Monday, April 6, 2009

Babywise- my first parenting guide

When I was pregnant with my first baby, my sister-in-law gave me a book called, On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo.  I have been so grateful for this book and for the help it gave me!  I am really grateful I had such a sister-in-law who would care enough to give it to me.  Thank you!   I would have done things so much differently.  My cousin said there is a great blog that talks about all of these books.  See my blog list for the link.  (If you have found other great parenting blogs please share)  There is several books in the series: Babywise, Babywise II, Childwise.  I read the other books but didn't agree with a lot of the discipline ideas.  But for the first book, I re-read this book so many times, mine is falling apart.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is having a baby for the first or 10th time.  I will discuss more about why I love this book in later posts.  
I would like to first discuss what I feel should be the first priority of parenting.  
Reading the first chapter of Babywise, I knew this was the book for me.  It just made so much sense.  Chapter One is called "Your Baby needs a Family".   A few statements I love...  "The husband-wife union is not just a good first step towards child-rearing.  It is a necessary one.  The greatest overall influence you will have on your children will not come in your role as an individual parent, but in your joint role as husband and wife.  Great marriages produce great parents."  pg 19-20.  When your children know that you and your husband are a team, security felt within your child.  The book gives 5 ideas to help not make your life child-centered.  1.  Life doesn't stop once you have a baby 2.  Date your spouse 3.  Continue those loving gestures you enjoyed before the baby came along 4. Invite some friends over for food and fellowship 5. At the end of the day, spend 15 min. sitting with your spouse discussing the day's events (with your children awake).  pg 26-27
I like these ideas.  We have tried to do the 15 min sitting but we have adjusted this to dinner time and we all share things with each other as a family.  
Some of the things my husband and I do to keep our marriage strong and helps our children know we love each other...  1.  We make an effort to not talk bad or degrade our spouse in front of our children or friends.  Even joking comments can be very harmful.  2. We sit next to each other in church and have our children on the sides of us and not in between.  3. We try to go on a date with each other weekly, I just need to have some fun with him and remind me why I married him.  4. If our spouse makes a decision, we back each other up.  If we disagree talk to them about it in private. 5. When we are talking together our children know they need to wait and not interrupt us.   6. Pray for each other and with each other for strength.
"To excel in parenting, protect your marriage." pg 27  Please share your ideas, through comments, that has helped you and your spouse keep your marriage a priority.    Comments were doing something funky so I think I fixed it.  


  1. Sandra Said: Hey Heather, I tried to post a comment on your newest post but it didn't have a link to comment. I haven't read that book but it sounds like a great one. The one I've been reading is called Everyday Parents Raising Great Kids. It's by James D. MacArthur. The thing I like about this book is that it tries yo get you to think about your way of parenting. You rate yourself on questions like I am Mild or I am stubborn and write the effect you have on your family. There are a ton of questions trying to figure out how you parent and where you got your parenting skills from (Mom or Dad, others) I hope that makes sense. I wish Kevin and I were a little better on the weekly dates but were not in a swap group anymore so it's getting expensive to get babysitters. We probably go out every other week.

  2. Great post! I really like the weeks Jared and I can sit next to each other in church - I want to make it more regular! I read an article in my BYU Magazine today that had these ideas I liked: Stop and discuss as a couple ways you can work as a team - utilizing strengths. When you want to bring something to your marriage do it with persuasion "I would really like it if we could do this..." instead of "we have to.." Keep moving forward - avoid stagnation, keep learning. 5 Magic Hours/Week - a weekly date, a stress-reducing conversation at the end of each day and a daily act that communicates appreciation and affection. Thanks again for making me think about this in my life.

  3. I love the idea of saying, "I would really like it if we could do this...." It would lead into of a discussion that our husbands would welcome. I really like the idea of daily acts of communication and affection. Thanks for the great ideas!
    I'm going to have to check out this book by MacArthur, it looks like a good one.


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