The changing attitude in today’s society has been accompanied by many other changes as well. One of these is seen in the challenges that confront some parents as they try to fulfill their god-given role. Some find that the declining moral and social values have led them to turn to books and other expert sources on child rearing for the answer to their quest: How can I find the right kind of direction that will help me meet my parenting role more successfully. So here are 5 keys that can help you unlock this gateway to better parenting.
1. Show Love To Your Children:
The dynamic force of love is well known, but it cannot be overstated. Children need love to thrive, and without it, they tend to shrink-up; or as stated in the book Love and Its Place in Nature, they tend to “die”. Just as the growth of a young plant is stimulated by proper nourishment: air, light, water and nutrients from the soil; so will the mental, and emotional growth of young children flourish when their parents shower them with expressions of love and affection. This type of love is not like the pampering, that tends to spoil children. It is a physical, emotional and verbal expression of your affection; communicated to your children in a way to make them feel important, respected, and wanted. It builds them up and lays the foundation for the mental and emotional stability needed to develop into well- balanced adults.
So parents do not hold back in expressing the right kind of love: (not pampering) to your children.
But expressing your love also requires that you give them the proper guidelines to help them avoid being trapped in the snares that life throws at us from time to time, and this leads to key number two.
2. Set Clearly Defined Rules:
This provides them with a clear structure. Without structure children can become unruly, rude, and even confused.
Children can be likened to a climbing rose: beautiful in form and wonderful in design.
But if this climbing rose is allowed to climb about wildly, the form and design will get lost in the jumble of wild entanglements that it will make. So the owner / gardener must foresee this problem and guide the climbing rose along the path he / she wants it to take.
Parents, you are like the owner / gardener. You must not allow your children to have the freedom of their own devices (the wild climbing rose), because they simply do not know how to handle it.
Given this freedom, most children will almost always do the wrong thing. The reason
for this is as the bible says, “foolishness is tied up in the mind of a child”; but you can eradicate this mental haziness produced by their youthful ignorance, by laying out the boundaries.
However the rules will only be effective if they are enforced promptly. This calls for skillfulness, patience, and endurance on your part; because the children are going to test you against these rules. So, write out a set of rules (only a few to begin with) in a personalized format for each child: for example, Tommy must not go into Tammy’s room without her permission, and write the reverse for Tammy to level off the field.
The children should also understand that there is a consequence for breaking the rules. And sometimes, it may call for a reasonable amount of discipline when the rules are broken. But if the discipline given is proportionate to the wrong -doing, and it is given in love: not in wrath, nor out of frustration, the children will soon come to accept them, and begin to learn from them. You can also speed up familiarity and acceptance by having a regular revision of the rules, so everyone knows exactly what is expected of him / her. And as you proceed with key number three, their tendency to deviate from the rules will diminish.
3. Instill In Them: Strong Moral Values:
Moral values serve as a guidepost throughout a person’s life. If their parents do not establish it, the children will simply adopt one from their friends.
Everyone knows that acquiring a value system this way can lead to bad outcome:
For example, the children’s friends have invited them to try out some kind of recreational drugs, and they accept this invitation without reservation. Their willingness to do this may be that they think this is the “cool thing” to do since their friends are doing it, or just to get accepted by these friends. But the main reason why they jump on this band -wagon is because they don’t have a value system of their own.
However, when a good value system is established through parental instruction, it ensures that your children learn the things that YOU want them to learn. Then YOU will be the one to instill these four things below, which will prepare them for a better future.
1. How to distinguish for themselves, right from wrong.
2. How to “conquer the evil with the good”
3. They have a family standard to uphold.
4. Their lives are not governed by an “anything goes” attitude.
Therefore, it is imperative that you take the initiative to instill moral values in your children before someone else does.
But to ensure that your children adopt this value system that you’ve worked so hard to give them, you must follow the lead of tip number four.
4. Set A Good Example:
You must practice what you teach.
Do not ask your children to do something that you cannot and will not do yourself.
All the experts agree on this. One education specialist, Dorothy Law Nolte said, “Children learn what they see and they live what they learn.”
So if you want your children to be truthful, you must demonstrate it first.
For instance, the bill collector calls and your child answers the phone: Do you tell the child to say that you are not home, even though you are there? If you do, you are teaching him / her how to be deceptive / dishonest. Therefore, your children are depending on you to give them a good model to follow.
But how can you do this when you are not perfect yourself?
Well models are not perfect in as much as no one is perfect.
But you must strive to display your good qualities as often as you possibly can.
When you make mistakes, don’t be afraid to apologize. Your apology shows the children that you respect their feelings, and you want to make things better for everyone.
But above all, it teaches them that they need to apologize too, when they make mistakes.
For tip number 5.
You Must Motivate Them:
One of the ways to motivate children is to provide the refreshment for their vital energy through recreation and wholesome entertainment.
Making this an event for the whole family can bring untold benefits. It can draw the family together to form what sociologists called a “closely- knitted unit.” Closely connected groups like this always have a good camaraderie among the members, and this helps them to stick together through thick and thin. It also adds a lot of spice to family life, which in turn, brings them more happiness.
Nothing is worse than a humdrum tired format that leads nowhere. It makes home life dull and leaves some children to wander off with the wrong crowd.
However, take care not to overdo this, because it can be counter-productive, and spins off some of the negative effects described in the saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy; and all play and no work makes Jill a lazy girl. “So keep a good balance between work and play, and a good way to do this is to help them to set goals and follow through.
But why choose goals?
Goals provide a nice passage through time and minimize the capacity to drift. But if they are to be effective, they must be realistic, and they must be engaging.
So set goals within your children’s reach, and maintain a balance between the long term and the short term ones. The reason for doing this is that, the short -term goals will allow them to find success within a reasonable period of time. Long- term goals on the other hand are more engaging, and provide much more stimulation over an extended period of time, and this can give them a big sense of accomplishment.
But the question now is what long term goals can you find that will be meaningful to the lives of your young children?
While you may have found a few answers through your own brainstorming, consider this option: ”Music Lessons”.
Young children have a great capacity for responding to music, vocalizing more freely and more readily than all other groups. They do this so often during their waking hours, especially in play- time that it becomes a natural form of self- expression for them. So choosing this activity: ‘learning to play a musical instrument’ as a long-term goal is very practical, because it is well within their reach. This long -term goal can also be a powerful teaching / learning tool for it strengthens critical and analytical thinking, as much as it heightens spatial and temporal skills. This is based on the findings of much research, which have measured the effects of music lessons on brain development. Some of these results reveal that children with music training develop a far better memory and vocabulary than children without such training.
Dr. Agnes Chan of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said;
“Music stimulates the left-side of the brain and this helps to improve the overall function, helping it to do better at other tasks”. So she believes it acts as a cross training for the brain.
However, music does much more than acting as a stimulating force for the brain.
It can: soothe our emotions; heighten our enthusiasm; give us a sense of cultural identity; and it speaks of truths that cannot be spoken in any other way. But it is the power and depth with which it speaks to us that causes us to feel and show more love, compassion and graciousness; and allows us to recognize and enjoy the beauty in our surroundings.
So parents, you have seen the need to shower your children with love, set clearly defined rules; instill strong moral values; set a good example; and how to motivate and invigorate them. Although the tips given here are limited to five, you may add more steps to this formula. But you must use these ones very often to get a better hold and a good grasp on your parenting skill.