Being a parent is like going on a journey. You go through winding paths, bumpy roads, scenic routes and as you approach the end, you realist that even though you love the destination, the journey has your heart. It is a journey that changes your life, helps you grow and pushes you to be the best possible version of yourself.
Parenting is multidimensional. It requires to focus on four main areas of the child’s life: the physical health and safety, promoting emotional and behavioral competence, encouraging social competence and boosting the intellectual aptitude. Though the outcomes cannot be predicted, it depends largely on the knowledge, attitude, and practices of the parent. Here are five interesting facts you should know about parenting.
Children mirror what they see, including self-esteem
It is often thought self-esteem is an attribute that is a personal conquest. However, parents do play a large part in building positive self-esteem and sense of self-worth in their children. By talking about yourself and your strengths in an affirmative manner, your children will learn to be confident of their talents and abilities. It is important to communicate with them honestly about their problems, situations that they find it difficult to handle and create a safe space for them to unburden their minds.
It is vital that they know you love them, no matter what. Therefore, make it a point to tell them that every day. Reassuring your loving presence in their lives at all times builds their confidence tremendously. Emotional problems often manifest in behavioral aspects, especially sleep. With a little research on sleep, you can tell if your child is struggling with problems beyond their emotional reach.
Emotional Intelligence can be taught
The term emotional intelligence is used a lot in corporates and not enough in parenting. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. There is no such thing as a bad child. Unfortunately, children who cannot regulate their own emotions use negative actions to do so. Handling emotions is an ability parents should begin teaching at a young age.
Parents who want to coach their children and improve their emotional quotient need to demonstrate appropriate outlets for their emotions. Anger, sadness, and empathy are to be recognised and acknowledged. By identifying outlets, parents validate their feelings and help them express it in a positive, non-destructive manner. However, it is important to not impose your solutions for their problems. By helping children identify and regulate their emotions in a holistic manner, parents help improve the sleep, health, and wellness of the child.
Providing a comfortable home should rank high on priorities
While it is important to focus on physical needs like hunger and emotional needs like being held, it is also vital to provide a comfortable, nurturing home. This starts with building knowledge of what they need and where you can find it. A nurturing home helps your child feel safe, secure and free. It helps build confidence and increases happiness.
A cal king mattress is an example of providing not just comfortable, but luxurious alternatives to regular products. A White Pillow helps create a positive environment and regulates the flow of energy. Outdoor rugs not only protect the child from the cold but also make your home warm and comforting. These are examples of steps parents can take to create a relaxing, nurturing space for the child.
Rules are for everyone, including you
As parents, you are not above the laws that govern your home. The whole objective of setting rules is to instill discipline in your child. The only way your child will follow the rules is if they see you do so too. Rules not only teach children to behave but also provide structure to their lives. While setting rules about a fixed sleeping schedule and sleeping style, sharing toys with siblings, telling the truth or brushing their teeth, it is vital to be clear and consistent. By discussing rules with your child, they will feel included in the decision and are more likely to follow them.
However, even parents need to follow some rules. If they see you breaking rules and not accepting your mistake, they will begin believing that they can do so too. Parents are not perfect people and are bound to make mistakes. True learning occurs from acknowledging and learning from these mistakes. It is important to let pride not get in the way, apologise for a mistake made and move on together. This teaches the child to do so as well.
You learn to grow a thick skin
Your child is going to go through various phases, and you will be along for the ride. One minute, they’ll stick to you, shower you with kisses and the next, they will rebel and curse at you. Their anger from the most insignificant of things cannot be contained in their little bodies, and you will just have to listen to the meanest things they can say. Even if it is a little thing like calling you fat or the bigger tantrums where they say they hate you, you have got to grow a thick skin and handle it well. Humiliating your child does nothing to help you or them.
It doesn’t have to be only your child. As a parent, you are going to listen to judgemental snides and snarky remarks from fellow parents and sometimes even strangers. The world is filled with people who think it is their place to give you advice about things they might not know. Sometimes these comments will just fly over and vanish, and other times, it may stick around and linger. The best thing to do for your sanity is to grow a thick enough skin for these comments to bounce off.
Parenting is a journey that requires you to be physically, emotionally and financially ready. It is a decision that needs to be taken patiently and informatively. There are no rewards or gauges to determine how well you parent. The only validation you get is seeing your child grow up to be smart and independent, reaching and crossing their potential and truly become the best person they can.