Mar 16, 2012

Do you need to read parenting books in order to make a good mother

A new mom who has grown up with siblings and experienced life with a baby in the home is less likely to need a book on how to care for a baby although the baby shower presents will in all likelihood include one or two books on parenting. I myself did not need a book as my father remarried and I was present most of the time in my father’s home where there were several siblings. My daughter, however, benefitted from my experience as she is a superb mom and does not even allow sugar in the children’s diet. Any question she might have she will research on the internet for the latest innovations. In fact, my daughter has been granted a patent in the US where she lives for a special diaper.

Motherhood is about instinct.

There are many things that can happen when there is a new baby in the home, and much of it is resolved by the mother trusting her instinct. I lived in South Africa at the time and there was one frantic afternoon when my daughter, four years old, had a fever that was so high that I put her in a cold bath to bring her temperature down. It may have been the wrong thing to do but by the time the doctor arrived, her temperature was much lower. You don’t want to play around with high fever.

Grandmother’s remedies

My grandmother was an old-fashioned South African woman who was called the Medicine Lady in the neighborhood as people came to her all the time for home remedies. She put on cut potato peels on a wound once, and on another occasion a new mother brought the baby to her; the baby was around five or six months and was constipated. My grandmother crushed the stem of a plant, inserted it into the infant’s bum, and the child was relieved. Today of course you have to have a book which is nicely indexed to handle emergencies.

Parenting books

One or two parenting books are good to have to keep up with modern ways and means to do certain things. When it comes to mothering with a book, the most inexperienced new mother will know instinctively what to do when a child suddenly stops breathing or something serious has happened, and that is, call 911. My own son was saved in the 70s by my calling 911. He had had a triachitis attack which happened mostly to boys between the ages of one and three. Mothers react with amazing speed when it comes to danger to their kids and would know when a child has a fever that that could lead to complications. Whether they would make better parents when reading books on parenting, I don’t know. It would depend on the mother’s own psychological makeup. If I am making it sound easy it is because I have been around kids for a very long time; I am the eldest of three kids in my father’s first marriage, and also have three stepbrothers and a stepsister.

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