Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs there is, and it never seems to get any easier! No matter what age your child is, you’ll want to find the most effective ways to support them. Your child’s wellbeing is, of course, your top priority, especially in these trying times, so here are a few ways to create a happy and healthy future for them…
Listen to them
If you spend a lot of time with your kids or can recite every episode of Peppa Pig by heart, you probably think you’ve got this one down already. However, active listening is a skill that takes time to accomplish.
As any parent knows, kids tend to choose the most awkward time to have heart-to-heart discussions. Often, a child does this because it takes your entire focus off of them, which makes it easier for them to open up. If you’re busy with another task and your child’s trying to talk to you, pay attention because, chances are, they’re going to say something important.
Although you may feel like you spend 99% of your time listening to your child, this may not be how they feel. If they regularly hear you say, ‘Hold on a minute’, ‘Wait’, or ‘Not now’, they probably interpret this to mean you don’t want to listen to them, rather than you trying to find the right time to listen to them.
By slowing down and active listening, you can ensure you hear what your child has to say and, crucially, make sure that they know you’re interested. This alone can have a dramatic impact on a child’s confidence and wellbeing.
Be active in their education
Showing an interest in your child’s education and being an active part of school life is essential. Although it can be difficult to juggle responsibilities and working or volunteering, there are a variety of ways you can get involved.
If you can’t be present at school during the day, for example, try to volunteer for out-of-hours events, like school discos or parents’ evenings. Alternatively, when the school decides to book primary school trips with NST, volunteer to act as a chaperone. Joining the PTA or becoming a school governor is also a great way to share your skills with the school community.
In addition to this, you’ll want to create a positive learning environment at home. Although your child will receive their formal education at school, children learn from their surroundings all the time. By making learning fun and taking part in a range of activities with your family, you can foster a lifelong curiosity and love of learning in your child.
Avoid putting too much pressure on your child
Naturally, parents want to see their children succeed as best they can. However, it’s important that this desire doesn’t become a source of tension or conflict. While you can give your child the support and tools they need to thrive, placing too much pressure on them can have a negative impact on their wellbeing.
While it’s important to celebrate accomplishments, it’s equally critical to praise your child for the effort he or she puts into something. Teaching them how to cope with failures and setbacks is a vital lesson, so be sure they understand that failure is a part of life that everyone experiences.
Encouragement and motivation from parents can be fantastic for children, providing it’s delivered with love and care. With a gentle approach and appropriate expectations, you can enhance your child’s wellbeing and confidence and nourish their own desire to succeed.
Teach them to manage stress
Stress is a normal part of life but it’s not something we always manage very well. Even young children experience a considerable element of stress as part of their day-to-day routines, so teaching them healthy ways to cope with stressors could be one of the best decisions you ever make.
There are many resources when it comes to finding age-appropriate stress reduction techniques. From yoga for toddlers to mindfulness for teens, you can use a range of tools to help your child uncover healthy mechanisms for coping with what life throws at them.
Supporting Your Child
Simply spending time with your children is a great way to show your support and improve their wellbeing. From days out and trips to the park to arts and crafts at the kitchen table or movie nights with the family, there are endless ways to reinforce your support for your child at every stage of their life.