Bringing up kids is one of the hardest and most satisfying positions on the planet — and the one for which you could feel the most un-arranged.
Here are kid-raising tips that can help you feel more fulfilled as a parent.
Supporting Your Child's Self-Esteem
Kids start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents' eyes. Your tone of voice, your body language, and your every expression are absorbed by your kids. Your words and actions as a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else.
Lauding achievements, but little, will cause them to feel pleased; allowing children to do things freely will cause them to feel proficient and solid. On the other hand, disparaging remarks or contrasting a kid negatively and another will cause children to feel useless.
Choose your words carefully and be compassionate. Let your kids know that everyone makes mistakes and that you still love them, even when you don't love their behavior. Avoid making loaded statements or using words as weapons. Comments like "You act more like a baby than your little brother!" or "What a stupid thing to do!" cause damage just as physical blows do.
Know Your Own Needs and Limitations as a Parent
Face it — you are an imperfect parent. You have strengths and weaknesses as a family leader. Recognize your abilities — "I am loving and dedicated." Vow to work on your weaknesses — "I need to be more consistent with discipline." Try to have realistic expectations for yourself, your spouse, and your kids. You don't have to have all the answers — be forgiving of yourself.
And try to make parenting a manageable job. Focus on the areas that need the most attention rather than trying to address everything all at once. Admit it when you're burned out. Take time out from parenting to do things that will make you happy as a person (or as a couple).
Focusing on your needs does not make you selfish. It simply means you care about your well-being, which is another important value to model for your children.
Show That Your Love Is Unconditional
As a parent, you're responsible for correcting and guiding your kids. But how you express your corrective guidance makes all the difference in how a child receives it.
When you have to confront your child, avoid blaming, criticizing, or fault-finding, which undermines self-esteem and can lead to resentment. Instead, strive to nurture and encourage, even when disciplining your kids. Make sure they know that although you want and expect better next time, your love is there no matter what.
Make Communication a Priority
You can't expect kids to do everything simply because you, as a parent, "say so." They want and deserve explanations as much as adults do. If we don't take the time to explain, kids will begin to wonder about our values and motives and whether they have any basis. Parents who reason with their kids allow them to understand and learn in a nonjudgmental way.
Make your expectations clear. If there is a problem, describe it, express your feelings, and invite your child to work on a solution with you. Be sure to include consequences. Make suggestions and offer choices. Be open to your child's suggestions as well. Negotiate. Kids who participate in decisions are more motivated to carry them out.
Be a Good Role Model
Young kids learn a lot about how to act by watching their parents. The younger they are, the more cues they take from you. Before you lash out or blow your top in front of your child, think about this: Is that how you want your child to behave when angry? Be aware that you're constantly being watched by your kids. Studies have shown that children who hit usually have a role model for aggression at home.
Model the traits you wish to see in your kids: respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, and tolerance. Exhibit unselfish behavior. Do things for other people without expecting a reward. Express thanks and offer compliments. Above all, treat your kids the way you expect other people to treat you.
Content created and supplied by: Raphael munanga (via Opera News )
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