Bringing up a child is one of the most difficult responsibilities you are likely to experience in your life. With no formal training you are well and truly thrown in at the deep end. You suddenly have a new tiny human which you are responsible for caring for, and ensuring they grow up to be a productive member of society. And in such a competitive world, they’ll need every advantage they can get. Here are four important ways you can give your child a helping hand in life.
Thanks to Pexels for the image
Take Care of Their Health
Investing in your child’s physical health and wellbeing is of course essential to good parenting; ensuring you provide the right nutrition, enough exercise and making sure your child is safe from accidents and injuries. When it comes to diet, there’s more chance that they will stick to a healthy lifestyle if it’s made fun for them. Encourage them to help prepare and cook meals, being sure to educate them food and the importance of healthy living. Physical activity is an important part of achieving a healthy weight, guidelines state sixty minutes of physical activity a day for children aged from five. Make it fun and let them choose the kind of activity they want to do, this way they’re much more likely to enjoy it and stick with their new activity level. In regards to accidents and injuries you’ll never be able to fully child proof your home. However, making simple changes can dramatically reduce the chance of them getting hurt. Common child injuries include drowning, falls, burns, poisoning, choking and strangulation. Make sure you have the right safety precautions in place in your home. For example keep blind cords away from childrens beds and remove dangerous chemicals from low cupboards. Double check that there are no choking hazards left lying around anywhere that your child could grab, and cut up their food into small pieces to prevent choking until they reach an age where they can successfully do this themselves. Because first aid for young children or babies can be different to that for adults, it’s recommended that parents and carers take training in paediatric first aid and do a refresher course once a year.
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Invest in Education
A good education early on in school is extremely important, this is the thing that will lay the foundation for the future and further education in high school (and even higher education). It gives your child the skills and tools they need to navigate the world. Investing in the education of your child is one of the single most important things you can do as a parent, it really will set them up for success for the rest of their life. The Institute of Education study found that the quality of teaching children receive has more of an influence than even their gender or family income. A high quality kindergarten followed by a good grade school gives children’s development a significant boost. The quality of teaching at grade school affects both a child’s social behaviour and intellectual development; this is particularly important as these early experiences will hugely influence the way your child develops. The activities they take part in from birth to ten years of age will determine how their learning patterns develop, and as these early years are of paramount importance to future education it is crucial that children have a proper start to their school life. This is to help them to meet their full potential to become lifelong learners. Their attitude, knowledge and job prospects for the future are all hugely influenced by the school you pick. Schools allow pupils on a catchment area basis, and as a rule the nicer the area you live the nicer the school will be. It’s easy to think that even if you don’t live in the best area you can provide your child with everything they need, but when they’re going to be spending a huge proportion of their lives in school it’s good sense to send them to the best one you can. It has been found that parents are willing to pay well above average to be within catchment area of sought-after schools. 57% of households with a school aged child in the US moved to be closed to better schools in the last five years, and following their initiative is a good way to go. A more extreme version would be even to move to a different country- more than half of the world’s top 200 universities are located in either the US or the UK. They have some of the best education services in the world, meaning they are great places to live to give your child the best start. A knowledgeable real estate agent will be able to assist you in your move, for example you could learn about what Entwistle Green can do to help you in your search. Competition for school places is tougher than ever and many parents are making huge financial and lifestyle sacrifices to get themselves in the catchment area of desirable schools. So while moving to a whole new country would be a big step, it’s something well worth considering.
Take Discipline Seriously
Psychiatrist Michael Brody states “Discipline has to do with civilising your child so they can live in society.” We want our children to learn from any mistakes they make without repeating them. It’s easy to equate the term “discipline” with punishment, but discipline is in fact a form of teaching. The key to correcting our children’s behaviour is giving them the tools they need to learn a better behaviour. When we discipline in a way meant only to punish and have the child “pay” for their mistake, it doesn’t help the child to learn how to make the right choice next time around. Be sure not to overlook your children’s best behaviours, when they are good then reward the good behaviour. Don’t go overboard with too many rules, but focus on what you believe are the important ones for your family. Be clear about what the rules are and what happens when someone breaks them. They key is to teach them how to make the right choice rather than simply punishing negative behaviour. Remain firm and give them the attention, rules and boundaries they need and crave. Children thrive when they have structure and know their boundaries.
Build up Their Self-Confidence
Good self-esteem is like a child’s armour against the challenges of the world. When a child knows their strengths and weaknesses and feels good about themselves, they will have an easier time resisting negative pressures and handling conflict. They tend to be happier and more optimistic in contrast children with low self-esteem, who can find challenges to be frustrating and cause a great deal of anxiety. Children with low self esteem have a hard time finding solutions to problems, and can become passive and withdrawn. One important thing to be aware of in regards to your child’s self esteem is that it’s important to be careful what you say, as children can be sensitive to the words of parents and others. Remember to praise your child for the effort they put in, as well as on how they perform- you can be positive while still being truthful. Another way to improve a child’s self esteem is to be a positive role model; if you are overly harsh on yourself and pessimistic about your abilities, your children are likely to eventually mirror you. Being affectionate, providing a safe and stable home and watching out for signs of abuse from others (such as problems in school or with peers) will allow your child’s self-confidence to flourish.
Thank you Pexels for the image
Teach Them Respect
Respect has great importance in everyday life. It shows that we value another as an individual, honours their personal rights and dignity. Children aren’t born with an innate sense of respect, it’s something they have to be taught. From the moment they are born children learn to manipulate their world to get their needs met, and so in order for them to become accepted members of society they need to be taught about the natural order of things and respecting those in command. It’s important to remember that your child isn’t your friend, you are their guide and leader to teach them about the world. They don’t have to like or thank for what you do. Teach them to behave respectfully to everyone, not just you. Catch disrespect early, and if your child is rude or disrespectful don’t turn a blind eye. Make sure that you and your partner are on same page, and one of you isn’t allowing the disrespectful behaviour while the other is passive towards it. When your child is being disrespectful, it’s imperative that you correct them in a respectful manner. Shouting and getting upset and presenting an attitude of your own is likely to only escalate behaviour
There are so many thing to take into consideration when raising a child, but making sure you do these things will ensure they have the best start to life possible. Children are only small for a short time, before long they will be off out into the world on their own. Your job is to provide them with the right tools, and make sure they will be fully equipped to deal with whatever life throws at them.