Parents play a vital role when it comes to a child’s development. They are a child’s first teacher and role model as they start learning how to navigate the world around them. Early childhood is especially crucial. During this time, children are not only learning how to build relationships with others, but also how to build relationships with themselves. The things they pick up from their parents will develop into traits that can follow them for the rest of their lives, and leave a lasting impact that will affect them forever. It’s important to find the balance between doing too much and not doing enough. Here are a few ways that you can positively affect your child’s development and help them grow into the amazing human that you know they’re meant to be.
The possibilities of what a child can learn through exploration are endless. Encourage children to spell, count, and talk about the things they see throughout the day, and let them ask questions. Shift your perspective to see everything around you as a learning opportunity, and use it to your child’s advantage. Life is all about learning, so show them how fun it can be!
Let them Teach Themselves
No one wants to see their child struggle, but it’s a key component in learning to learn from failure. It fosters independence. With some learning methods, such as the Montessori approach, you can let your child learn on their own without coddling them too much. Letting them discover things for themselves helps their brain develop important connections. But just because you should let them figure some things out for themselves, doesn’t mean you can’t supervise and step in to help when they’re really struggling. Sometimes, babies and young children need a little nudge in the right direction, and that’s okay. Be their support system, not their crutch.
It’s never too early to start reading. Reading taps into your child’s imagination and helps them develop solid communication skills. It’s both mentally stimulating and fun, so why not set a good example and read with them? Reading with your child allows for quality bonding time. It also allows for the opportunity to learn new concepts, such as lessons and vocabulary words.
Divvy Out Some Responsibility
Giving children some age-appropriate chores is a great way to teach a child valuable life skills, such as cleaning and organization. They also help children learn to be self-sufficient, and give them a sense of respect. In fact, studies have also shown that doing chores helps children become happier overall and more empathetic as adults.
Be Mindful with Technology
TVs, smartphones, and video streaming apps can be a great way to sneak a quick break while your child is distracted, but this can be a dangerous trap to fall into. And although there are ways to use these services as tools to aid in learning, relying too heavily on technology can have a negative impact on your child’s development. It ties directly into a more sedentary lifestyle and can prevent children from being as actively engaged as they could be. Setting limits on how long they can be on a certain device, keeping an eye on what your kids are doing online, and avoiding TV close to bedtime are a few simple ways to curb an unhealthy tech habit.
Teamwork isn’t just about working well with other people. It’s also about learning leadership skills and gaining individual self-confidence. Helping your child learn to work well on a team will aid their communication skills, build their self-esteem, and helps kids stay socially engaged.
Teaching your child how to handle feedback is one of the most significant skills you could give them. Constructive criticism is a form of feedback that is given in a friendly, and generally more positive way, instead of only focusing on the bad. However, you should still include the negative aspects and specifically address whatever needs to be worked on or fixed. Giving constructive criticism in a positive way will help better ensure that they learn from short-comings. It will help them gain a better understanding of what could have been done differently. When faced with praise, rather than negative feedback, they’ll develop a better work ethic and a more positive outlook on challenges.
Set the Example
Overall, the best thing you can do in terms of helping your child develop is making sure that you are setting the proper example for them to follow. It’s natural for children to learn by doing, so make sure they have a great role model to look up to. Show genuine curiosity throughout the day in order to encourage a desire for them to learn. Maintain a positive attitude and display random acts of kindness towards others. Show, don’t tell, them the importance of trust by following through on commitments, just as you would expect from them.