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					                                                                  Ask                                          ried by preteens and teenagers, their
                                                                                                               needs were met by a number of adults
                                                                                                               and youth and they even sipped milk
                                                                Naomi                                          from the breasts of other women in the
                                                                                                               family. The focus of these children was
                                                                                                               not only mom and, therefore, the arrival
                                                                          Parenting
                                                                                                               of another baby was not necessarily a
                                                                            Without                            huge loss to them.
                                                                           Struggle                                The nuclear family has brought the
                                                                                                               natural multi caregivers to an end. Your
                                                                                                               two-year-old is a baby whose human




                                                                                                Naomi Aldort
                                                                by Naomi Aldort                                world is mostly you and your partner.
                                                                                                               Having another baby is a loss of almost
                                                                                                               her whole world and a premature loss at
                                                                                                               that. She is still dependent on you for a
             Spacing Children’s Births                                                                         few years. Such a young child has no nat-
                                                                                                               ural ability to sacrifice her needs for an-
Q: My child is 15 months old and I am            baby. Depending on the child, this may                        other. She needs to be breastfed, held,
thinking of getting pregnant again. I            be true at age six or not until a couple of                   slept with and fully cared for. She has no
hear of giving birth close together so the       years later.                                                  reason to give up any part of her primary
children can be friends. I also hear that it         Spacing close together, however, has                      connection with you.
is initially very difficult. I’d like to space   its benefits and joys to consider. There                          Having two fully needy babies is un-
my children for ease and peace for all.          are no mistakes and no one right away.                        likely to bring you peace and ease. Moth-
Can you shed light on this dilemma?              Although a young child may not be in-                         ers of closely spaced wee ones find
                                                 clined to give up her needs, if reality dic-                  themselves often unable to meet basic
A: All spacing possibilities are filled          tates and with supportive parents, she                        needs, angry with the older child and not
with wonder and there is no one right an-        will draw from it the lessons that will                       enjoying themselves. They are also wor-
swer. What I will try to do in this column       shape and strengthen her. Depending on
is shed light on the nature of raising chil-     the children, on the parents and on how
dren close together or far apart, so you         many children you raise, all possibilities
can make a choice with these specifics in        are right.
mind. Most parents have children be-                                                                                                 Answering
tween one to four years apart, so I will     Spacing for ease and peace                                                              all your
start with the nature of seven years apart,      Your particular question is about
which is less common, yet much easier.       planning for a second child with the idea                     
				
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Description: My mother tells a sweet story: One day she was holding my darling baby day she was holding my brother and kissing him. When she noticed that I was gazing intently she asked, "Are you jealous?" "Yes," I responded, "I want to kiss him too." My brother and I were best of friends and are still very close with each other and our families."But they always said that close together makes for friends." Yes whoever the mythical "they" are did say that. Are "they" right? I notice that sibling rivalry is more common with close spacing, yet, once in a while, the relationship can be magical. Still, most parents who call me for help with jealousy and aggression among siblings are those with closely spaced children.Some of you may read this column and say, "This isn't true; my sister and I had a great time and I want to give such a friendship to my children." And some parents report wonderful friendships between their own closely spaced children. Although it is possible that closely spaced children will enjoy each other, their memories are from older ages. When you ask their parents what it was like in the early years, the story will be different. While the child may recall good days of play, the parents recall anxiety and hard times.
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