To raise your children, you won’t find anything better than your own instinct.
There are no user manuals, no miraculous tactics, no “happy-face stickers” that train your kids as if they were puppies.
What really exists is that inner strength that all parents have, with which you can do two things: either listen to it or ignore it.
You know that even if you don’t want to listen to yourself, screaming at your children is not the most appropriate or good thing for both of you. You know that you don’t want to punish them, but you don’t have the tools to do it better. You feel that you would like to let them go, but you cannot avoid marking their path at every moment.
Parents are the only ones who can take charge of the optimal education of their children. They can decide between a happy life accompanied by their children, or a routine existence marked by society and what they may say.
Be aware that the power is in you, and that, although it’s hard, you can get it.
Today I want to show you 8 actions that all parents should carry out, on a daily basis, with our children. They are not magic, but I assure you that if you take them seriously and accomplish them, the relationship and communication with your children will improve greatly.
Listen. Quite often, families go in such a hurry that they think more about ‘achieving’ routines than listening to their children. Every day, you must listen to your children showing an interest, interacting with them, and letting them know that everything that is part of their life is also a part of yours.
Kisses and hugs. It seems obvious, but the reality is that many children do not enjoy these gestures from their parents. Our children need physical tokens of love as part of their development. It’s not about forcing this contact; just to give the physical affection they need. Just as you like your partner to show you love by kissing and hugging you, and you need it, it would be incoherent to think that your children can do without it.
Leave them their own freedom. Children, like all people, need to be free, to feel that they are their own masters. Don’t be blinded by marking each of their steps, and give priority to giving them their own space not guided or marked by you. They must also have the freedom to move. Sometimes parents don’t even tolerate their children jumping, running, dancing, throwing things, testing their strength, etc. They seem small soldiers who must follow strict rules of preparation to go out and fight. Life is not a battle; life has good and bad things, and you have to know how to handle both, not only the “negative” side, and for all the fullness of life is for which we must guide our children.
Play. Within this freedom, children need to play. The one and only obligation that children have is to play. Many parents tell them things like ‘All you have to do is study, just do it!’ without realizing that the only responsibility that children should have is to play and enjoy their childhood. When they have time for those activities, they develop their mind optimally. Not only you have to provide space for them to play freely, but you must also have time to play with them. You don’t have to be with the children only in moments of routines and obligations, but also in the moments of leisure and fun, and these must be daily, not just on holidays.
Do not inhibit their emotions. Many families suppress their children’s emotions. Kids are not allowed to express what they feel, and, therefore, they don’t learn to recognize their emotions. Phrases like ‘Don’t cry,’ ‘don’t get angry,’ or ‘don’t feel sad,’ are part of the families’ daily script. And this does nothing but hinder the self-knowledge and real personality of children. You always have to accompany your children with respect and repressing their emotions is not respecting them.
6. Allow them to make decisions. Children have the right to make their own decisions. In fact, they start taking them very soon (if we let them, of course). The problem is that parents do not usually favor this decision making. And then, there come issues such as ‘How couldn’t he decide whether to take the Bachelor of Arts or Science?,’ ‘how cannot he choose between football or basketball?,’ ‘how is it possible that in school some guys insulted a classmate, and he didn’t know how to stay out of it?,’ etc. Well, all this little personality when making decisions is due, precisely, to never having the opportunity to decide. Logically, they’re not going to determine whether the family invests in the stock market or not, but you have to let them decide what to wear, how much to eat, what to watch on TV, etc. With these small decisions, they’ll learn to take them and manage them by listening to themselves, and not to the interests of others.
7. Enjoy them. Don’t let your own stress stops you from enjoying your children. Savor every moment with them and, in addition, be aware that you are enjoying their company. Time flies; don’t let yourself be deceived by false beliefs that tell you to have a “firm hand” with your children because it makes no good to anyone, we quickly get away from whoever has it with us.
8. Pay attention to them. Children, as well as all people, need attention. The typical statement ‘He does it to get your attention’ is harmful to children and their rearing since they are blamed for claiming something that actually belongs to them. Because, if children ask for attention is that they are not being provided with the necessary. Don’t forget to give your children the attention they need, and you will stop noticing that they call your attention constantly because you will be simply giving it to them.
Well, now that you have read my proposals, think about which is the most urgent to integrate into your own home. If, for example, you do all of them, but you don’t usually let them make their own decisions, start with it. If you think that you fail in more than one, choose which one, to begin with, and plan how you will progressively integrate the rest.
I assure you that making these changes; you will notice a considerable improvement in the relationship with your children and family welfare. But, like everything in life, it entails effort, perseverance, and decision.
Our children deserve to be treated as people, as people in evolution, in growth, in learning. People determined to move forward and to trust fully in those who take them by the hand along the path of life.
Seize the day and enjoy your children.
Remember that I’m waiting for you in the Edurespect Intensive Training if you want to give a twist to your way of raising your children, and do it as they really deserve (click on these lines and find out).
Big hug, and don’t forget to share if you think that many families could benefit from my advice.
Thank you very much,
Parent & Teacher Educator, Author, Expert in Respectful Education, and Founder of Edurespect School