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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Mothering: What is Quality time?

Time and again, I have had patients who have forgotten the meaning of parenting so much so that they will continue to provide sustenance but hold back love and attention in their child on an ongoing basis. Mothers who are so worried that their figure will spoil if they breastfeed their infant, fathers who claim that they love their child but will stay at their place of work from dawn to midnight (thereby ensuring that they never meet their child awake), parents who give expensive mobiles to their child, or X-boxes, or PS3, but will not be able to spend half an hour each day just talking to their daughter ... these are the sure prescriptions for disaster.

Quality time means devoting 1-2 hours every day for simply "being" with the child/children, with the T.V. switched off, the mobiles put away, no guests or visitors, no chiming door-bells to disturb the bonding and then, listening to your child. Listen. Don't unburden your problems when you meet with your child. Remain silent and attentive, and listen. Play, sing, dance, jump, or just ... listen. You will be surprised at the amount of information that really trickles in ... even a small toddler with a vocabulary of less than 100 words will tell you things you could not have even imagined.

Bonding begins at birth, but the process continues throughout the child's childhood, teenhood, and occasionally into adulthood too.

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Dr. Fuhrman

Dr. Fuhrman