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Responsible parents have the exclusive power to influence their child in positive ways. The nature of influence is critical for the optimal development of your child. As a concerned nurturer, it is the parental attitude, words and actions that can have a great impact on the child’s all-round development. By formulating a success plan and tapping their child’s potential to the fullest extent, parents can not only influence their child in myriad of positive ways, but more importantly, be a source of inspiration throughout their child’s lives.
Here are seven positive ways in which parents can influence their child:
1. Teach by Example
Remember, children learn best from the examples you set. Keep in mind that you are continuously being watched, listened to and emulated by your child. Be a good role model; try to model the best aspects of human nature to your children. The choice and tone of words you use, the behavior and actions you demonstrate, can be the single greatest determinant on how your child will develop as an adult.
2. Give Time
Make sure to spend as much of quality time with your child as possible—-no matter how busy you may be. Your keen interest and involvement, is important in understanding your child’s complex needs. Show your genuine interest by listening carefully to what your child is trying to convey. Respond to your child’s emotional needs with productive conversations.
3. Set moral standards
A child primarily learns good ethics from his/her parents. Setting strong moral standards is the key to good parenting. Teach your child the importance of adhering to moral principles. Incorporate essential core values like honesty, integrity, kindness and compassion into the family lifestyle and make sure to follow the same code of conduct and moral standards you set for your child.
4. Show Respect
Respect is the foundation of a loving long-term relationship. You can earn your child's respect by being respectful to him. Accepting your child “as is” will contribute to positively building your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Never belittle your child; an outburst of parental anger, verbal abuse or manipulation is unacceptable and damaging to a child’s ego.
5. Entrust Responsibility
Responsibility empowers the child. The core element to influencing your child positively is to entrust responsibility on your child's shoulders. Let your child know that he is responsible for his actions and hence needs to face the consequences of his behavior.
6. Enforce Discipline
Home is the best place where your child can be taught to abide by the rules. Insist on your child sharing household duties, refrain from using foul language and put a firm taboo on late night partying, day-time sleeping or excessive use of television, internet or telephone. “Tough love” can have a greater positive impact on your child’s life than all the cajoling and reasoning put together.
7. Share Fun activities
Fun activities with the entire family can significantly influence your child in positive ways. Offer your child the many splendored joys of meaningful family traditions. Share the joys of simplistic pleasures over materialistic pursuits. Enjoy enriching and rewarding experiences with your child. Let your child imbibe love of God’s bounty by encouraging family picnics in the park midst the marvels of Nature.
Parents, who stand committed to putting their child first and following up with appropriate actions, seldom fail. By working steadily towards your goal, you can make sure that your actions influence your child in positive ways-molding him into a happy, independent and productive member of the society and the world.
Parenting Preteens with a Purpose-Navigating the middle years by Kate Thomsen, M.S., C.A.S.
Parenting with purpose by Robert Reasoner and Mary Lane
In the early stage of development, toddlers are naturally drawn to play-with heightened curiosity and an innate sense of purpose. To a toddler, play is not only a fun activity, but an exciting and invigorating adventure into the realms of effective learning. It is one of the most important aspects of a child’s learning process.
As toddlers work intensely at play, they absorb new ways and ideas from the environment by taking in whatever strikes as interesting. Children learn best when they engage in activities what they really like. This type of play, referred to as ‘free play’ needs ongoing encouragement at home before toddlers are introduced to structured play in nursery and pre-schools.
Let us examine some of the vital aspects of why play is so important to a toddler:
Play is an effective medium through which children learn to concentrate, exercise their minds and develop their intelligence while making full use of their mental faculties. Their mental faculties are thus promoted As toddlers seek out bits and pieces of information by exploring the environment, their mental faculties are promoted in an effort to understand the world around them.
