child development, family time, Relationships

You Can’t Spoil a Child through Love

Though we all worry about spoiling our child, rest assured that you cannot spoil your child with love. Love doesn’t spoil children. Love is imperative to a child’s healthy development, and it’s just not possible to love your child too much. They need caring adults to spend time with them, play with them, teach them, protect them, and enjoy life with them.

It’s a parent’s job to provide love, safety and encouragement. The process of growing up provides children with lots of challenges. Try to listen openly and understand their situation and communicate honestly with them when they have difficulties and letdowns in their life.

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Set appropriate limits with your child and then adhere to them. Establishing limits with your child gives them a sense of safety and security.  Sometimes parents do not set limits because they don’t want to fight with their children. They don’t want to cause bad feelings. They may beg a child to comply. Or they may make a rule and fail to enforce it. They may nag without ever enforcing the rules. None of these helps children.

When your child fails to adhere or comply with the boundaries you’ve set for them, be firm yet kind in your response. This lets them know that you’re serious about the rule but dedicated to helping and loving them.

Bear in mind though that each child is different and what works for one child may not work for another. For example, one child may respond well to the direct approach of telling them a specific time to be home, where another child may need a gentle reminder that it’s now time to come home.

Develop a firm but a kind manner of making and enforcing your household’s rules and expectations.  There’s no need to fear our children, and there should be no need to instill a sense of fear in our children in order to get them to comply.  


how to be the most loving parent the smart wayGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu

child development, healthy food, Relationships

The Importance of a Regular Routine to your Child

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Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine. Schedules begin from the first days of life. Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities.

As they gets older, when a child knows what is going to happen and who is going to be there, it allows them to think and feel more independently,  and feel more safe and secure. A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.

Dinnertime is a great place to start setting a routine.  Sitting together at the dinner table gives children the opportunity to share their day and talk about their feelings.  This is also a great time to include some responsibility in your child’s routine, such as helping to set or clear the table.

And regardless of how exhausted you or your children may be, don’t be tempted to skip winding down from the day.  This is part of a nighttime ritual and allows both child and parent to decompress after a busy day. It also helps bedtime go more smoothly.  This is usually the time of day when parent and child can spend some quality time together, so fight the urge to start the laundry or do the dishes until after the child has gone to bed.  If this isn’t possible, consider trading off these duties with your spouse each night to ensure your child has quality time with each parent on a regular basis. Take the time to find out what wind-down strategy works best for your child.  Some children are actually energized instead of relaxed by a warm bath, so if that’s the case with your child, bath time should be saved for a different time of day. Whatever routine you settle on, make it quiet, relaxing, and tranquil for everyone.  

And though routines are essential, there should be some room to be flexible as well.  You might be out late at night on a family outing, have unexpected company show up that may result in a skipped meal or nap in the car while running errands in the evening.  In these instances, it’s important for you to keep your cool. If you express frustration or anger about disrupting the routine, your child will as well. Prepare children for such unexpected events and show them that though it can happen from time to time, the routine will return the next day.

how to keep your sleeping baby safeGet a  book by the author Bakshi Sidhu


 

family conflict, Relationships

Harsh Discipline: Does it do More Harm than Good?

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Recent studies suggest that low-income parents tend to endorse much harsher discipline, partially because they hold stronger beliefs about the value of spanking and experience higher levels of stress.

However, parents who work in high-stress jobs or are stay-at-home parents who are feeling frustrated or isolated are also at risk.  It’s imperative that parents recognize their tendency to punish a child too severely and take the needed steps to make sure the punishment is appropriate for their child’s age, temperament and maturity level.

The study’s finding showed that parents from lower income levels or work high pressure jobs are more stressed, and they react more emotionally to their child’s behavior, and thus use harsher discipline. A parent in this situation may benefit from outside assistance and learning about alternative disciplinary strategies that are more appropriate and less harsh.

