Becoming a parent will always open you up to unlimited advice, and it doesn’t matter if you want it or not. Each person believes they have the golden piece of knowledge that has cracked parenting, but how do you know what to trial and what to toss? Enriching your child’s development should be the priority of all parents, and so it’s important to back the right research and practises so that your child has the greatest head start in life. Here we have compiled some insights that will introduce you to a new and sustainable way of active parenting. Let’s take a look.
Get the basics right first
As a parent, you want to establish the best environment and circumstances to get those magical teaching moments happening with frequency. A reliable pram from ABC Design will go a long way in supporting your child, as will a sturdy cot that provides the best sleeping conditions for your little one. A balanced diet will also influence how your child responds to learning. As with adults, there are some foods that release short and sharp bursts of energy, and others that release energy consistently throughout the day. Get the basics right first and you will have formed a great foundation for deeper development and learning.
Equip your family with the right toys and tools
Parenting is one of the most rewarding jobs there is, but it is a job. That’s why quality toys will work towards your development intentions, and sometimes do the heavy lifting for you. If you hadn’t considered the part toys play in a child’s development, it’s likely you have been selecting the wrong toys. So, how do you spot the development toys from the regular ones? Look out for things that challenge your child to use problem-solving (like fitting shape blocks into shape holes), or allow them to use their creative minds (colouring-in, painting). If you are not sure you want to buy more toys, you can actually create a development activity using tools around the house. Find items that are pointy, flurry, scratchy and slippery, and affix them to a wall or board. These are known as ‘tactile boards’ and let your child experience and register different surfaces and feelings.
Nurture their self-esteem
Maintaining positive, healthy self-esteem should be something we all strive for, and it starts when you are a child. Parents can nurture a child’s self-esteem by giving words of encouragement and praise when a task is carried out. That’s not to say that finishing a cup of water warrants a parade, but certain milestone moments and independent tasks should be celebrated. You can also give your child the responsibility of addressing shop clerks, and ordering at cafes and restaurants. This may feel like a small thing to do, but it strengthens independence and child self-esteem, propelling your child into a confident young individual.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries
Restraint is the one thing that separates man and animal, and the same boundaries should be set with your children. Exercising boundaries at a young age will condition your child to understand limitations and reward, which is the cornerstone of development. Start with something small like limiting toy time at a certain hour in the evening, or controlling television hours to certain periods. Children who believe they can have anything when they want will not grow up with the same developmental insight as those who understand boundaries. Still not convinced? Investing the time early will avoid you dealing with a difficult adolescent down the line, not to mention a potentially difficult teenager.
Your child’s development is a topic that undoubtedly consumes a lot of your time, with so much research and methodology to support every opinion. Ultimately, a happy and supported child will develop into a healthy individual, so start your active parenting journey today with these fundamentals in mind.