Thursday, May 2, 2013

Parent Time

Parenting an infant is one of the most exciting and fulfilling opportunities of a lifetime. At the same time, it can be one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. Research has shown that babies as young as one month old can sense and will be affected by a parent who is depressed or angry. Finding the delicate balance between the new parents’ needs and the baby’s needs is very important.

Experts recommend a number of helpful strategies for couples who are new parents. First, couples should share expectations. It is important to talk to each other about parental roles and what each other needs from their partner. Next, keeping open channels of communication is critical. Make time to talk to one another and be aware of how each partner is doing in the transition to parenthood. According to Dr. Millie Ferrer at the University of Florida, having both parents involved in the caregiving of their newborn will affect their marital satisfaction.

Next, new parents need to keep a positive attitude. Couples need to continue to work on solutions to possible problems before they get out of hand. Finally, new parents should also remain open to the help and support of friends and family. Their support can assist not only in the physical and mental well-being of new parents, but they can also provide an excellent caring network for the new child as well.

Source: Suzanna Smith for Family Album Radio, Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida

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