Ringing in the New Year

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As the year turned to 2008, we celebrated New Years at home with our five and a half month old son.  This year, we decided to head out to a party with our now 17 month old along.  We were invited to a kid-friendly party at a friend’s house and I couldn’t be happier to spend the evening among friends and family.

Normally I don’t make resolutions on New Years Day.  I’m a big believer in making the change you want happen as soon as you want to, but this year I had a change of heart.

I’m already a strong believer in AP, but there are some things I could do better, so this year I’m making eight resolutions to go along with the eight principles of parenting.

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

While I’m not preparing to be a group leader, I did find a lot of interesting books in the required reading list for leader applicants.  I picked one from each category and they’re sitting on my bookshelf right now.  In fact, I got all the books on discipline, as Oliver is proving to be a very strong-willed, high-energy toddler and I think I’ll need all the help I can get.   As of today, I’ve read three of the books.  I resolve to try and make it through the rest (or at least one from each category) this year.  I’m a big reader, so as long as I don’t get distracted by that Truman biography on my shelf, it should be a breeze.

Feed with Love and Respect

We’ve been having some problems with biting recently.  I’m just recovering from my third bite (and resulting clogged ducts) in as many weeks, so the thought of weaning my 17 month old has crossed my mind.  It’s not anything he’s doing on purpose at all.  He tends to fall asleep on the breast and I was happy to let him, but recently if there’s a loud noise, he bites down.  First my husband had a cold and coughed loudly in the middle of the night, then the mailman rang the bell and the dog started barking while Oliver was nursing to sleep for his nap, and finally over Christmas, my mother in law touched his head while he was falling asleep on the breast.  It has always been my goal to let him wean at his own speed, so I am resolving to try to find alternatives to him nursing to sleep.   He is quite happy to fall asleep with my husband, so maybe we’ll try that for a while and see how it goes.

Respond with Sensitivity

I’ve been pretty lazy about teaching baby signs and helping Oliver to identify his emotions.  He knows the basics: hungry, thirsty, want a new diaper, and sleepy, but I haven’t done much beyond that.  I resolve to teach him to label and sign his other emotions this year.

Use Nurturing Touch

I wanted to last year, but never got around to it.  This year, I’m going to learn baby and child massage.

Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally

I resolve to continue cosleeping with our toddler until he is ready to graduate to his own bed.

Provide Consistent and Loving Care

Oliver is much more sensitive about being separated from me than he was as a baby, I resolve to continue being his primary caregiver, staying a stay at home mom.

Practice Positive Discipline

I haven’t needed to discipline Oliver so far, but I can feel this is coming, as he’s been pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable more and more frequently recently.  I resolve to practice positive discipline, not to spank, or use rewards or punishments to coerce behavior.

Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

This is probably the category I’ve been the worst at.  People ask why I don’t have photos of Oliver in my wallet, or have his picture in my cell phone.  Over the last 17 months, I’m pretty sure I haven’t been apart from Oliver for more than 24 hours total.  I don’t need pictures of him cause he’s almost always with me.  This year, I resolve to take more time for myself and to recognize that this will make me a better parent.  My husband gave me a full spa day with treatments for Christmas, so that should get me off to a great start.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Christina blogs about life at An American Expat in Deutschland and about parenting at Mamas Worldwide.

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