It’s also important for a parent to realize that children thrive on praise.  Parents in such a situation may always jump to discipline but fail to praise their child for their good deeds, behaviors and traits.  Children instinctively want to please their parents and make them proud.

By encouraging positive behavior, the parent will most likely discourage the behavior that has driven them in the past to punish too harshly. 

In order to encourage positive behavior deserving of praise, parents might want to consider giving their child a task they know they’re able to accomplish, and praise their efforts along the way.  Parents need to also consistently praise their children for the positive traits they possess.  Their child might be good at math in school, helpful to their little brother or sister, or is good at drawing pictures.  Praise these good traits and the child is likely to respond by acting appropriately and behaving positively in order to gain more praise.

In the end, it’s important to remember that a child is just that – a child.  A parent should make a concerted effort to make sure the discipline is appropriate and take care of themselves physically, mentally and emotionally so they can optimally provide for their child’s physical and emotional well-being.

Relationships

Celebrate your Child’s Uniqueness

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Just like a snowflake or a fingerprint, every child is unique in their own special way. Every child has a unique way of feeling, thinking, and interacting with others. Some children are shy, while others are outgoing; some are active, while others are calm; some are fretful, while others are easy-going. As a loving and nurturing parent, it’s your job to encourage them to embrace their uniqueness and celebrate their individual qualities.

Allow your child to express themselves through their interests.  They may find a creative outlet in theatre, dancing or art, or they may be exceptionally talented in the sciences.  Encourage them to embrace what they like to do, what interests them, and what makes them happy.  Help them realize that they don’t need to worry about being ‘like everyone else.’

Teach your child to make positive choices, and praise them for good deeds, behaviors and positive traits they possess.  Encourage them to become actively involved in their community, and introduce them to activities that promote a sense of cooperation and accomplishment.  Be firm yet fair when handing down discipline for misdeeds or misbehaviors, and make certain the rules and consequences for breaking the rules are clearly defined.  Show a cooperative, loving and united front with your spouse when it comes to discipline.

Accept and celebrate your child’s uniqueness. Remember that your child is an individual. Allow your child to have his or her own personal preferences and feelings, which may be different from your own.

And finally, encourage your child to be true to themselves by doing the same.  Show your child how to make positive choices with the choices you make, and that nobody is perfect and you too make mistakes.  Show your child that mistakes can be a great learning experience, and that they should not be ashamed or embarrassed about making them.

 

Relationships

Building Your Child’s Self Esteem

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It’s often been said that children learn what they live.  So if you’re looking for a place to start helping your child build positive self esteem and self value, then you should show them your positive sense of self and strong self esteem.  Be positive when you speak about yourself and highlight your strengths. This will teach your child that it’s okay to be proud of their talents, skills and abilities.

Your child also benefits greatly from honest and positive praise.  Find something about them to praise each day.  You could even give your child a task you know they can complete and then praise them for a job well done after they’re finished. Show your child that positive acts merit positive praise.

When your child’s feeling sad, angry or depressed, communicate openly, honestly and patiently with them. Listen to them without judging or criticizing.  They may not fully understand why they feel the way they do, so the opportunity to communicate with you about it may be what’s needed to help them sort through a difficult situation.  Suggest positive behaviors and options as solutions, and make sure to leave that door of communication open so they know the next time they feel bad, they can come to you for help and know that you won’t judge or punish them for how they’re feeling.

Teach your child the importance of setting goals and developing a plan to meet that goal and complete that task.  Small projects are the best to start off with in the beginning.  Ensure that it’s an appropriate task for your child, and not too complex.  Don’t only give praise at the end of the project, but praise their accomplishments during the project as well.

Most importantly, tell your child “I love you” each and every day – many times throughout the day, in fact. 

When they’ve behaved badly, remind yourself that it’s not them you don’t like, only their behavior.  Tuck short, sweet notes in their lunchboxes or coat pockets, or even send them a card in the mail.  Soon, they’ll learn to say “I love you” just as easily and honestly in return.