Good Parenting Develops Character, Compassion and a Strong Sense of Identity
—what does it look like? There are so many experts with different opinions about what it takes to raise a child. Despite the research, some still believe in corporeal punishment, while others insist that you must treat your children kindly and gently. Although most parents care enough to take the kinder, gentler route, they're secretly afraid that by doing so, they are raising their children to be spoiled. In this article, we'll examine the importance of taking the focus off yourself and instead, learning to cultivate essential qualities in your child that will help him become a person who cares about himself and the world in which he lives.
There are four essential qualities that every child should have the opportunity to develop. If you help your child cultivate these qualities (which derive from the Native American Medicine Wheel), your child will become a balanced person who knows who he is and acts from values, no matter what the situation or who he's with.
Good Parenting Skill - Good Parenting Tip
- Belonging - every child needs to feel like he belongs to something bigger than himself. The first experience of this is the feeling of belonging to the family. When caring bonds are formed between the members of a family, the child feels he has a safe environment in which he can relax and be himself. He also learns how to take care of others. As the child grows, this sense of belonging translates into a sense of belonging at school, in the world and society at-large.
- Independence - every child needs to feel like he has the power to make choices, however limited. When the child is small, choices should be few and limitied to this or that. However, as the child grows and shows his good judgment and reliability, his options should expand. The ability to make choices empowers a child to become responsible for himself and how his actions affect those around him.
Good parenting tip: cultivate qualities in your child that will help him to become a good person now and teach him how to create a fulfilling life as an adult.
- Mastery - like adults, children need to feel that they are good at something. They need to feel that they can excel at certain tasks and that their skills are beneficial to the family and the various groups to which they belong. Cultivating excellence in a skill is important to a child in that it fills his life with a sense of meaning. This skill can be in anything that sparks his interest. Although some psychologists assign the importance of a meaningful life only to adults, it is also essential to the happiness of children.
- Generosity - children feel good about themselves when they give to others with no expectation of return. Whether this is a gift of time, service or expertise, it is important for them to know that they have something of value to contribute that can benefit those less fortunate. This is an excellent way to teach compassion.
Help your child cultivate these qualities and good parenting will be your hallmark. Of course what you will create in the process is a beautiful and enduring relationship with your child.
About the author:
Laura Ramirez is the mother of two boys and the author of the award-winning parenting book - Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting which shows parents how to raise children to develop their innate strengths and lead lives of meaning and fulfillment. The book offers a path of self-discovery for child and parent.
Laura teaches a parenting class via teleseminar that is a six-part series. You can listen from the comfort of your home and learn all about guiding your child's unfolding.
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