People want only the best for their children. For many people, that means the best schools, the best clothes, and the best home for their kids. But what about your child’s emotional needs? The effort you put into making your kids emotionally strong shapes their confidence, happiness, and ultimately how they succeed in the world.
Here are five great ways to build your child’s emotional framework to make them stronger and more positive about life.
Give it the proper perspective
Life is demanding, no matter what your career or personal situation is. Set your perspective from the beginning that when raising a child, you’re shaping an entirely new person. And that person will go on to shape many others in the way he or she lives. So do the world a favor. Make it count.
A cooperative birthing experience
When both parents are present and actively involved in the birth of a child, it sets the tone for much of the child’s early years. No, the baby won’t remember if you’re there or not. But it’s the spirit of cooperation that’s important. And that’s something children can feel immediately even though they can’t understand or iterate their feelings about it until much later. So start out the right way – with both of the most important people in the child’s life present and involved.
The more time you spend with your baby the better off he or she will be. This seems intuitive, perhaps even obvious to some. After all, who but the parents are better equipped to understand and serve the needs of a child than mom or dad? Nonetheless, in the rush of everyday life, careers, and all the other things that crowd people’s lives, it’s all too easy to forget. So if you find yourself drifting away from your child, remind yourself regularly that your child is your most precious creation. Invest time to make them everything they can be.
When you do need to seek others to take care of your children, try to make the experience as consistent as possible. Children need a great deal of consistency. They are, after all, trying to figure out everything there is to know in a very complicated, busy world. If the situations around them are constantly changing, the child can be stressed. So look for caregivers that can commit to a regular schedule. Also, when you’re selecting a potential caregiver, make sure it’s one that works with your situation and you can afford over the long haul. It’s not good enough to find one that will work for a few months.
Effective spacing of children
Caring for children under three takes a great deal of effort. And this energy can potentially be at the expense of older siblings. Yes, to some degree, this diversion of attention is inevitable. But you can also plan your family accordingly to ensure that you have enough energy and attention for everyone.
The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart, by Jan Heart. Copyright 2001, New Society Publishers
Understanding Attachment: Parenting, Child Care, and Emotional Development, by Jean Mercer. Copyright 2006, Praeger Publishers.