Just For My Baby
by LuAnn Pierce, MSW, CMSW
During your first year of life I will try to . . .
- make myself emotionally available to you so you can experience intimacy.
- nurture and preserve the attachment between us to prepare
you for secure relationships the rest of your life.
- make you feel secure and cared for so you will trust
- ensure your safety and protection so you will know that
you can rely on me to take care of you.
- meet your physical needs consistently so you can enjoy
- reinforce your worth as an individual so you will value
- talk to you so you will value communication.
During your early childhood I will try to . . .
- teach you what is right so you will grow up to be of good
- set clear boundaries so you will have a clear
understanding of your own boundaries.
- expose you to new things so you will learn tolerance and
- encourage you to try new things so you will not be afraid
to explore and learn things unknown.
- model perseverance so you will know the importance of not
- provide you with structure so you learn the importance of
routines and reliability.
- teach you to make choices and solve problems so you will
become an independent thinker.
- discipline you as needed so you will learn self control.
- interact with others in an appropriate manner so you
learn good interpersonal skills.
- treat you fairly so you will treat others with fairness.
- teach you moderation so you can avoid over indulgence.
- show you how to share with others so you will be a giver
- respect you so you will respect yourself, others, your
belongings and the environment.
- foster autonomy so you will learn to be interdependent.
- encourage spontaneity without impulsiveness.
- interact positively with the people I know and meet so
you will learn to relate to others in a positive manner.
- reinforce the importance of caring and empathy by caring
for and showing empathy toward everyone.
During your middle childhood I will try to . . .
- teach you new skills so you will master your surroundings
and develop self confidence.
- foster your creativity so you will learn to express
- encourage you to always try your best so you will have a
sense of pride.
- help you accept your strengths and weaknesses so you will
forgive yourself and others when you fall short.
- model kindness and service toward others so you will
learn to be a good citizen and neighbor.
- manage my time and uphold appropriate priorities so you
will learn to live a balanced, principled life.
- correct you as needed so you learn self discipline.
- learn from my failures so you will know that failure is
an opportunity to grow.
- think things through and process those related to your
well being with you so you will learn to process things
and think critically.
- give you the information you need to make informed
choices and allow you to learn from the consequences of
- honor diversity so you will learn acceptance and
- teach you to accept and love your body as it is so you
will value yourself as a unique individual.
- model flexibility so you will learn to adapt to change.
- encourage you to express your disappointment and grieve
During your preteen years I will try to . . .
- value you as a multi dimensional person so you will see
the many aspects that make you unique.
- encourage you to express your feelings honestly by
talking about my feelings openly when appropriate.
- set an example of healthy relationships with peers and
partners so you will learn to relate well to others.
- teach you responsible behavior that preserves your self
esteem and promotes your health and safety.
- help you learn to care for the changing physical needs of
- teach you about your sexuality so you will see yourself
as a whole person with natural, healthy sexual instincts.
During your teen years I will try to . . .
- offer guidance without dominance so you can practice
- respect your decisions so you can learn from them.
- support your rights without taking away the
responsibility of your actions.
- monitor your choices to teach you to self assess.
- foster independence without completely letting go.
- allow mutual dependence without dependency.
- validate your feelings without questioning them.
- encourage your individuality so you can reach your full
- trust your judgment knowing that I have taught you well.
LuAnn Pierce is a licensed social worker and therapist, as well as an
author and publisher. She has worked with hundreds of youths and families
in the last 15 years. Ms. Pierce writes columns for several other
publications and is the publisher/editor-in-chief of Person to Person.
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