More often than not, raising a child is not only a learning experience for your child, but for you and your partner as well. It can be a challenge to find out how to provide your child with a strong foundation for life, whether in terms of character, or in physical health. Here’s how you can grow together with your child.
The first thing you should start with is to tell yourself that you are not your parents. What might have worked with you, or with other parents may not work with your child. After all, your child will probably have different growing circumstances in a different generation or era. And you probably don’t want to repeat the mistakes your parents made, if any, with your child. However, with that said, you should follow in the positive examples of your parents. Any parent would want the best for their child, and there are reasons why some of your parents’ techniques work. Here are some areas of raising a child you should look at.
When raising a child, or growing up with him, one of the basics is to instil good discipline in your child. Although sometimes unavoidable, having a child throw a tantrum or refuse to listen to you can be stressful. Discipline allows you to demonstrate acceptable and non-acceptable behaviour to your child. By laying down the rules of how they’re expected to behave, you’ll be building a base for your child to grow into a responsible adult. To start, discipline must be consistent. Your child cannot be receiving different messages every day. If you’ve explicitly limited the amount of snacks your child can have, you cannot give in every other day. Communication with your partner is key, as you learn to set the relationship between parent and child, teaching your child to respect you.
One way of establishing discipline is at the dining table. Whenever your child is behaving during meal times, show encouragement. If your child throws a tantrum, learn to be firm but avoid anger. Negative emotions and words can have an impact on your child’s behaviour. As your child grows, set meal times consistently, and encourage your child to follow your rules.
On the other hand, growing up is not all about discipline. Spending time with your family is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. Mealtimes are family time, and there shouldn’t be any excuse for any member of the family to be away. Weekends spent with family at the park are a great way to bond, and play with your child. It is also a wonderful way to encourage healthy exercise in your child.
Always be attentive to your child. This will help your child understand that getting attention isn’t by throwing a tantrum, but simply by being close to you. Family talks are a great way to be closer and get them to express their feelings.
Mealtimes are great for bonding. It’s the time when the whole family is together and everyone can have a nice conversation. You can also plan your child’s nutrition with him. It’ll give him an opportunity to understand the importance of certain nutrients and give him a say in what he eats.
Growing up with your child is a learning process, in which you have to actively be aware and correct yourself. While there are guidelines and resources online to help you out, it all boils down to experience. You learn, reflect and adjust. Like every skill you make an effort to learn, with time you tend to get better at it. Don’t punish yourself too hard if you make any mistakes.
It’s also alright if you take some time off for yourself once in a while. Go to the movies with your partner, or try a hobby. Your child looks up to you as a role model, and it wouldn’t do if you’re stressed all the time. Lastly, remember that raising a child can be challenging at times, but brings great rewards.
Here’s where you’ll find everything you need to make the best of those first 1,000 days of parenthood… TOGETHER.
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