Play offers toddlers a wider scope for imagination as they eagerly experiment using raw materials like plastic boxes, jars, bottles, old pots and pans, lids, corks and dozens of simple objects that are found in every home. Imagination and inventiveness come into play while children enjoy turning these objects into playful use. They especially enjoy manipulating clay, sand, mud and finger-paint and marvel at creating meaningful shapes.
h1. Develops motor skills
Play activities develop gross and fine motor skills in toddlers. As they begin to use their large muscles by running, jumping, hopping, climbing, skipping, throwing and catching ball, their basic motor skills are developed. In the process, they learn what they can do with their bodies as they twist, tumble, skip, shake, roll and dance. Toddlers also develop fine motor skills while playing with beads, shells, building blocks, cubes and construction sets.
Play teaches toddlers ways of how to socialize and get along with others. Around this period, toddlers begin to take interest and seek companionship with other kids their age. As kids get together for a play date at home or in the park, they learn how to behave, inter-act, get along and negotiate for toys or other play things—-thereby, learning the rudiments of forging friendships.
Play helps toddlers to develop and better handle their emotions. It offers opportunities to toddlers to work out their fears while gaining emotional control and getting rid of anxieties. For example, while playing in a group setting, toddlers learn how to accept disappointment at not always getting what they want, how to settle disputes and not to insist on always having their own way.
Play has a powerful impact on all aspects of the toddler's learning experiences. It encompasses and caters to a toddler's social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs. In homes where early explorations are encouraged though play, the minds and personalities of children develop effectively to its fullest potential.
Learning through Play by Jean Marzollo and Janice LloydThe Pre-School Child's Learning Process by Edward Rosenberg
Set-backs are an inevitable part of life. Although initially, you may have some reservations and deem it wise to not interfere at this delicate juncture, it may be hard for you as a parent to see your child go through the emotional upheaval which set-backs are known to bring. Besides, you know it in your heart that your child would most certainly appreciate your kind gesture of helping him/her bounce back from the throes of this unpleasant experience.
It is important to note that at this particular moment in time, it does not matter much what actually triggered this setback. The basic knowledge that your child is suffering the anguish and pain generally associated with a setback, should suffice a desire to help. Backed by an instinctive surge of parental emotions, you do so want to step right in and help your child bounce back. So how best can you help as a parent?
Here are SIX strategies you can follow to help your child bounce back from setbacks:
1. Assure wholehearted support
To begin with, it would be in your child's best interest to let your child know that you are readily available to offer support and willing to help whatever the situation he/she may have landed in. It would be your assurance, faith and resolve in helping your child, that could win more than half the battle. Assure you child that you wish to tackle the problem in hand jointly alongside him/her; doing so in a timely and tactful manner, could steer your child right out of the depths of despair and help him/her bounce back.
2. Promote hopefulness
As a parent, you need to take time to inspire hopeful thinking in your child and look at the brighter side of the situation. Help your child to believe in himself/herself by focusing on all the good things that happened in his/her past life. Optimism pays, pessimism does not. Setting a positive tone could promote an impetus in your child to significantly learn from the mistakes made. It could create a focused mental state and help in figuring out what went wrong and why. Your positive involvement, could initiate a sense of balance in your child’s life and avert him/her from wallowing in self-pity.
3. Help to recover
Help your child to recover and change his/her mindse and view setbacks as an opportunity for personal growth. Together, discuss and review the implications of the setback. Through discussions with you, your child could confront and review the mistakes made and learn not to take the failure or setback personally. It could inspire your child to move forward and beyond, bounce back and strive to do better next time. By providing your child with this basic coping mechanisms, your child may not only simply recover, but soon head towards success
4. Communicate effectively
To help your child bounce back after a setback, you need to communicate effectively. Initiate conversation and be honest with your child as you review the scenario step by step. This can help you jointly to pinpoint a possible cause that caused the set-back in the first place. Never allow your child to identify himself/herself as a loser or a failure. Be a good listener; careful listening will help you to respond better to your child’s concerns. Your empathy will help to draw your child out and be more open and comfortable in discussing the problem he/she is currently facing.
5. Encourage success
Inspire your child with a sense of excitement—-to seek fresh avenues and grab new opportunities for future successes. By your continual involvement, you can encourage and ensure your child’s mental and emotional stability. Using daily affirmations like, “Yes, you can do it; you can bounce back and be successful,” can help your child to be energized with a sense of direction and purpose. By creating this mental attitude in your child, you can prevent your child from falling into the pitfall of depression and bouncing back quickly wioth renewed energy and determination.
