Childhood is indeed one of the most special periods in one`s life. It is a period of play, wonder, amusement, and discovery. On the flip side, it can be worrisome for parents, as they want to ensure child`s health and happiness.
But, no matter what happens, child`s happiness always comes first to their parents. To ensure a happy and healthy childhood, follow the tips below:
- Be happy yourself
It is important to note that children learn by what they see and hear. If the parent shows positive behavior, the child will reciprocate. As explained by Carolyn Cowan, a psychologist at the University of California, “children do not fare well if the adults aren’t taking care of themselves and their relationships.”
- Create happy memories
In an experiment done by two Harvard professors, individuals wo recalled happy childhood memories “(seemed) to summon a heightened sense of moral purity.”
As noted by the researchers, the participants “were more likely to help the experimenters with an extra task, judge unethical behavior harshly and donate money to charity when they had actively remembered their childhood.”
In other words, creating happy memories for your kids prepares them to be happy adults.
- Give them plenty of play time
The major responsibility of a child is to play! They will eventually have to do the chores, help around the house, do homework, extracurricular stuff, and so on, but as toddlers, they should be given enough time to play.
“Children learn the most important lessons in life from other children, not from adults…they cannot learn, or are much are much less likely to learn, in interactions with adults,” Peter Gray, a child psychologist and professor at Boston College, states.
- Take heavy discussions elsewhere
During childhood, children`s brains develop very fast. Everything they see and hear affects their psychological state, so if you are taking any heavy discussions in their presence, you can potentially make them insecure and worried.
- Don’t compare them to others
Comparing them to others instils a sense of competitiveness. Many parents tend to point out some desirable traits in other kids, hoping to duplicate them in their kid. According to researchers, such tendencies can negatively affect a child`s confidence and self-esteem.
- Teach the benefits of negative emotions
Almost every child has spontaneous outburst of sadness, envy or anger. Believe it or not, this type of negative behavior is a good learning opportunity for the parent.
Instead of doling some punishment, teach the child that everyone goes experiences negative emotions and teach them to deal with them in a positive way.
- Acknowledge their efforts
It is crucial to recognize when the kid pushes themselves to achieve something. As noted by Dr. Carol S. Dweck at Stanford, “Our message to parents is to focus on the process the child engages in, such as trying hard or focusing on the task – what specific things they’re doing rather than ‘you’re so smart, you’re so good at this…what (the adult) does early matters.”
- Value family traditions
Having regular and healthy family time has 5 main benefits:
- The child feels loved and important
- The child observes positive adult traits
- The child can verbalize their feelings and thoughts
- The parent can observe and learn more about their child`s weak points
- The parent-child bond will strengthen
Having certain things that a family does together is a sign of stable household, and stability is key aspect of childhood development.
- Let them take chances
Sometimes parents tend to overdo it when it comes to supervising their kid. However, this overparenting does more harm than good.
“Does an extreme attentiveness to a child and their imagined needs and issues, encourage parents to reduce their demands on their child, resulting in the child rarely facing adverse situations, learning to cope, and acquiring resilience, maturity, and other essential life skills? The current study raises the disturbing possibility that the answer is yes,” Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools cites.
- Give them a sense of responsibility
It is very important to give your child a sense of responsibility by allowing them to complete things like homework or chores without controlling them.
Although some discipline and attention is necessary, excessive supervision is ineffective. Why? It can eventually manifest into the child developing an “I can’t do this alone” attitude.