Holding your precious baby(ies) in your arms, you feel blissful and relieved. Still, there is a nagging feeling deep inside that just won’t go away. We all worry about the kind of lives we provide for our children and whether or not it will help them achieve their hopes and dreams. You are not alone.
Unfortunately, there is no fixed instruction manual on the matter. That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to compile a few practical tips that will undoubtedly help you on the journey to raising happy and successful children:
Make it a habit to hold conversations, right from infancy
Talking with your baby, as trivial as it may sound to some, plays a big role in the development of their language and communication skills. This is because conversation helps stimulate the area of the brain linked to speech production, as a result, heightening its development.
Through conversations, your baby takes in many new sounds and words thus slowly improving their understanding of language- from the meaning of terms to their variety.
Reading them bedtime stories also goes a long way. By assuming the different character roles in a story and following all the basics of effective communication (from tone variation to facial expressions), you help your baby to pick up on the proper way to communicate. This works by the little one relating words to the actions and emotions you portray.
Regularly assign tasks and chores
Chores may seem a bit tedious, and you’re probably thinking it’s easier if you just do them yourself. Well, that is true, it’s easier, but that’s not the point. As they struggle with their messes to complete a chore, children develop a sense of responsibility, ambition and even confidence since they feel like they are useful and a part of the household.
The challenging tasks also teach them about perseverance and general persistence. Children then come to identify that not everything in life is easy and work is part of it. With time, you may come to observe that they are helping out without necessarily being told. This shows you’re on the right path to creating an adult that takes responsibility and acts without waiting on instructions.
Correct them the right way
Everybody makes mistakes, especially growing children. As they learn about what’s right or wrong, it’s important that you play a supportive role in the process. By scolding them too harshly, you’re actually damaging their self-esteem and general confidence. Always appreciate their efforts and praise their process rather than the end results.
This, however, does not mean that you let their mistakes slide. For example, have a conversation with your kid on what they did, explaining to them why it was unacceptable and even letting them choose a reasonable punishment goes a long way.
Be careful not to prevent them from failing or constantly making all their problems go away. Your children should learn that failure is a part of life, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. They should also learn to pick up after themselves and solve their own problems. Always render your support when they are stuck and getting frustrated, but do not spoon-feed.
Emotional intelligence and building meaningful relationships
It goes without saying that the ability to identify and understand your own emotions and of those around plays a tremendous role in making a successful person. Emotions can be a messy aspect of life and lacking the proper guidance, children may grow up without understanding the contradictory feelings they experience.
Strive to teach your children to get in touch with their emotions and it will be easier for them to perceive other people’s emotions. This principle encourages your kids to become kind towards others and accordingly foster meaningful relationships based on mutual understanding. Encouraging your child to build purposeful relations also helps them avoid conflict and makes him or her have a support system in any stage of their life.
Sleep is not to be taken lightly
Sleep is essential for a growing child. As children take up new information and concepts, sleep helps them internalize all this recent data. Loads of studies have proved that sleep improves their learning capacity, memorizing abilities, and attention. Generally, it improves their mental well-being as well as their physical health.
See to it that your child not only gets the right amount of sleep, but also observes consistency in their sleeping schedule. These two factors play a big role in their future success.
Playing contributes to all aspects of a child’s growth. Scheduled playtime teaches kids about restraint and discipline as they have to wait until a specific time. Free playtime, however, helps a child get in tune with their creative side since they have to find a way to entertain themselves out of the typical routine. Let your kids be young, wild and free.
Brain teasers should also be incorporated into children’s playtime. Games like Building Blocks, Puzzles, and Obstacle Courses help stimulate the developing mind. Pretend play also encourages creativity and more fun. When it comes to playtime, a balance of all these should be considered.
Spend quality time together as a family
Spending quality time with your family is always encouraged. This does not only strengthen your bond with each other; it also communicates to the children that family is important.
It does not have to be anything fancy; we know money can be a little tight sometimes. It’s the simple things like going to the park together, having a movie night, or sharing meals together.
Simply having a chat with them about their day and thoughts also counts. Being in such a pleasant environment teaches a kid what unconditional love is, and they are also able to provide the same for others.
I’m going to leave you with two secrets. One, children are a blessing and it takes a whole village to raise one; do not be afraid to ask for advice when you are struggling. Two, always remember that the little things matter; keep your promises, appreciate their time and company, remember birthdays, etc. and you should be just fine.