Friday, 23 March 2012

Raising a healthy, happy child – part 1

We may not realise it but the way we parent our child can set the tone of our child’s future relationships. The parenting style we adopt nurtures our child’s temperament and it is our interaction with this temperament that largely determines our child’s relationships with their siblings, friends, partners and even employers.

Obviously, we want to be the best parent we can and connect with our children by spending as much quality time with them as possible. Yet the demands of modern life, such as work, make this increasingly difficult.

Here are some tips:

Tune in – from the moment we give birth, we have to figure out what our child wants and feels as they are unable to tell us themselves. Matching our parenting style to the needs and temperament of our child, in a collaborative rather than controlling way, can make us more in tune with them. For example, we understand what their babbled words mean and what makes them squeal with delight. By doing this, our child will feel like they are heard.

Make a fuss – showing our child affection such as hugs and kisses, as well as holding and rocking them, singing and talking, all strengthen the parent-child bond. Indeed, the more we nurture our children and care for them in early life, the more secure, independent, loved and trusting they will feel in later life.

Security is the key – this need for security is demonstrated clearly by your baby when they crawl away and then turn back to check that you’re still there. Children, of any age, need to feel safe and secure and they acquire this when they know that we’re always there for them and they can count on us.

Create routine – most people like to know what’s going to happen next and children are no exception. Making plans and filling our child in on them makes them feel included, respected, and more involved.

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