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ABC’S OF PARENTING SERIES

The fourteenth part of our ABC’s of Parenting Series is The letter N.

The letter N has a full range of words that relate to Parenting! Below is a small list that we think are important while dealing with our kids. We have included our thoughts, tips and tricks related to the letter N. 

Name

Naming your child can be such a challenge. Do you go unique or do you stick with classic? Do you use a family name or perhaps name your child after your best friend from 3rd grade?

Have you ever met someone and just known their name based on your first impression? Does it seem like all the Ally’s you have ever met have similar personalities? Do you consider how certain people made you feel, and avoid naming your child because of it?

When we started thinking about names, we looked at a lot of books and lists. We googled all the common phrases, “unique baby names”, “classic baby names”, “strong baby names”. We listed off names of people from our lives, we looked at family genealogy, we thought about many different styles.

Naming a person feels like a big responsibility. It is something another human will be called for the entire time they are alive. We really tried to think of names that someone would be proud of.

When you think about naming your children, what do you think about? Do you enjoy bold names or do you lean towards common ones? We seem to have gone the more unique direction and our kids seem pretty content with the names they were given. Anders Laurice, Wylder Raef and Aaiko Olive Attean, the trinity of Savage children. 

Nap

Sleep is rare once you have kids. Learn to take naps when you can find the time. I wish I was better about napping. It is pretty rare these days that I make the time for them. When I had an infant though, I napped. Infants don’t really sleep for long amounts of time so if you can get yourself to embrace sleeping for short periods of time but more often, you will benefit and so will your family. That doesn’t just go for the mom, that goes for the dad too. Sleep is so important for a healthy mind and body.

Teaching your children to enjoy naps is a great thing too. They need the sleep just as much as you need the break. Both of you get to rejuvenate. Of course you can’t nap every time your child is napping, nothing would get done. But, knowing you have the option and allowing yourself to take it on occassion can be a really great way to replenish your energy levels.

Natural

Natural instincts and natural remedies. Both are important concepts in parenting.

Natural instincts are a very real thing. If you can tune into your senses it will come in handy with raising your children and keeping them safe. I could be wrong, but I think we all have the internal knowledge that happens. If you feel like you should check on your babies, get up and do it. Sometimes our minds know when something is going to happen and our instincts kick in so we can stop it.

Natural remedies exist for so many things. We have dealt with colds by putting cut potatoes in our socks. We have soothed coughs and sore throats by using honey, used white vinegar on ears to stop an ear infection from happening. There are many ways to deal with health issues without going to your nearest drug store.  Of course, there are times when medical interventions are needed, but not always.  It seems that our natural insticts kick in when the natural remedies are not enough.

Navigation

What do you use for a compass to navigate through this crazy world with kids? Do you have a true north? A place or a person to bring you back around when you are feeling lost? If you think of it, we are always moving in a direction.  There are many techniques to get you heading the right way.

As we navigate through parenting and the raising of our children we use many techniques to redirect. Sometimes east isn’t working so we change it up and head west. Navigating through the developmental stages of our kids seems to be a constant shift. We change course regularly as we find new tactics to deal with new challenges.

Neccessary

There are so many neccessary things in parenting. It is a huge undertaking to determine what is necessary. The baby industry is huge. You can find products for just about anything, but are they necessary?

Diapers, wipes, food, clean clothes, shelter and love are necessary. But, what else is? Keeping our children safe from harm and dangers. Setting boundries and expectations. Building a loving relationship built on mutual respect.

The marketing departments would like you to believe it is necessary to have cameras in every room and heart beat detectors in their jammies. While those are great inventions, are they necessary?  They also want you to believe your kids won’t be smart if you don’t buy the best educational toys. Do you really think that is true?

As parents, we have to determine what is necessary. We have to look at the needs of our kids and meet them.

Need

Our children have needs, but so do we.  There is a fine balance in whose needs should be met and in what order.

Some people will say your kids needs should always be met first yet others will tell you to meet your own needs before anyone elses. Then, there are those people who fall in between. Those who have almost a rating system for needs and prioritize based on the need and not the person.

Where do you fall in that? Are you far to one side or somewhere in the middle? Do you meet all your kids needs first or meet your own? We love to meet our kids needs but also recognize that our needs sometimes have to come first. Balance is what we strive for.

Negotiations

We love the saying, “I don’t negotiate with terrorists”, but lets face it, we have to negotiate with these kids sometimes. It seems they quickly become masters at negotiations. They are sly at times and a bit manipulative.

