Child rearing is hard work. As parents, we often worry if we are making the right choices for our kids - the right preschool, extracurricular activities, friends - because we know that these decisions will help to mould them into the adults they will become. Instead of pushing your children to be everything you couldn't be, focus on shaping them into the most caring, self-assured, competent, and well-rounded human beings you can imagine.
Here are ten tips to give you inspiration on your journey to raising capable and confident children:
- Define family rules and values early and follow through on them. Children need to know what is expected of them and that a code of conduct is in place for their family.
- Teach children respect - for you, their elders, Mother Nature, the planet - anyone and anything really.
- Show them how to be good communicators by communicating and listening well yourself.
- Protect them from harm. It may be an electrical outlet when they are toddlers or a cyber-stalker when they are teens. You are their guardian until they are old enough to understand the dangers they may face.
- Mind their manners. Teaching manners and common courtesy seems to be a lost art these days. Have your children stand out from the crowd with their consistent use of "please," "thank you," "pardon me," proper dining etiquette and more.
- Instill healthy habits. Good hygiene and eating habits, plus adequate sleep and exercise will keep your children happy and in good form. Remember, eating dinner together will help to keep your family close and ensure your children stay healthy. Dining together aids in developing social skills in children and encourages better family communication all around.
- Involve them in planning. If you include your children when planning, they will look forward to every day and learn essential skills to help them navigate life. Use kid-friendly calendars and stickers to include, inspire and reward your children.
- Limit screen time. Children who spend a lot of time watching television, playing on electronic devices or computers miss-out on a world of creativity that comes out of their own imaginations. Consider going screen-free.
- Get them working. Involve children in household chores and tasks from an early age. Dole out regular responsibilities to help them learn what it means to be part of team and later, a contributing member of society.
- Let the little things slide. Don't over-control and micro-manage. Don't overreact when you can take a breath and watch as your children learn from their mistakes. 10 Tips for Raising Capable and Confident Children