Raising a child is one of the hardest things that you will do in your life, but it is also so rewarding. A lot of the time, you question yourself and wonder if you are doing the “right” things. Newsflash: there’s no right way to parent. However, there are things that you can do to ensure that your kids are thriving. Here are a few ways to help –
Focus on your connection and relationship with them first
You are your child’s parent, and the most important thing they need from you is to feel loved, cherished, and accepted regardless of what they accomplish, what they look like, what they are interested in, and how they are different. Be their greatest supporter and the person with whom they want to share victories and defeats. Celebrate with them and provide a loving, supportive shoulder to cry on when they face the inevitable mistakes, failures, and setbacks that are part of life. Your child will have many adults in their life who are not their parent-teachers, coaches, or advisors. Those people will – for the most part – not put their relationship with your child as their top priority. They will focus on drills and achievements and measurable stats. Give your child one safe place where they know they are loved regardless of whether they scored a goal or got an “A.” Let that safe place be you.
Allow them to thrive around friends
Relationships and connections is an important part of being human (and being an animal, in general). Allow them to make friends and become their own individuals around them. To make this happen, make sure you are setting up plenty of opportunities for friends. You can set up playdates, do mommy and me yoga when they are little, introduce them to classes such as music class, gymnastics, dance, soccer, etc. (more on this in a minute!), send them to school, and let them play in the neighborhood, and more. Just allow them to be kids, with other kids!
Get them involved in activities
Speaking of activities…get them involved! Make sure they are doing what they love. Find their interests and foster them. If they love arts, get them in an art class. Are they active and need to get out energy? Consider a sport! If they are old enough, maybe let them pick and see if they love it or not. You can always switch it up down the road!
Talk to them – about everything
Communication is one of the most important things that you can help your child with – and this starts from the minute they are born. Talk to your baby, toddler, and child about everything. This helps so much when it comes to communication and language. If you notice that your child is having trouble with speech, don’t worry. It is so common and there are so many things that you can do to help them. For starters, I would recommend contacting Talk About Therapy – Speech Therapy for their professional recommendation. They do it all, even occupational therapy Atlanta. Wondering when to reach out to them? Here’s what they say:
You should reach out to a speech therapist if you are having any of the following concerns for your child:
- Speech Delays
- Developmental Delays
- Articulation Concerns
- Difficulty during mealtimes
- Difficulty with eating and swallowing
- Bottle-feeding and breastfeeding trouble
- If you believe your child might present with a tongue or lip tie
- Therapy Guidance following a Frenulectomy or Frenectomy tongue or lip procedure
Model the behavior you want
If you want your child to thrive you need to first, model the desired behavior. This means you need to have a reasonable level of stability in your life. This doesn’t mean having ‘perfect’ relationships or always being happy, but it does mean making an effort to be a good role model for your child. Kids are like little sponges; they absorb everything from the adults in their environment – both good and bad.
Practice problem solving with them
There will always be challenges to overcome. This is what makes life so colorful. The important part is how we go about solving problems and changing our thought patterns. Sometimes we need to change so we can grow. Other times, we simply need to approach a challenge from a different perspective. You can help your child become develop their problem-solving skills by brainstorming possible solutions and discussing the options.
Teach them about gratitude
Arguably one of the most important ways you can help your child learn how to thrive is to model gratitude. Life is so precious and wonderful and there is so much to be thankful for. Take every opportunity to speak kindly and show gratitude to others. This will take them so far in life!