We continue from were we stopped in the last article on how best to raise children and train them to grow up into useful members of the society.
8) Set reasonable boundaries for your children.
When you set and enforce reasonable boundaries for your, you raise respectful children.
A good parents will use can easily explain the logic behind the rules to the child. Even though they may not really understand it all, they will always remember that “dad or mum said not to do this because of …”
In so doing, you form a better understanding and bonding with your children.
While going about the boundary setting, try not to be too controlling.
Boundaries are like a two-edged sword. If you do it right, you keep the children focused and happy. If you get it wrong, especially by being too controlling and authoritative, your children will simply find ways to circumvent your rules. Breaking laws is human nature, humans want to be free from any form of control at all times.
- Instead of telling your child not to associate with bad people, tell them instead not to associate with people who will lead them into trouble or into committing a crime or doing something they’re not comfortable with.
With this simple advise, you have given the child a solid foundation to avoid bad people seeing as it is not written in the face.
- Instead of telling your child not to date, advice them on being better persons instead who go for what they want.
- Instead of telling your child to avoid eating sugary things a lot, educate them about the health dangers of too much sugar in the body system. That way, you are indirectly teaching them moderation.
It’s all about your imagination and your ability to pass accross subtle messages without being controlling or autocratic.
9) Help your children build meaningful relationships.
Having nice meaningful relationships inside and outside the home is vital for the psychological well-being and growth of children.
Research has shown that most children who grew up without strong and meaningful relations do worse in school, may likely get into trouble with the law, and are very likely to develop psychiatric problems and depression.
What can parents do to help their children build or create meaningful relationships?
As a parent, try as much as you can to respond appropriately to your child’s emotional cues. Sometimes, a child may not be forthcoming with what they’re thinking because they’re afraid of the interpretation you may give it.
You owe it as your duty as a parent to make sure that your children always open up to you. If you fail in this duty, they will be opening up to someone else. If there is no-one to open up to, that becomes a problem which can lead to depression; it starts building up in them. This is one of the reasons for resentment towards parents by children.
The child who views you as their everything will be wondering why you are not getting the point, while you go about telling everyone else that your child is always moody and barely talks to you about anything in their life…except when they need money of course.
As a parent, it is your duty to create an enabling environment for your child to help them build meaningful friendships…and this starts in the home with you.
10) Do not focus on the end result:
Do not overemphasize achievement to your children, focus on the process instead. When you focus on achievement, especially by references to other children, you are more likely to bring up children who will have obsessive psychological problems that will lead them into engaging in risky and immoral behaviour to be successful in life or to belong.
Instead of repeatedly asking your child to get all ‘A’s in their results, teach them to study hard always. Teach them that it is better they make all C’s through their own hard work than cheating to obtain a better result.
Help them to have that strong foundation that they can get all ‘A’s if they want, but that making all B’s is equally not a bad result.
Never discourage your child or make reference to others who did it better. When you do this, it affects a child psychologically. You will only be building someone who will cut corners to achieve results in order to be congratulated, praised or seen as being above the rest.
When your child makes a ‘C’, tell them that that’s what they have chosen to make, and encourage them to put more effort into their studies if they want to go higher. Help them understand that the more they read, they better they understand. The better they understand a subject matter, the better answer they can give to a structured examination.
Evidence shows that children who concentrate more on effort and not on the desired result, end up attaining greater and higher success in the long run.
Always make it a point to acknowledge the good behavior, attitude, and effort of your child. With time, they will naturally
achieve better results.
11) Allow your children more Play time.
“Play,” here is not just android or arcade or iPad games or video console games. I’m talking about unstructured children’s play, preferably outdoors. I’m referring to the outdoor activities where children of many backgrounds meet up and before you could say jack, they are utilising anything in their immediate environment to start playing around.
Playing around is essential for children’s learning and growth, especially unstructured outdoor activities. Having a playful attitude has been linked to achieving superior academic performance. Just don’t allow them play all day.
12) Don’t shout at your children.
Yelling at your children is not right.
If you are talking to your child and you realise you are about to lose your cool over the issue, remove yourself from there immediately. Once you have done that, calm yourself down, and take a few minutes to cool down. Collect your thoughts carefully before speaking to your child again.
It doesn’t matter what the child did or what the issue is, shouting at your children will not solve the issue. At most, it will raise tempers and resentments. Use ’emotion coaching’ to fine tune your anger. Always teach your child how to take responsibility for their actions. Always remember that even though your child is free to express certain feelings, certain behaviours will not be tolerated.
13) Teach your children to forgive.
Unforgiveness leads to depression and anxiety.
As an adult, you already know that holding grudges eventually eats you up and consumes you from inside. One of the best ways of letting go of grudges is by forgiving and letting go.
By teaching your children how to forgive, you are teaching them how to be able to turn negative feelings and emotions from the past into positive ones. This will raise their level of happiness and life satisfaction.
Another way of showing this is by being role models for your children. Remember, your children are watching everything you do silently, even when you think they are not.
Try your best to discuss the need for forgiveness with your children, and why it is important to let go but not discard the lesson that was learnt from it.
14) Train your child to think positively.
•Teach them never to focus on the reasons why something is bad.
• Show them the reasons why inculcating some habits will help them live a happy and healthy life.
• Help them to do something about an issue rather than complain about it.
•Don’t make a huge deal out of silly things like spilled drinks, broken plates, misplaced utensils, etc.
• Teach them to see the good in others and acknowledge it.
• Teach them to take responsibility for their actions and own it.
• Help them know that blaming others is a waste of time and energy, and a bad way of avoiding responsibility for their actions and inactions.
• Teach them that by accepting what they did wrong, they are better poised to do it right.
In conclusion, raising a child is not easy. If you have a child, that means nature has given you a gift to nurture. Whatever the child becomes tomorrow is ultimately in your hands.