Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Parent to Parent: Kid Guilt
Having another child means less time for the first and more responsibility for moms and dads. But there are ways to make sure every kid gets the attention they need.
WSVN--It's a life long sentence, some adults can't break free of: parental guilt.
Susan Linning is no exception.
This Coconut Grove mom juggles two year old max, five-month-old Savannah, and helps run the family business.
But before Savannah was even born, Susan got blindsided by guilt.
Susan Linning: "I felt like I was never going to have enough time for the second child."
Then as the due date approached.
Susan Linning: "I remember the night before Savannah was born I went in and stood over my sleeping little boy and just cried over him and just thought 'Oh...' I started feeling even more guilty then I thought I'm not going to have enough time for him."
To avoid that feeling, Dr. Debbie encourages parents to set realistic expectations by not spreading themselves too thin.
It's okay if your children don't have identical experiences.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "What your kids are looking for is that you're attending to them, you're attune to them, that you're committed to helping meet there needs and be there for them and so if every child, if each of their days doesn't look identical and if one day you're spending a little bit more time with one and a little less with the other, chances are it'll reverse and catch up on the next day."
You can also include your older child by asking them to take on some responsibility.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "Allow your older one to help burp the baby or hand you a fresh diaper when changing the baby. These are all opportunities to create a new normal for your schedule and create a new way to distribute your time and your attention."
Also, set aside a few minutes a day to spend time with the child you feel needs a little more attention.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "Find special moments where you can take one out to the park alone or when you can have some quiet time with one or take a walk while you're other one is with the other parent or a trusted family member or friend."
Plus remember, a second child also has a built in playmate so you may not to be as involved.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "The fact of the matter is, while there's more than enough love to go around as we grow our family."
Susan's learned to juggle both of her kids needs.
With some family help, she has a lot less guilt and a lot more love to go around.
Susan Linning: "My mother told me, she said you will find this ability to love the second child like just your heart just grows and it does. It's amazing. It's just lovely how it all works out. And you end up finding space for both of them."
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Debbie says if you follow this advice, but you're still feeling overwhelmed or guilty, make sure you seek professional help."
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. DEBBIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
DR. DEBBIE GLASSER'S WEBSITE: