Raising children may be the most daunting and fulfilling task one can undertake. From the moment they utter their first cry to the time they take on all the responsibilities of being an adult, a parent is constantly plagued by the uncertainty of how their child will turn out. This article aims to offer a viewpoint and some assistance to help parents navigate the toughest and most rewarding job they will ever have.
Do Parenting Styles Even Matter?
Parenting is essentially learning on the job while facing a steep learning curve. Investing in “new school” resources such as classes, books, DVDs, and Internet sites can provide valuable information and support. Traditionally, parenting advice was passed down from extended family members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and close relatives. However, this “old school” approach sometimes resulted in unsolicited guidance and value judgments. Although modern society presents numerous options for doing things right, the best advice is to trust one’s instincts. There may be various ways to handle a situation or issue. Parents must bear in mind that children possess remarkable resilience and can thrive despite their parents, who did the same in their own time.
Principles of Good Parenting
During the first few weeks of their life, children learn primarily through visual observation, followed by tactile exploration as they reach and put objects in their mouths. Crawling enables them to continue this learning process. Verbal comprehension doesn’t play a significant role in their learning style until around the age of one. Effective parenting involves providing a safe environment for children to develop at their own pace. While parenting can be tiring, the goal is to encourage progressive independence in a nurturing environment. Children must mature to become independent of this supportive system. Despite its perceived simplicity, parenting can be complex and frustrating at times.
9 Valuable Parenting Tips to Raise Healthy, Kind Kiddos
Discover nine valuable tips on parenting that can enhance your “big picture” parenting skills and avoiding negative parenting practices.
A lot of them are neither fast nor simple.
It is unlikely that anyone can perform all in all situations, so be kind to yourself and know you have many opportunities to use these. Even if you only follow some of the advice some of the time, you will still be making progress in the right direction as long as you continue to work on it.
#1 BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL
Don’t just tell your child what to do, instead, demonstrate it by setting an example and taking action.
Demonstration is the most effective approach to instruct.
One reason why humans are unique is their ability to acquire knowledge through imitation. Humans have a natural tendency to mimic others’ actions, comprehend them, and integrate them into their own behavior. Children, in particular, observe their parents’ every move with great attention.
If you want your child to be a certain way, then you need to model that behavior. This includes exhibiting respect towards them, having a positive demeanor and mindset, and being understanding towards their feelings. Ultimately, your child will mimic your actions.
#2: LOVE THEM AND SHOW THEM THROUGH ACTION
Express your affection.
Loving your child excessively does not exist as it cannot cause them to become spoiled.
A spoiled child is the result of substituting genuine love with material indulgence, leniency, low expectations, and over-protection. It is only the things that you do or give in the name of love that hold the potential to create such an outcome.
Expressing affection towards your child doesn’t always require grand gestures. It can be as simple as embracing them, devoting undivided attention to them, sharing meals as a family, and attentively addressing their concerns.
Demonstrating love through these actions may initiate the secretion of positive neurotransmitters like oxytocin. These chemicals can provide us with a profound sense of tranquility, emotional affection, and satisfaction; furthermore, your child will cultivate resilience and strengthen their bond with you.
#3: PRACTICE KIND AND FIRM POSITIVE PARENTING
At birth, an infant possesses roughly 100 billion brain cells known as neurons, yet they have minimal connections. These connections form our thoughts, steer our behaviors, mold our characters, and essentially define who we are as individuals. Over time, these connections are forged, reinforced, and “molded” by our encounters throughout life.
To enable your child to have positive experiences and share them with others, it is crucial to provide them with positive family interactions, particularly during their early years.
If you subject your child to negative experiences, it may hinder their ability to flourish appropriately.
Sing a goofy tune, engage in a tickling session, visit the park, share laughter with your child, offer them affirming attention, navigate an emotional outburst alongside them, work together to conquer a challenge with a positive outlook.
The favorable encounters establish favorable neural pathways in your offspring’s brain, generating enduring recollections of you in your child’s mind.
Maintaining a positive attitude in discipline can be challenging, particularly when confronted with misbehavior. However, by employing positive disciplinary methods and steering clear of harsh ones, it is feasible.
To be a responsible parent, one must impart to their child the values of distinguishing between right and wrong.
Consistency and establishing boundaries are crucial for effective discipline. When setting rules, it is important to be both empathetic and unwavering. Consider the underlying causes of the child’s misbehavior and use it as an opportunity for growth and improvement, rather than punishment for past mistakes. Use positive reinforcement to encourage better behavior in the future.
#4: BE A SAFE HAVEN FOR YOUR CHILD
Communicate to your child that you are available to them at all times by being attentive to their cues and considerate of their wants. Embrace and validate your child as a unique person. Create a comfortable and secure environment for your child to venture out from and come back to.
When parents are consistently responsive, their children often experience improved development in emotional regulation, social skills, and mental health outcomes.
