Carry Your Kid – Everywhere
Psychology Today Magazine reports an interesting study done on monkeys into the affects of touch as it relates to mental health. The results are somewhat unsurprising; it boils down to this: monkeys go nuts if they aren’t touched. The more they are touched the better they perform. We all know that scientists don’t do tests on monkey because they’re cute; they do them because monkeys give us insight into our own behavior. This research validates a bigger argument that I’ve made repeatedly which is that there is no such thing as too much praise, love and affection when it comes to parenting. Psychologists have also done research into what makes some people confident and others not. What makes some people massively successful while others, no less intelligent, founder? Again, there is a common thread, and it is unconditional love from their parents. Unconditional love does not mean ignoring mistakes. It simply means that mistakes do not ever get in the way of a parents support. Withholding love as a manipulating device does much more harm than good.
Learn to Do Things One Handed:
Like monkeys, people have the ability to perform most tasks one handed. Our brains adapt us mentally and physically to take care of kids. I was scared I would be a bad parent before we had kids. Those fears were unfounded because I’ve done just fine. It hasn’t taken special classes or preparation. It has simply been a matter of letting my latent instincts take over. That’s my brain making adjustments for me, triggering skills I didn’t know I had. Learn to do things one handed. Carry your kid everywhere with you, and do it for two reasons. The first being that touch is vital for a child’s sense of self and belonging. The second is that there is no such thing as too much support, and holding your kid is the physical manifestation of your unconditional love.
Ever heard the one about the guy who raised a calf and picked it up every day of its growth? At what point was he not able to lift it? The same goes for kids. Get used to carrying them when they’re infants and there isn’t any reason you can’t do it when they’re 4 or 5. I know some parents long for the day that they can put their kid down to walk by himself. I would hold off on that. You only get the chance to carry him for a few years. Take advantage of the time you have. You also know now that carrying your kid is not spoiling him. It is actually you giving him self confidence and security.
I think experts are generally overrated. But, I am also a scientifically minded person who respects evidence. I especially like evidence that supports what I already think – who doesn’t? This is one of those times that I can shrug and say, “Yeah, I knew that already.” Nevertheless, it is comforting to know that my parenting instincts are in tune with what we scientifically know. What we know is that monkeys go crazy without physical contact. We know successful businessmen all cite their parents’ unconditional support as a main factor in their prosperity. And, lastly, we know that people’s minds trigger latent abilities when the need arises. I think that makes a pretty good case for going with your instincts and picking up the kid.