how to bring up a child: the basics
Children need to feel secure and loved. They need their essential needs to be met, and to be comforted when they are sad or upset. As they get older, they need to be allowed to explore and to make mistakes, knowing they will be praised for their efforts and not judged if they do wrong, but have good intentions. Playing, joking and laughing create a happy atmosphere that allows for optimism and positivity. Encouraging them to talk about their feelings keeps an open and honest home environment. As always, try to lead by example in how you treat others both inside the family and out.
there’s no one-size-fits-all
Every child is different and parents should adapt and respond to their personalities. Just because one child is sporty and active doesn’t mean a second will be, for example. A warm, nurturing, supportive environment embraces all nuances and character quirks. Some helpful parenting tips to maintain family harmony are to eat meals together and let everyone have their say. If it’s not possible to do this every day, have a set ritual, such as Saturday breakfast or Sunday lunch. Try to set aside plenty of time for unstructured play where imaginations can run riot.
let them know the boundaries
In the famous 'marshmallow experiment' children who could practise restraint by not eating a sweet straight away, earned the reward of getting two later. This self control and understanding of a behaviour and effect is a great asset throughout life. The best way to teach this to your children is to not give in to tantrums and demands. Having a fair system for dealing with inappropriate behaviour, such as a 'naughty step' is a good way to keep things structured. On the other hand, a sticker chart can be an excellent way to encourage good behaviour.
tone down the technology
Tablets, computers and electronic games all have their place and can help development. However, too much screen time isn’t ideal for youngsters. To encourage a love of learning and natural curiosity, try to keep lots of books around and have regular times when you read together. Other tried and tested ways to keep your children away from the computer or TV include painting, cake decorating and, when the weather cooperates, a few outdoor games. By introducing a variety of activities you can help your child discover all sorts of skills and build confidence too.