We all want for our children to become happy, healthy adults. Here are some immediate steps you can take to set the groundwork for your children’s development into flourishing adolescents and autonomous adults:
Recognize that self-care begins with you!
Self-care is vital because people who are able to care for themselves acquire the skills necessary to sustain healthy connections with others in the future, such as middle school and adulthood. A youngster who develops self-compassion will eventually be able to feel compassion for others and will be more likely to have acceptable social skills. Additionally, children see everything you do, therefore it is essential that you practice excellent self-care! Demonstrate that you make errors and that you can forgive yourself and others. Demonstrate that you talk well about yourself. Do not criticize your physique in front of them, even the newly-appearing gray hairs and tired-looking bags under your eyes.
Begin teaching your toddler how to ask for assistance as a valuable self-care ability. Teaching my children this skill transformed our lives! It is empowering to have children who ask for assistance instead of throwing tantrums or acting out. The ability to articulate a desire at an early age is potent. “You’re having trouble with your shoe; your mother will assist you; assistance is welcome!” You’re having trouble climbing onto the sofa; would you prefer Mommy’s assistance?” Model this by requesting assistance from your child. “Mommy has too many books and needs assistance; could you kindly carry one? You are such a wonderful assistance!” Keep things simple and keep in mind that toddlers like their freedom. Teaching this talent should not involve power battles. I realize it’s easier said than done!
2. Exemplify teamwork at home
Children who can identify as members of a wider group begin to recognize the significance of their relationships with others; they understand that their actions have consequences for both themselves and others. As youngsters mature, this talent expands into a multitude of different domains.
We have had age-appropriate “family gatherings” for years. Since they were very little, if I sensed they were being unkind to one another or that things were getting out of hand, I would yell “FAMILY MEETING!” In our household, this entails the girls coming over to where I am, sitting with me, and holding hands as I discuss what I’m seeing. For instance, “Mommy has seen that our group is bickering about toys. How can we resolve this using our words while maintaining silence? “Mommy’s ears almost fell off with all the noise!” They chuckle and examine my ears to see whether they are still present. In a few minutes or less, they express their ideas for resolving the problem, and I either concur or provide a solution, at which point I exclaim, “I adore our little A-Team!” We’re problem solvers!” This is not a speech. I use minimal words and strive to be humorous at all times. They remember it. If (well, if) it gets out of hand again, I say something about my ears coming off, which causes them to chuckle and get it back under control.
Practice channeling your genuine feelings into words:
The inability of teenagers to explain their emotions is a daily occurrence that I see in middle schools. This is very difficult for them to control and may lead to a cycle of extreme anger, hostility, and even despair. This is not optimal for a brain that is still growing. As a parent of a toddler, it is your responsibility to learn your child’s language and become an exceptional translator. Toddlers are capable of making some nasty or furious words. When this happens, you should never take the comments personally or get unduly upset. You are the translator. Help them find other words to communicate the emotion. Maintain a straightforward and age-appropriate tone.
Never encourage a youngster to disregard something:
Children who are instructed to disregard the many stimuli that may have an effect on them often struggle with how to approach really important issues as adults.
Instead, educate your children how to understand their feelings about the topic and how to articulate them. I’d want to eliminate the term ignore from all parents’ and adults’ vocabularies! It is so unproductive that it is almost harmful. I am really enthusiastic about this issue because I observe how this well-intentioned but poor advice has badly affected middle school students daily. How can one ignore someone who calls them offensive names? Or disregard repeated requests for improper images? How can a young kid overlook an aggressive or too physical individual? Typically, I would inquire if the kid has addressed the issue with their parent by asking, “What did your parent say when you shared this with them?” When I hear “My parents told me to ignore it/them,” I know a different strategy is necessary.
Teach youngsters that it is OK to experience pain.
In reality, suffering is one of life’s most essential teachings.
Some of life’s most valuable lessons are learned via extreme adversity. Consider when you were a youngster and encountered challenging circumstances. Primarily, we recall how they made us feel. If we resolved the issue, we felt gratified, even strong, and perhaps certain. We were problem solvers! If we tried and still need assistance, we may have consulted an adult and then addressed the issue, feeling supported and encouraged by our “team.” We learnt to be tenacious! How would you ever LEARN if your “team” felt you couldn’t do it and so fixed your issues before you asked and shielded you from the misery of being disappointed or frustrated? How would you ever comprehend that whatever you set your mind to is possible? Can you distinguish between the two approaches? By using phrases such as “You’ve got this!”, “Keep trying,” and “Look at you working so hard!”, you demonstrate your child’s self-confidence. Another consequence of this method is that your kid will engage in this behavior with others. This sense of empowerment and compassion will be shared with those who are suffering. Natural consequences may be unpleasant. Allow your children to work through them with as little intervention as possible.