Raising children….this is something we all have honourable intentions to do the best we can. Sometimes it’s more challenging than we think. It would seem to be stating the obvious that the more respected and loved our KIDs feel, the more likely they are to have, not a trouble free journey but perhaps a less problematic one, through their life….. So where to start?
- It starts with you! When you are comfortable with your situation in life that is a great message to send out to your KIDs. Whether you work at home or outside it, whether you can be ‘OK’ about the financial situation in your life, happy that you consider yourself a ‘learner’. Be generally optimistic in your outlook, and model what you want from them. Laugh together whenever you are able, and remember to care for you as well as them.
- Caring for others, even a simple act of ‘giving’ affects your KIDs development in a positive way. Encourage them to compliment specifically, share with others, comforting a pet or someone who is less than happy, promotes empathy.
- Whenever you praise them, focus on effort, determination, resilience, NOT ability, cleverness, perfection. When KIDs are praised for efforts they are more likely cherish the belief that they can challenge themselves further, and be more motivated to relish that challenge rather than be put off by it. “You showed a lot of determination to finish that”, rather than “clever boy/girl”,
- Dialogue in the family is extremely important. It is an opportunity for you to model rational ‘argument’ and for the development of connections within the brain. Talking about learning helps the learner clarify and make meaning of things. In conversations where emotions are surfacing, name them, and listen carefully! Foster their emotional development, be mindful and model self- compassion.
- LOVE is spelled TIME. Seek opportunities to play together. Have an intellectual and a physical ‘adventure’ regularly. Not all play needs to ‘structured’. Unstructured play is important for their growing creativity, fine and gross motor skills, ability to socialise and the development of thinking skills. (Limit time spent in front of ‘black’ boxes.)
- Eat together often!