It is one of those essential facts of life that raising happy children demands time and attention. It’s a complicated process especially when there is no magic formula to follow. Following are some guidelines to help your children grow up healthy and happy.
- Show Your Love: Tell your children you love them every day. Smother them with hugs and kisses.
- Listen to Your Children: When you listen to your children, it tells them they’re important and that you’re interested in what they have to say. Take them seriously and set aside time to listen.
- Make Them Feel Safe: Comfort your children when they are scared. Show them you are there to protect them.
- Maintain Order: Children thrive on consistency. Keep a regular schedule of meals, naps and bedtimes. Give them notice if you need to change their schedule.
- Praise Your Children: Tell your children you’re proud of them when they learn something new or behave well.
- Criticize the Behavior, Not the Child: Help your children learn from their mistakes. Use clear and concise language when speaking to them to teach them right from wrong. Explain to them why the behavior was wrong or inappropriate. Never tell them they are bad. Teach them that no one is perfect, not even you.
- Learn to Apologize: A good parent apologizes when they are wrong. Be sure to tell your children you are sorry when you exhibit bad behavior.
- Be Consistent: Be clear and consistent with rules. If two parents are raising a child, both need to use the same rules. Make sure baby sitters and relatives know, and follow, your family rules.
- Spend Time with Them: Do things together, like reading, walking and playing. Sometimes this is hard in a world with so many competing demands. What children want most is your attention. Bad behavior is usually their way of getting your attention.
- Take Care of Yourself: A good parent takes care of themselves as well as their children. If a parent is not mentally, physically and spiritually healthy they will not be able to take care of their children’s mental, physical and spiritual health.
- Put Parenting First: A good parent is a parent first and a friend second. Children need guidance from you. They also need to learn limitations. They will make friends on their own.
- Love Them Unconditionally: A good parent loves their children for who they are not who they will be. Accept them as they are.
- Be Aware of What Your Children are Absorbing: Children are like sponges rapidly absorbing information. Try to control the flow of ideas and images that are influencing your child. Be aware of what they are reading, watching on the television and learning on the Internet.
- Get Involved in Their School Life: Once children enter the school system, it becomes their main focal point filled with victories and disappointments. Helping them to deal, in particular, with the low points will influence the course of their lives. Encouraging them to be good students will help their self-confidence.
- Attempt Family Meals: Meal time provides a much needed opportunity for the family to communicate. Ask your children what they learned today and take time to teach them about manners and rules.
- Practice What You Preach: Teach your children by example. Exemplify good work habits, considerate behavior towards others, community service and self-discipline.
Hilary Basile is a writer for http://www.myguidesusa.com The MyGuidesUSA.com network of sites is the ultimate guide to the USA. Individual portals offer valuable tips and resources for dealing with life’s major events. Find parenting tips and resources at http://www.myguidesusa.com/becomingaparent