6. Create a positive self-image
At this juncture when your child is struggling to bounce back from a setback, it’s vitally important to help your child create a positive self-image. Let your child know that you believe in his/her capabilities—-this could go a long way to remove the crippling sense of negativity. Allow him/her the opportunity to be in-charge of the challenging circumstances that may come his/her way from time to time. Inspire your child to seek fresh avenues, seize new opportunities and focus on making the right choices. The higher the standards you set for your child, the better it will be for him/her in the long run.
There’s no magic formula to prepare your child fully for crisis he/she may encounter during life's journey. However, if you dedicate your time and effort to develop your child’s character, he/she would have greater in-built resilience to bounce back from setbacks when the time comes.
Lastly and most importantly, inculcate in your child the importance of having faith in God. Convey to your child the power of prayers and how he/she can gain strength and guidance from it.
Child rearing plays a significant role in the all-round development of children. Studies indicate that the development of the 'whole' child- - -physical, mental and emotional, is generally influenced by a wide range of factors. However, most of these influences revolve around parent's personalities, lifestyle, attitudes and values. A balanced combination of these could have a direct bearing on the child's adult years.
Experts in the field strongly suggest that all well-meaning parents focus on all of the multiple factors that influence child rearing. Factors like race, religion, culture, genetics, education, environment, economic status and patterns of socialization, can all influence the process of child rearing and have a deep-rooted lifetime impact on children's lives.
To better understand the full impact of factors that influence child rearing, the writer encourages you to read on:
- Family has the most powerful influence on child rearing. The values ingrained, the habits formed and the quality of communication between family members can play a critical role in the early formative years of child development. Indeed, family upbringing could have a lifelong impact on an individual. A lot also depends on how the parents themselves were raised. Parents, who are the product of broken or abusive homes, may not be in a position to make a positive contribution to the entire child rearing process. In such a scenario, parents could have negative influence wherein children could suffer from neglect, abuse or plain indifference.
- Social factors do play a prominent role in influencing the child rearing process. Communities, religious and social groups, social norms of behavior and etiquette influence parenting styles and motivate parents to interact with children in different ways. The social status of parents can also influence their child rearing style. Parental aspirations for children may largely be dependent on the families they periodically socialize with. For example, children from families who own fancy cars and latest tech gadgets expect many more good things from life than their less affluent counterparts.
- Economic background does have a large influence on child-rearing. It has been found that the quality of child rearing could be negatively affected where parents have to struggle to make ends meet. Although most parents may be able to provide the basic needs to their children, providing quality health care, better schools and homes and other upscale amenities, are all possible by those parents who have a high spending power. It is these parents who tend to offer their children quality extracurricular activities like taking expensive music lessons, art classes or special coaching classes in sports.
- Educational background of parents also influences the direction which child rearing takes. Highly educated parents tend to focus more on providing the best possible education to their children than parents who are uneducated. Educated parents understand the importance of education and spare no expense in enrolling their children into prestigious schools and colleges. They also take time to actively monitor and guide their children in the pursuit of their academic goals.
Although all the above enumerated factors influence the child rearing practices, psychologists strongly believe that every parent can yield the most profound influence on their children's lives. It is they, who have the unique privilege and responsibility of raising children to become successful adults. It is their vision, interest and time, their determination and their loving guidance that can make it possible for parents despite their circumstances, to raise responsible, productive and well-adjusted children
All parents would like nothing better than to have their children grow up to be decent, responsible and productive members of the family, society and the world at large. To achieve this end, they would first need to bond with their child—-especially their teenager, who is already on the threshold of adulthood.
The 21st century teens have fast changed; a noticeable difference is perceived in their behavior and views. Once as kids, they were cooperative and accessible. Now suddenly parents find them remote, rebellious and even rude—-which oft make them wonder: "What could have gone wrong?"
