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Key Tips For Good Parenting
A child doesn’t know the difference between right or wrong. They are a black slate born into this world, who learn through observation and imitation. This is not just limited to learning to speak, or walk, but even something as ingrained as thoughts. It is these thoughts that become words, actions, habits and ultimately forms character. Thought is king, and building good thought process is key.
That’s why it is very important that children go through positive experiences. They need guidance to form the right thought process. Parents and family in general are a big part of this as children spend most of their time with their family. When children go through positive experiences, they form a positive mindset themselves. So play with them, laugh, solve problems together, or watch their favorite cartoon together. They will grow up sharing good bonds and memories with you.
Since children imitate and learn, a good role model is very important for their growth. Parents usually become their initial role models. That is why it’s very important to first become the person you want your child to become, which your child will inevitably copy. Actions speak louder than words. These are even louder for children as words mean lesser to them (especially smaller kids). If people around them do good things, they will too. Consistently doing the right thing around them is much more effective. Show, don’t tell. It takes time and patience, but things learnt during childhood stay with them longer too.
If they learnt to do something bad, hitting them or punishing them is never a good idea. They don’t know what’s right or wrong. Although it’s a quick method to stop them in the short run, it creates fear. All they learn is that you don’t like it, not that they were wrong. So they just try to avoid getting caught next time. It also teaches them that violence can accomplish personal desires which encourages them to get into fights or bully others to get what they want.
Simply lecturing or reasoning will not be very effective either. They can’t understand your point of view yet. They will start finding lectures useless and boring, which will lead them to ignore your valuable advise now and ultimately in the future as well.
Therefore, it’s better to communicate, and listening is a bigger part of it.You could simply listen to their story and ask them:
- What happened,
- How they felt because of it,
- How they responded, and
- What was the result
When they recall these experiences, their brain evolves. They get trained to better understand the situation by connecting the dots. They learn about actions and consequences. This is the basic foundation of understanding the difference between good and bad. Occasionally guide them where they could have done things differently after listening to them. Be consistent with your advise.
Listening also fosters goodwill between parents and children. Regular communication builds trust. That way, your child will not be shy from sharing problems with you. Show them love and support no matter what they do. Give them hugs, and accept them for who they are. A wise person once said, confidence is less “I can do anything” and more “I will be fine even if things don’t go well”. It’s the support from loved ones even during weakness that boosts confidence and helps us to rise up. Children are no different.
Don’t be scared of mistakes. Natural consequences experienced by children when they make mistakes can be a valuable teacher. Pain is good. Just give them moral support to learn from them and move on rather than breaking down. This means you need to trust your children more.
We are often overprotective of our children. This is often the case for bigger children who we still treat like smaller children. They are smarter, and stronger than we give them credit for. An average child has developed 90% of his/her brain by the age of 6. Stop holding their hands while walking. Give them more freedom. Let them get up on their own when they fall, but kiss their wounds when they get up. Teach them slowly, but surely, to be responsible for themselves.
The older children get, the lesser control we have on their life. They go to school, and make new friends. It’s better to build a solid mindset, so that they not only excel in any environment they get exposed to, but also contribute to a good environment for other children. It’s a difficult and slow process which can drain parents dry. So don’t forget to take care of yourself and your spouse. Healthy and happy parents nurture healthy and happy children.