Category Archives: Parenting Advice

Teaching Kids Honesty

Honesty is such an important value and I stumbled across a blog entry today from Kids Activities Blog about teaching your child honesty. It made me think about how honesty is valued here in Peru. I have found that people here would rather save face and not show up to something and then give an excuse instead of being honest. This has happened to me multiple times with parents who go as far as to set up a meeting with me about violin lessons and then don´t show without as much as a phone call. When I do finally get in touch with the person, I get excuse after excuse. I would be a much happier person if you just told me that you don´t think lessons are a possibility right now for whatever reason.

This, of course, does not mean that all Peruvians are excuse makers and liars but there is a tendency to give excuses and I experienced more of it when I lived in Cusco. Often, there was a whiney voice to go along with it. I understand if something happens that wasn´t expected but you can tell me in a normal voice. Upping the pitch of your voice does not make me empathize more with you. I respect when someone tells me the truth and I keep that in mind for future reference. I do not hold grudges but I will be much happier to work with someone who takes responsibility and tries his or her best. I only hope to pass this value along to my children and this excellent post has provided some first clues as to how to go about doing it.


Expats Giving Birth in Peru

Last night I had the pleasure of going to a meeting of future moms who are going to give birth in Peru and moms who gave birth here. It was coordinated by a wonderful expat group that I am a part of made up of expat moms. I am a part of various expat groups and I am really happy to have been able to join this one. It has already proved itself to be a wonderful network of resources and connection. Not only is it nice to be able to connect with other expat moms, it will be great when my baby is old enough for play dates and has the opportunity to hang out with other English-speaking kids.

Anyway, the chat was held at one future mother’s apartment in San Isidro and in total there were 7 expecting moms and 2 moms who participated. We all shared how far along we were, what clinic we are planning on using, fears and expectations, and general information.

The majority of us are in our second or third trimester with one at 11 weeks and something I keep reminding myself is that every woman’s body is different so 27 weeks for one person may look like 20 on one person and 35 on another. I feel like I look like I am 8 months pregnant some days and other days I feel like I am at 6 but comparing really doesn’t do any good. The most important thing is that the woman feels healthy right?

In terms of clinics it was really interesting hearing where everyone was planning their birth and how their doctors have attended to them so far. The clinics that the women are using are San Felipe, Monte Sur, Americana and Good Hope. I am the only one planning on using Pakarii, or a birthing center that isn’t a clinic. One of the mom’s who gave birth here used Pakarii for her first birth but opted for a c-section the second time around because of complications from the first. Respect.

For some reason I thought that clinics didn’t take the baby away right away after being born but that is standard protocol here. I thought it was more like that in the States but from what the other women said it is not. I was also surprised to hear that episiotomies are pretty routine here as well. (C-sections are also at 80% in clinics here which is insane!) One expecting mom expressed her concern that her doctor would perform one unnecessarily on her against her wishes. I sure hope not. I hope her husband and her doula stand up for her and her wishes. Another woman said she heard that there is hair stylist and nail specialist for the mothers at Clinica Monte Sur. That cracked us up. Of course every woman has got to look fabulous when leaving the clinic with her newborn. 🙂

One of the best things that the moms who gave birth here said was how the husbands or partners should be on the same page as you and that when push comes to shove, stand up for the decisions that the mom made and wants to stick by. Sure, there are always exceptions but in general I totally agree. I think that the more informed the dad or partner is, the better. Who knows what kind of mental state I will be in when things start to hurt a lot. I am comforted by the fact that my husband will be there the entire time ready to do whatever necessary. We have had lots of discussions about possibly scenarios but in the end we have no idea what could possibly or possibly not happen and for that reason we are pretty relaxed. We will worry about things as they come.

Another thing that I didn’t think about was a pediatrician. In the clinics the doctor is only there to help with the birth of the child and then after that a pediatrician takes over and is in charge of the baby after it is born. One of the daughters of a mom was born 6 weeks early so she was taken to the neonatal intensive care at the clinic Monte Sur and she said was very happy with the care that her daughter received. I hope that all goes well and that I am able to give birth naturally and at the birthing center instead of having to deal with neonatal care and clinics but if it comes to it, I know that the EsSalud hospital Rebagliati has excellent services.

I have to admit that I have been pretty relaxed about my pregnancy and I haven’t stressed too much about all the possible problems that could arise. I believe the more one worries and thinks about that kind of stuff, the more one is attracting it. If I stress out about all the things that could go wrong I would definitely cause my body to stress out and that surely isn’t good for my baby. While listening to other’s birth stories or worries I just kept in mind that it is not something that I have to take on as a worry unless I want to and everyone is entitled to have their worries and fears about birth and raising kids. That is completely normal and makes us human. I am super grateful to have found this group of ladies and know that we are all in the same boat. It is so exciting!

Advice from Parents

I have yet to get the onslaught of advice from people about what I should and shouldn’t do when it comes to raising my kids but I am sure it will pick up as soon as my baby actually gets here. People love to give advice no matter what culture they live in but I know for a fact that here in Peru it can be even more overwhelming. I will make sure to tell you all about it when I get some good stories.

I subscribe to a blog called Kids Activities Blog and there was a post today about advice from Facebook followers and I really liked some of them.

Keep a journal/book of notable things your kids do or say – next year they’ll be a year older, have done a years worth of things, and we can only remember so much. -Dan

My mom gave us a journal so we could write anecdotes and things about our baby. I have used it twice to write letters to her. I think I might give it to her along with a baby book when she is older and able to appreciate it.

Read to your kids when you are pregnant and read to them every day for as long as they allow. – Linda

It makes me happy to know that I am not crazy for already reading the children’s books I have found out loud. (I wasn’t actually thinking about if my baby could hear me at the time but now I might do it a bit more.)

Never say “I can’t wait for the next thing!” Enjoy each and every step in their development. Today you have a baby but blink and they are toddlers. – Jennifer

Living in the moment is something I think everyone would like to do as much as possible but I am sure that when you are stressed out and sleep deprived it is really hard not to think about how much you would like your kid to be out of their current stage. We can still strive to follow this advice though right?

To see the full list that was in the original post check out Over 100 Parenting Tips & Advice from Real Parents