As the kids learn to get their needs met they learn how to make it happen. They find what works and they perfect it.

It is important to establish the negotiables and the non-negotiables. Be prepared for tantrums and to be able to give a hard no at times. Sometimes though, it is okay to bend and negotiate. Giving in on occasion can teach your kids that they have good thoughts and ideas too.

Neighborly

I know it is different everywhere in the world but we have tried to show our kids how to be good neighbors. There are many ways to be a positive and helpful neighbor. Taking an extra minute or two of your time to do something kind around where you live.

Picking up the trash the wind blew out of the recycling, dropping off a pie, helping with an outside chore. There are so many ways to establish yourselves and your family as productive in your neighborhood.

Nice

If you want your children to be nice, you have to show them how to be nice. By leading by example, our kids usually follow in our footsteps. When they see us smile at others in the street and when they notice our extra care and attention to a person or animal, they learn to do the same.

We can’t expect our kids to be nice if they don’t have role models showing them how. When they hear us with road rage in the car or making snide remarks at people in the grocery store, you can almost guarantee that is how they will treat others. Yet when they see us being patient on the road and helpful to others in stores, they will learn to do the same in school and at day care.

No

The most powerful word that drives the most emotions. My least favorite word. I don’t like hearing it and I don’t like saying it. No is so definitive, it is so concrete.

You have to be able to use it, but you can’t over use it. There are many other ways to say no to your children, without saying no. When something does not need a concrete response you can try an alternative – Not right now, I don’t think that is a good idea, It’s not the right time.

If you want your answer of No to be powerful and effective, save it for those times when it is absolutely necessary. If you save it for those times, it will have more power and more weight.

Nocturnal

No sleep once darkness hits.  It depends on the child, but for some this is a reality. A very frustrating reality.

Of our three kids we have one who doesn’t like to sleep at night. She is up all night it seems. From the time she was an infant to this day, almost four years old.

It is difficult to stay calm sometimes, because I am not noturnal. I like my sleep and honestly need 8 hours to feel good the next day.

Being sleep deprived is no joke. It can effect your immune system and your mood. If you can, ask for help from someone to get some much needed rest.

N is for Nocturnal

Noisy

Kids are noisy by nature. They like to bang pots and pans and yell and carry on. They cry too loud and they laugh obnoxiously.

Parents often learn to tune out some of the noise. Not reacting, when there is no danger present, can help reduce the noise. Kids are often looking for attention by being noisy. When you don’t give it to them, it can make them stop better than any other tactic.

How do you deal with noisy kids? Do you enjoy it and join in on the fun or does it annoy you to no end?

Normal

Finding a normal for your family is what provides structure and discipline. Children thrive on routine and do really well when there is consistency in their lives. Having a normal wake up time, a normal dinner time, and a normal bedtime really lays out a good foundation for normalcy.

It is important to remember that what is normal in your family, might not be the same for another family.  Remembering our norm is not everyone elses is a great way to teach your children how to appreciate the differences we see around us.

Noticing

We always have to pay attention and always have to be noticing the times our kids are off.  The more in tune we are with the surroundings, the more we notice, the faster we can adapt to our kids needs.

We need to notice the changes, we need to see the good, the bad and the ugly. The more we notice, the more supported our children feel. Our kids notice when we notice. We learn to accept each other through this awareness.

Nutrition

Healthy with a balance of not so healthy, is our motto. We strive for a balance in most everything. With nutrition there are a lot of things to consider. So many things to avoid: GMOs and pesticides for example. There are also so many things to push: water, vitamins and minerals, exercise and self care are just a few.

It seems like kids who are not allowed sugar at home will find it elsewhere. When deprived of all the not so healthy foods, kids tend to seek it out and overindulge when they do get access to it.

As with so many other aspects of parenting, finding a healthy balance seems to be a good option.

What is your favorite parenting word that starts with the letter N? Feel free to share in the comments any words you love that begin with the letter N.

NEXT UP – THE LETTER O

BACK TO – THE LETTER M

Newborn sleep patterns: A survival quide for the science minded parent is a great article on parentingscience.com. Be sure to check out this great article if you want to learn more about newborns and their sleep! Newborns, another great word for the letter N.

The Mayo Clinic has a great article called “Nutrition for Kids: Guidelines for a healthy diet.” You might really enjoy it if you want ot further your learning on words starting with the letter N.