Children need reassurance, acceptance, understanding and support. Here are some suggestions that will help you to raise a happy, confident child.
Give encouragement and reassurance.
Children need opportunities to make mistakes, so that they can learn from them. Don't jump in and solve their problems first - whether that is learning to tie a shoelace or making a difficult decision.
Talk about feelings.
Children can feel overwhelmed by their feelings. By encouraging discussion of feelings you are giving them a space to talk about what is on their mind and communicating to them that you care and will be there for them. Let them know that everyone has 'big' feelings and it is okay to feel scared or angry or sad, as long as no one gets hurt. Help younger children to name their feelings.
Children learn how to cope from their parents and caregivers. Talking about feelings encourages children to discuss their worries with you and develop positive self-esteem and confidence.
Spend time together.
Be interested in the things that they enjoy and ask what they are doing at school or kindergarten.
Children learn and develop through play. Playing games, building things and drawing with your child can enhance your relationship with them as well as encourage them to express and master their emotions. Play can help to teach your child lessons such as sharing, taking turns and learning rules. Join them in messy play with sand or mud or paint, and play make-believe with dolls and puppets. Go to the park and play on the swings. Kick a ball. Get in touch with your inner child!
Setting time aside to play with the hustle and bustle of daily life can seem like a big task, but if you spend time together, it is a fantastic way of enhancing your relationship with your child, building their confidence and emotional development. You might even find that your children respond to you in a different way (with fewer tears and tantrums) and you will probably relate to them differently too.
Develop a routine and set limits.
Tantrums occur when children are overwhelmed by strong feelings and lose control of their behaviour.
Protect children from adult problems.
Try and have discussions and adult conversations when your children aren't around. Money worries and disagreements can be very upsetting for children. Be mindful of the impact of your feelings and problems on your child.
Get some extra support.
Raising kids can be a challenge. Sometimes it can be good to have some extra support and professional advice to work through problems. Make time to do some of the things that you enjoy. If you are coping well then it is more likely that your children will feel secure and be able to cope with their problems too.
Give your children some extra support.
If you notice changes in your child's behaviour or their emotions and are concerned about them, it can be helpful to get a referral to a psychologist. The sooner that a child receives additional support, the more likely it is that they will be able to deal with whatever problems they are experiencing. It is better to be cautious than wait and see, or ignore the issue. If you are concerned, then that is a good enough reason to take them to speak with someone. Some teenagers actually ask for help. It is important to listen. Don't let your own feelings get in the way. Early intervention leads to better outcomes for children and families.
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