The goal of parenting is to help our children become responsible adults. To achieve this goal, parents help children learn about life and living in today’s society.
The time parents spend with their children is important. Children need to be loved unconditionally. Doris Curran, a parent educator, says the cry of children today is, “Love me for who I am, not what I do. Love me for being, caring, sharing, and erring, not winning, placing, and showing.” That does not mean that we have to approve of everything a child does. What it does mean is that even though the child misbehaves, we still love and accept the child and provide support.
Talk with children
Spend time talking with children. Talk about any topic of interest to both of you. Talk about the day’s events and the child’s feelings about them. Through observation and interaction with parents, children learn how to communicate. Children learn to express their needs. They learn to listen. They learn to understand nonverbal clues.
Children learn about families from the time they spend in their own families. They learn about birth and caring for another person when a new baby comes home from the hospital. They learn about loss when a family member dies. They learn about marriage and relationships by watching their mothers and fathers interact. By living in a family, children learn to share, how to stand up for their own rights, and how to love another person.
Parents help children develop positive self-esteem by communicating the value they feel for them. Words of encouragement and love help provide children with the courage to try new things without worrying excessively about not being able to succeed.
Growing up with trust
Children learn about trust at home from their parents. They learn trust from being trusted. When parents trust children to accomplish a task on their own, they learn that they can do the task.
Parents help children learn to be more responsible when they help them learn to control their own behavior. A disciplined person has the ability to decide what appropriate behavior is and to act accordingly. Parents use discipline to help guide their children as they become responsible adults. Take the time to make discipline a learning experience. Appropriate discipline should include four parts. Children need to understand:
1) What behavior is not acceptable
2) Why it is not acceptable
3) What behavior is appropriate
4) Why it is appropriate
By helping children understand why something they did was unacceptable, they can learn what acceptable behavior is. There is no one right way to train children. A variety of discipline techniques exist. What is important is a warm and loving relationship between parents and children.
Article courtesy of Motivated! magazine. Used with permission.