Children don’t arrive with instructions. There’s no single book that will provide you with everything you need to know about raising a family. Believe me; I’ve looked. It’s true that you will be bombarded with well-meaning advice from friends and family. And there is no end of hints and tips on the internet. If you listen to it all, it can quickly become overwhelming. Over the years you’ll learn to filter out the noise and apply the lessons that are relevant to you. Until then, this may help.
Start with getting the basics in place. Children need to feel safe. This includes having food, shelter, clothing and security. It’s not about having lots of money and the best of everything. It’s about consistency and getting the bases covered.
Are there simple changes you could make to ensure your family’s comfort and security? Is your home a safe environment? It’s important to have a maintenance checklist and minimise any risks. This includes setting up safety measures and regular checks. Do you have a security alarm to protect against intruders? If not, it’s worth checking out your options. Reading guides like Alarm-Reviews.net security system buyers guide is a good place to start. Getting the basics in place will provide you with peace of mind. If you’re relaxed and happy, your children are likely to feel the same.
- Moral Compass
Discipline is a contentious issue and one that is much debated. It’s important to teach our kids right and wrong. But what’s the best way to go about this?
- Don’t just tell your kids what to do, model good values
- Own up to your mistakes and apologise
- Share your own personal experiences with your children
- Make your children accountable for their mistakes and be accountable for yours
- Encourage your children to help others
- Value and praise good behaviour
- Keep communications open
- Condemn bad behaviour and not the child
- Carefully monitor their access TV, the Internet and other outside influences
- Spend Time With Them
One of the best gifts you can give to your children is your time. Most of us lead busy lives, and we have to work. Unfortunately, there’s no getting away from that. However, set aside time each day to spend with your children. This could be helping them with their homework, allowing them to chat to you as you’re making dinner, bedtime stories, etc. Safeguard this time and don’t let anything get in the way of it.
Another great way to be with your kids is to schedule in family time. This is particularly important when your kids are getting older and spending more time with their friends. Set aside an evening each week or a day at the weekend to do something fun as a family.
- Build Confidence
Having confidence in yourself is invaluable and will stand you in good stead for years to come. We all want our children to be self-assured and confident in their own abilities. However, it can be difficult to instil this, especially with the advent of social media. There are a few simple things we can do to help with this.
- Step back a little and allow your children to make their own decisions
- Allow children to take healthy risks, within reason of course
- Don’t answer every question but encourage children to find their own solutions
- Encourage them to experiment and find what they enjoy doing
- Let them make mistakes and help them to learn from them and move on
- Praise your children but don’t overdo it
- Encourage Hobbies
Encourage your children to have hobbies. Limit time spent on electrical devices and encourage them to pursue other interests. Find out what they like doing. This could be playing a musical instrument, taking part in crafts, dancing, sports, etc. Whatever it is, fire their enthusiasm. You should also do the same. Allow them to see that you also have hobbies and that you spend time doing what makes you happy.
Talking is good. Let your kids see that they can talk to you about anything. If they confide in you don’t judge them. Talk the issue through and help them to find solutions. Make sure that you are available so they have plenty of time to grab your attention. If they seem worried or distracted, encourage them to discuss what’s on their mind. Communication is the key to all great relationships.
Above all, love your children and allow them to see that they are loved and cared for. Don’t just tell them, demonstrate it through your actions. Establishing boundaries and even punishments will let them know they are cared for. This is the most important thing. Get this right, and the rest will follow.