Glade Curtis, MD, is an accomplished author who has helped millions of moms and dads prepare for pregnancy and parenting issues with his best-selling works. Here’s what he has to say about child development and parenting.
You’ve written several books on parenting, including “Your Pregnancy for the Father to Be,” “Your Pregnancy Week by Week,” “Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week,” and 14 other titles in the “Your Pregnancy” series. What is the one thing you think parents should know about your work?
My co-author and I speak from personal experience; between the two of us we have 6 kids and 12 grandchildren. We love them dearly and are very involved in their lives.
What are your feelings about the role of the father in child development?
He is extremely important. I believe the father can begin to bond with the baby during pregnancy, before birth. Give the time necessary to be involved, even if it means missing work, school, or other responsibilities.
What is the best thing dads can do in the raising of their children?
Be involved. Read, learn and be an active participant. If you don’t know how to help or what you can do – ask your partner, go to visits with the doctors and ask questions. Meet the OB/GYN, pediatrician or family physician caring for your family
What is the biggest error dads can make in raising their children?
Not realizing the unique opportunity they have during the miracle of pregnancy, delivery and with a newborn. Things change so fast and kids grow up faster. Treasure these moments – take the time to record things that happen with photos and even a journal. Write down your feelings and thoughts about events and milestones.
It’s been said that the greatest regret aging men have is that they didn’t spend more time with their kids. How do you feel about that statement?
Kids can be funny, frustrating, hilarious, maddening and more – but time goes by. By taking photos, videos and recording your thoughts and feelings, at a later time you can reflect and remember these precious times. Many couples, moms and dads have said to me that they regret not spending more time with their newborn and very young children.
Every generation worries that their kids aren’t strong enough to handle the real world. Do you feel kids need to be “toughened up” by experiencing rough times?
Parents should do for their kids what they think is best. This includes teaching and nurturing. Children need to know a sense of security, who they can depend on and where they can get help.
Or conversely, do you think kids need to be smothered with love to give them storehouse of good feelings with which to deal with the inevitable challenges of life in the real world?
I think that a sense of security, support and love for a child are essential. Each child is different and their needs are different as they go through life. At times love and good feelings are the answer, parents can help with the challenges of the real world knowing their children. By being involved with a child from very early on, parents can know how to best help, teach, and guide them. The goal is for children to learn these skills with the help of mom and dad.