Before and above everything else, remember that a baby learns from copying. It is natural for the baby to speak and act what he or she has heard or seen. [highlight]try not to discourage your baby from the act of copying[/highlight] only because he is picking up on a couple of bad habits.
Since so many good habits are a mandatory part of etiquettes they often go unnoticed and don’t get encouraged even when a child cultivates them.
Set good examples for your baby to copy and consciously prevent yourself from doing something wrong, however cool, in front of your baby. Something as simple as rubbing your sweat on your sleeve instead of fetching a towel and wiping it out might encourage your baby to believe that sweat is meant to be rubbed on the sleeve instead of wiped down. Every time your baby sweats you will find him rubbing it off on his sleeves.
[box type=”note”]Well, nobody said raising a baby was going to be easy![/box]
Here is how you can successfully discourage your baby from some common bad habits.
You will never be able to pin point why and how your baby picked up this habit; all you will notice one day is that your baby is sucking on his thumb and trying to give you a half-toothed grin at the same time.
Sucking on the thumb is not only harmful because of the number of germs your baby will ingest but also because it interferes with the natural growth of teeth causing them to grow crooked.
The easiest way to discourage your baby from thumb sucking is to apply a slight amount of horrible tasting solution, which is safe for consumption on the thumb of your baby. The disgusting taste of the solution should discourage him from sucking his thumb.
Make eye contact
Every time your baby does something which is bad, look him in the eye sternly and tell him you are displeased with him. Say a firm no and tell your baby why the particular act was bad. It is not going to work in the first go and you are going to have to be persistent with it. Remember to discourage bad behavior. Your baby might try it a second and a third time just to check whether your reaction varies every time.
Keep your displeasure consistent. You can add certain words and actions to express your displeasure. For example, fold your hands over your chest and say, “Mommy is unhappy, she won’t play with you.” And don’t play with your baby till he or she says or does something to express regret. Be gentle but firm.
Control the television
Quite often parents leave the television on and go about their usual businesses of setting the house right or cleaning up. What they do not realize is that the baby is watching. As adults we realize that a standup comedian digging his nose and wiping it on the sleeve of an anchor or guest is exaggerated comedy to evoke some laughs.
As a baby, all your child notices is that the act of digging the nose and smearing it on someone else’s sleeves was rewarded with laughter. You haven’t even noticed it but your baby has made a habit out of it. Make it a point of turning off your television when you are not watching. Control the quality of content your baby is exposed to on the television. Make sure your baby is watching a kid’s channel.
[box type=”tick” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Never forget that your baby learns from watching and observing.[/box]
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