Guest Post: by Sharon Gress, she is a contributing author at homeinsurance.org.
Part of being a good parent is recognizing challenges and facing them head on. You don’t have to get bogged down in guilt or self-doubt. There are many ways to inspire your children towards goodness.
“You must nurture the ability
to care about others in
their early years.”
By admitting to our own weakness and fears, we teach our children not to fear a challenge. After all, they are little sponges that learn by example. This does not mean that everything that we do or say will require an excuse. When we make a mistake, we should be able to admit it openly without any fear of ridicule or finger-pointing. People are not perfect, and everyone inevitably makes mistakes. By surrounding ourselves with loving, compassionate and honest people you will teach your children a valuable lesson: an open heart and a non-judgmental mind leads to a beautiful, compassionate person.
Be A Parent
Children need the benefit of parents who will truly parent them rather than trying to be their best friends. We all know how difficult that it is to hear a child talk back to their parents, especially during the tween and teen years — parents must command a certain amount of respect, and this is impossible when the child thinks of the parent as his or her friend. That being said, kids who have a strong support system from their parents are less likely to give in to peer pressure. By being a strong and authoritative parent who also listens to and supports their children, you can teach them to stand up for themselves and to make healthy decisions. You can provide a nurturing parental bond without being a friend.
Know Your Children
Your child will provide you with the emotional cues that tell you what their needs are. It is your job as a parent to be observant and to pick up on them. They are not always obvious but our children act out for a reason. Spend enough time with your child to know what is going on in their lives.
Going back to the principle of learning by example, charity should begin at home. Not everybody has a warm bed to sleep in at night or three meals a day. Be honest with your children about what is going on in the world. Teach them the art of charity and giving back to those in need. It will help them grow up with compassion and respect for others.
There is nothing wrong with playing with your kids, especially toddlers. Joking around and using your imagination opens up their minds. It helps spark their creativity, and it also helps them make friends when they start school. Laughter also reduces stress levels. When you are stressed out, your children become stressed out. One joke can lighten the mood and bring on smiles from everyone.
Talk About School
Ask your child what he or she is doing in school — these conversations don’t always have to be about tests and grades. Ask them what they learned that day. Offer positive reinforcement for a job well done. Every new task learned is an achievement.
Our children learn by example. As parents, we provide them the tools to grow and be healthy, kind, intelligent, well-adjusted people. It is our job to open up their world with by supporting and enriching them!
Sharon Gress is a grateful daughter and a loving mom. She is a contributing author at homeinsurance.org.