by Carol Sikma

When our first child was born, my mother said my husband and I should come to my parents’ home for the first week or so, in order for her to help me. While I appreciated her help, in retrospect, I believe it would have been better for us to have gone to our own apartment and to have been on our own, stumbled perhaps, even made mistakes, and hopefully relied on God as parents from the very beginning.

My recommendation is that new parents learn to care for their child themselves. Ask your mother or mother-in-law or other experienced ladies when you are uncertain about something. But before you ask another person, ask the Holy Spirit to put into your mind how to handle a situation. He may do that or still direct you to someone else to put the advice into audible words. Give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to teach you. “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you.…” (Luke 12:12)

Our children came all at one time—well, not all at the same time. Our five arrived in six and one-half years! I found myself asking the Holy Spirit many times a day what to do or what to say. I came to remind God of His promise that I referred to previously: “For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (Luke 12:12)

Let your Spirit-filled heart show God’s love to your little ones. Get in the habit of singing to your child. In the earliest days, it is an excellent way to get his attention. If you have been in the habit of singing while you were expecting, the advantage is all yours as he will respond to familiar sounds. I like to recommend singing Scripture songs in your home or car as this will be in the child’s mind before it is understood. A singing heart is a happy heart. Your child will pick up on the joy and happiness you have.