10 Parenting Tips for Raising Happy, Healthy, Confident Kids
10 Parenting Tips
Follow the parenting advice below and in addition to raising children who are calm, healthy and feel good about themselves, you will bring up kids who cherish you for giving them the tools to lead fulfilling lives.
1. Honor your child's individuality. Although your child may look like you and may share your physical traits and mimic your behaviors, he is not you or your spouse. Understanding this is key in raising a child to become who he truly is. To learn more about raising your child to become progressively aware of who he is and what his strengths are as he's growing up, read my book, Keepers of the Children. As a parent and professional who understands human development and individuation, I believe that one of the biggest mistakes we parents can make is to treat our children as though they were extensions of ourselves.
10 Parenting Tips
2. Connect with your child at least three times per day. (If you are working full time, do it first thing in the morning, before dinner and before bed.) Children have physical and emotional needs that must be met in order for them to feel safe and happy. When children don't get these connection needs met, they act out. Punishing children for acting out their dependency needs does not fill those needs or help children learn how to behave appropriately.
3. Be Present - the most loving and gracious gift you can your child is to be fully present. This means making eye contact, holding, comforting, laughing and listening attentively while your child shares something or recounts the trials and tribulations of his day. Although our society encourages busyness and multitasking, refuse to sacrifice your attention in this way.
10 Parenting Tips
4. Encourage interests and innate gifts - help your child to cultivate his passions and innate strengths. This is how you help him discover the gifts within his heart and eventually, his means of making a difference in the world.
5. Know how your child sees the world. Your child's perception of himself and of the world is telling. How your child sees himself determines how he feels about himself, thinks and acts. Help your child uncover misperceptions and faulty views of self or the world that were formed by offhand comments or harsh judgments made by others.
6. Model the behavior you want to teach your child. If you want your children to express their gratitude, express yours. Allow your children to see you in the act of being grateful.
7. Raise your children with discipline rather than punishment - although I explain this in detail in my book, understand that punishment only teaches children what NOT to do. In other words, it fails to teach them the right way to handle a situation. It also teaches kids to behave when adults are watching, which means that as soon as grownups are out of earshot, kids may start to misbehave.
Punishment does not help kids grow into good people who can make good decisions on their own because it does not teach them how to do so. What it does do is teach children to feel bad about themselves. Raising children with discipline (in the truest sense of the word (which has nothing to do with punishment) teaches kids to have the self-discipline to make the right decision on their own.
10 Parenting Tips
8. Create relationships with the people who populate your child's world. Get to know your child's teachers, principal, coach, friends, parents of friends, etc. As a parent, you should know everyone who comes in regular contact with your child. Take the time to get to know and create pleasant relationships with these people. Doing so will make your child feel that you are part of all aspects of his life and will also allow you to check out adults in charge. Remember that there are some adults in positions of authority that do not have children's best interests at heart. Stand strong against such people.
9. Grow along with your child. As your child is developing, challenge yourself to continue to grow. Although one day, your child will be yoru peer, expect that he will challenge you and refrain from taking this personally. As your child is learning who he is, you can more fully discover your purpose.
10. Let your child be your teacher. Children have as much to teach us about the joy of being and the wonder of discovery as we have to teach them about the workings of the world. Children reveal our unresolved triggers in a way that shows us what we need to work on in order to increase our sense of humanity.
About the author of 10 Parenting Tips: Laura is the author of the award-winning parenting book, Keepers of the Children which teaches parents how to raise children to become progressively aware of who they are and what their strengths are as they're growing up, so they can lead meaningful and purposeful lives from the start. What greater gift can you give your child than the tools to lead a fulfilling life? To start learning how, order your copy of the book today.
Sign up for Laura's new parenting class: Parenting as a Spiritual Path.
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