Parents would do well to keep in mind that as children grow, their needs and attitudes change. Conflicts are bound to arise unless the parents change their perceptions. Flexibility in changing one’s parental attitude includes ability in knowing what is important, what is trivial and what truly matters. This could go a long way in creating a lasting bond between parents and their teens.
Here are some practical ways for bonding with your teenager:
~ Practice balanced control
Be flexible in your approach as your opinions and values which were once respected, could be challenged by your teenager. Tactfully confront power issues between you and your teenager. This implies having an understanding to use balanced control and not simply insisting that your teen surrenders to your wishes. Compromise is the key.
Boundaries allow for healthier relationships since they leave no room for criticism or judgement of another's actions. For example, simply telling your teen that his lateness at each family outing is detestable, will not work. On the other hand, a boundary that specifies the expected time when you're teen should be ready to leave, is effective. Often teens attempt to test the waters; but soon realize the necessity of abiding by the rules, especially when these are consistently enforced.
~ Encourage mutual accommodation
Mutual accommodation is the key to communicating effectively. This implies to avoid being hurtful and practicing mutual respect. At no time should your child's worth and sense of dignity be challenged. When the essential values of life are incorporated into the teen's thinking and lifestyle, healthy relationships through mutual accommodation can be maintained.
~ Build trusting relationship
Trust is a vital element in any relationship especially between a parent and child. Developing trust is the key to building a healthy relationship with your teen. By manifesting love and trust, parents can infuse in their teen’s feelings of self-worth—-which can be the stepping stone to developing individuals of strength and character. Spending quality time with your teen reinforces a trusting relationship and enhances the bonding process.
Let us not forget that the the teen years can be a period of trial and error for the best of parents. However, by continuing to be an integral part of your teen's life, you can strengthen the unique bond you have with your child. Maintaining a healthy relationship could significantly reduce the need for addictive, compulsive and destructive behavior in your teen and provide the necessary ground-work for long-term, caring relationships.
Parents, it is up to you to make this the most exciting and inspiring journey in your teen’s lives.
Teen tips: a practical survival guide for parents with kids by Tom McMahon.
Parenting Teens with love and logic by Foster Clive and Jim Fay
Life is what you make of it. The sum total of your thoughts, feelings and actions are the product of your top three life principles you believe in. Armed with these life principles, you can confidently navigate through the inroads of your life's journey with focused attention. Parents, who take time and interest to incorporate the top three principles into their daily lives, can inspire their children to live better, happier and more fulfilling lives.
Here are the top three life principles you can inculcate in your children:
Principle #1-Always do the right thing
The principle of doing the right thing gives gives you a sense of direction and purpose; it enriches your life by infusing it with ethical values like loving kindness, respect and forgiveness. This topmost principle primarily encompasses awareness of your life's purpose, consideration of the feelings of others and most importantly, being responsible for your thoughts, behavior and actions.
Principle #2- Make integrity count
Integrity is the hallmark of good character; integrity counts in every aspect of life. Persons of integrity have nothing to fear; they can easily be trusted by their family, peers and colleagues. They speak nothing but the truth, are consistently honest, thereby winning the greatest respect from all those whom they interact with. They ensure through their words and deeds that their sense of integrity counts and positively enhances every segment of their lives.
Principle #3- Harbor a strong belief
Harboring a strong belief in God, your Creator, can nourish your soul. By building a strong brand of belief system, this core principle can be a valuable natural resource for your spiritual growth. This life principle also ignites a strong belief in your own worth; it can teach you to live in harmony with your 'inner' being and offers you positive guidelines on living a good life in accordance to God's will.
Life principles are the foundations on which progressive societies are built; they have universal appeal and are timeless. They are the cornerstones for building meaningful relationships, fostering happiness and achieving success. But most importantly, they make a positive 'difference' to humanity. Persons, who stand committed to live in accordance to the above top three life principles, seldom fail.
May your life be enthused to share these top three life principles with your children this New Year and always!
Source: Life Principles: Feeling Good by Doing Good by Bruce Weinstein Ph.D.