimes, too, because your child, like every child, is unique. Their needs are different, so your disciplinary approach needs to be different, too.

Public, private, or home school?

With so many educational choices and opportunities available the subject is worth discussing long before your child is ready to start. Discuss the options with your partner. You might consider preparing to move, depending on where you want your child to go to school. If you both want to go the private school route, you can begin setting aside a nest egg so by the time your child is old enough to be enrolled you will be able to offset
the expense.

If one of you is a proponent of public school and the other is a home schooling fan, some compromises will need to be made. Talking about it now, a few years before having to implement that decision, will give you both time to consider the advantages and disadvantages of either.

Do you have dietary preferences or differences?

This may not seem like a big deal, but it might have been our biggest challenge. We all had different food sensitivities, and I felt like a short order cook much of the time. Getting their orders filled on demand created disciplinary challenges. Perhaps one of you is committed to veganism or eating vegetarian while your partner is an avid meat-eater. Even if you are both united on a vegetarian lifestyle, how will you handle things when your child spends the night at a friend’s house or attends birthday parties or other meal events away from home? When his friend at preschool says “yuck” to everything in her lunch box? Make sure you have a plan in place in advance of the situations you and your child are sure to face.

How will you continue or create traditions?

Traditions can create lasting memories and stronger family bonds. Holiday traditions are most obvious, but you’ll create others: telling bedtime stories, creating special meals together, keeping gratitude journals, annual summer vacations, weekend campouts…the list goes on! You’ll tailor-make your own.

Decide early on in marriage or pregnancy what traditions you would like to carry on from your families of origin and which of your own you want to create. There is so much value for children to inherit beautiful or important traditions from both sides of the family.

Discuss ways to keep your marriage vibrant.

It’s exciting to go from being a couple to being a family! It’s also exhausting. You have less time together alone, less energy, and less discretionary income. You used to be able to leave the house on a whim, but now it takes planning and preparation to go out for an ice cream cone. Yet now more than ever, your relationship needs tender loving care to maintain given the demands of parenting. Have a plan in place before your baby arrives. Will you go on weekly or regular “dates” with your partner? Who will watch the baby while you’re out for the evening? How will you help each other feel cared for, respected, and valued in spite of having less time to focus on one another? These plans are even more important if you live far away from your families, and all support will be paid support.

You’ve prepared for baby as best as you can with all the supplies and equipment needed to keep him or her safe and secure. What better way to prepare your home for the emotional well-being of your child than to discuss the important issues and come to agreements before that precious one arrives!

Kathryn Ramsperger’s been there! She has two 20-something children. Her son had brain surgery at 10 months. He’s a fine economist and linguist now but remains dyslexic. Her daughter, adopted from China, had adoptive challenges and ADHD. Plus both kids were gifted! If you need someone to help you plan, or just someone to lean on, she’s there for you. You can reach her for a get-to-know-me session here. 

 
Author & Coach
Ground One LLC
North Bethesda, MD
301-503-5150