One of the most exciting times during my years in practice is that I am now just beginning to see some of my first patients return with their own precious newborns. I get to be the “grandmother” pediatrician. Does this make me sound old or what? Regardless, it is so fun to walk into the room and see a strangely familiar yet older face holding their brand new baby!! (The new parents are probably saying the same thing about me J). It is equally fun for me as these are also the first grandchildren of my own friends and they are often joining the family for the first visits to the pediatrician. Multi-generational.
Now that I have about 20 of these precious “grandbabies” to take care of I am really enjoying watching their parents as they “parent” their own children. I must tell you, they are all really doing a great job. Although some of these new parents were not the “easiest” tween and teen themselves, they have all “grown up” and matured and are making fabulous young parents. They even have to laugh with me sometimes as we talk about their own “past issues” while watching their toddler through a grand tantrum in the exam room. Although their own tantrums may have been at an older age, they already see the similarity between toddlers and teens. Remember the saying, “what goes around comes around”, I am getting to watch it in real time.
The thing that I am most impressed with is that this group of young parents really seems to be grounded in what I like to call “moderate” parenting. They are not subscribing to the “attachment parenting” or “extreme parenting” notions, but rather seem to be seeking the middle ground when it comes to how they want to parent their own children. They are good listeners and are open and receptive to ideas and strategies for parenting.
Here are a few examples: They are immunizing their own children, just like they had been immunized 20 years or more ago. They have been well informed and researched the data and believe as I do that immunizations save lives.
Most of the new mothers are breast feeding some for weeks, some for months often dependent on their return to work and flexibility in pumping etc. They are throwing away bottles at 1 year, and insisting that their children become milk rather than juice drinkers. Many are making a lot of their own baby foods and are committed to providing healthy nutrition for the long haul for their children. They too are worried about the increasing numbers of obese children and feel that their generation can turn the tide. I am behind them 100%!
I am also watching them as some of their babies are becoming toddlers and they are already setting age appropriate limits and boundaries. They want to raise responsible and well behaved children (knowing that they too will not have perfect children but who does?).
So stay tuned as we follow this second generation. I am honored and humbled to continue to get to be a part of their families.
That’s your daily dose for today. We’ll chat again tomorrow.