#5: TALK WITH YOUR CHILD AND HELP THEIR BRAINS INTEGRATE
It is widely recognized that communication is vital. Engage in dialogue with your child and attentively hear them out. Maintaining a transparent channel of communication will enhance your relationship with your child and encourage them to confide in you during challenging times.
Communication serves another purpose, which is to aid in the integration of various segments of your child’s brain, a pivotal aspect of their growth and development.
The process of integration resembles the human body, as it requires different organs to collaborate and operate in sync in order to sustain a healthy state. When various sections of the brain are integrated, they can function as a cohesive unit, resulting in decreased outbursts, increased positive conduct, heightened empathy, and superior emotional stability.
Achieving this requires discussing distressing incidents. Prompt your child to recount the events and their emotional response, which contributes to building empathetic communication.
Being a good parent isn’t about offering solutions or having all the answers. Simply listening to your children and using uncomplicated language to ask questions that clarify their experiences can assist them in making sense of things and merging their memories.
#6 Healthy Eating Starts at Home
From infants to elementary school age, the majority of children eat for two main reasons, which are hunger and enjoyment. As they age, certain children may resort to food as a substitute for something they lack in their lives, and eating may become a way of coping with boredom or frustration. This behavior is typically learned at home and is a form of management. To cultivate healthy eating habits in children, it is important to set a good example, usually without any additional measures.
#7 Encourage Your Child Move Thier Body
According to numerous pediatric sports medicine doctors and orthopedic surgeons, there is a substantial increase in injuries caused by overuse or trauma, such as a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which may be partially due to the recurrent, prolonged wear and tear on an underdeveloped musculoskeletal system. The easiest way to encourage outdoor play, where adults exercise and children play, is by disconnecting them from all electronics, such as computers and phones. We managed to survive and flourish, and the same will apply to our children. Nevertheless, as highlighted earlier on the topic of healthy eating, it’s essential not to fall into the “do as I say, not as I do” cycle. Put down your phone and fancy coffee, go outside, and engage in playful activities with your child.
#8 Develop Good Sleeping Habits
It is regrettable that the expression “slept like a baby” suggests a lengthy and peaceful slumber when any parents of a newborn quickly learn the cruel truth of the sleepless nights their infant imposes upon them. To establish and maintain good sleep patterns, principles include: (1) creating a routine in the 15 minutes before bedtime; (2) engaging in 60 minutes of energetic play after school and before dinner; (3) avoiding overstimulation in the hour leading up to sleep such as refraining from watching television or engaging in social media; and (4) keeping the room at a cool temperature and dark, except for a small night light for certain age ranges.
#9 Teaching Your Child Manners
Leading by example and following the “Golden Rule” are the only two vital points. The core of the Golden Rule is to treat others as you wish to be treated. Inform your children about your expectations, and make it clear that these standards are not open for debate. They should be accustomed to exhibiting politeness for the rest of their lives, and it’s preferable to start cultivating this habit now.
Effective Parenting Methods for Different Stages of Child Development
Effective parenting requires parents to have a realistic understanding of their child’s developmental, emotional, and physical abilities, and to tailor their discipline strategies accordingly. Seeking advice from their child’s pediatrician can be a valuable resource in this regard.
From birth to age 2, children rely heavily on their parents for food, love, and safety. Infants lack the ability to plan for or foresee consequences. As they mature beyond the first year, children become more self-sufficient, developing skills such as mobility, hand-eye coordination, and language proficiency. During this time, it is important for parents to become comfortable with enforcing discipline. It is crucial that parents understand that children often encounter obstacles and require repeated attempts to learn. For instance, a child may persist in playing with a treasured vase despite being told no multiple times.
Between the ages of two and four, temper tantrums are a common occurrence. These outbursts, which involve intense emotions and often physical displays, are a reflection of the toddler’s self-centered stage of development. The mindset of “I want it all and I want it now” is prevalent, as they have little awareness of safety or the concept of waiting for something they desire.
From 5 to 12 years old, children often engage in psychological battles and express their growing self-awareness and concern for peers by saying things like “I don’t love you anymore!” During this time, it’s crucial for them to learn about the consequences of their actions. Parents can involve their child in creating a plan that outlines expectations and corresponding punishments. This agreement should be written down to demonstrate the parent’s commitment. Teaching children how to solve their own problems is an important part of development, so parents should offer guidance and suggestions rather than immediately rectifying situations. Additionally, good behavior should be rewarded, even if it’s expected, such as when children clean their room without being reminded.
After turning twelve: The word discipline originates from “to teach” in Latin. Adolescence is a challenging time for both teenagers and parents as they navigate the quest for independence. Parents should acknowledge and reward positive actions, such as returning home before curfew, and devise sensible repercussions for disobedience. Coordination and discussion of regulations and consequences ahead of time is more effective than dealing with a crisis. Parents must refrain from using excessive force in disciplining their children. The punishment must be practical, prompt, and enforceable. Prohibiting a teenager from doing anything for the remainder of the academic year is not an acceptable disciplinary action.