Every parent’s primary goal is to raise their child to be the finest possible human in every aspect of life. And as everyone is fully cognizant, kids are born ready to learn. The way you raise your children has a big impact on their potential and how successful they are in life. Despite this, there isn’t really a roadmap or manual for raising kids who reach their full potential.
There are, however, a few actions you can take to put both you and your child on the road to success. Some such actions are:
1. Read: Reading to children from a young age is the single most important thing you can do for them. This activity alone builds their language skills tremendously and teaches them how to express themselves. It also makes them understand human connections better by introducing them to different plots and characters in different stories. Simply put, the more engaging you make the experience for them, the more they will understand the world. Make an effort to convey every emotion through your facial expressions and vocal inflections to ensure that your child is completely absorbed in the story. Reading to your child broadens their imagination and creativity to a great extent, in addition to exposing them to new words and expressions. So, making reading to your child a ritual is going to be the primary source of building leadership qualities in your child early on.
2. Be the change agent: It is a common, science-backed fact that children are always impersonating the people around them and the environment they are living in. Every action on your part is imprinted on your child’s subconscious mind. The best approach to setting them up for success is to be mindful of your body language, keep your commitments, and act in the manner that you would like others to act. The way you speak to them becomes their voice of reason since children are designed to imitate and adapt to their surroundings and any outside stimuli they come into contact with. As a result of your daily practices, they will develop their mental models and prepare themselves for life as a result. Your everyday habits are going to shape their minds and set them up for life. Practicing gratitude and compassion in the face of adversity and triumph will change their perspective on life in general.
3. Active communication: It is crucial for their development and growth that you practice and encourage active communication in the family as early as possible. Even toddlers and infants know the difference in tones and sound in different languages from as young as three months of age. Initiating dialogue and expressing your emotions verbally is also a great way to boost your confidence in speech and dialog. Sharing your opinions and feelings on different matters and acts performed by others is a very positive learning experience for them. One simple way to practice active communication is by describing events as they take place, and asking and initiating a conversation by asking them how they feel about the things that are happening or what they would like to change. Getting overwhelmed is also something to keep in check when we are around children. To say “I am not happy with your behavior” after they have made a mistake and “I would like you to apologize” or ask them to tell you what they think they did wrong is a great way to inculcate accountability and responsibility in their personality.
4. Bring playtime to life: Playtime with your child is going to be the building blocks of many essential skills they need for their holistic development. You can also make everyday activities fun while teaching them new things. Indulge in various outdoor and indoor games every day. There are endless games to play that are fun for everyone in the family. For instance, counting the stairs; hunting for colors when you are outside; or naming animals or the sounds they make; all of these little things play a major role in widening their horizons. Be as present as possible and treat every moment like an exciting and purposeful activity because it is nothing short of that for them. This time can be the most rewarding experience for your child and family.
5. Acceptance: Being a parent, it is obvious to think and want the best for your child, but sometimes our high expectations of them backfire. It is very easy to get carried away by societal norms and standards, but it is essential to recognize that every child is unique and that no two days will ever be the same. Accepting both their failures and successes is crucial to instilling in them the idea that neither is a reflection of their worth and that both are necessary aspects of growing up. Instilling in children the practice of reflecting on errors and identifying what they might have done differently enables kids to always learn from all experiences. It teaches them to always walk away with lessons from every experience, good or bad. Both parents and kids can benefit from this; excellent parenting entails acknowledging errors and learning from them rather than inventing excuses.
Frequently asked questions –
- Where can we start to make our home environment a welcoming and open space so the kids feel free to share their thoughts and emotions?
-While all of the aforementioned suggestions are excellent places to begin, it is important to emphasize the value of engaging in dialogue with children. When asking and talking would be enough to get the point across, we sometimes waste time trying to figure out how to encourage children to be more forthcoming. So, start talking about nothing and everything.
- How can we get kids to step away from their screens and become more physically active?
-The first and foremost thing here is to limit screen time access and make playtime more exciting. Organize treasure hunts around the house or indulge yourself in sports with them. There are plenty of ways to make every day more enjoyable than the time spent in front of a screen. You just have to be willing to look for them.