Our children live in a world that is vastly different than the one we lived in when we were growing up. We often hear horror stories about the things kids send to each other and post on social media, whether it’s inappropriate pictures or eating laundry detergent.
And let’s not forget the media they are constantly bombarded with, between hate speech from trolls and fake news.
That’s why is crucial that parents to help their children develop a solid foundation so they can make healthy choices when navigating the world.
Here are 13 tips from Lauren Tamm of TheMilitaryWifeandMom.com for raising well-adjusted children:
1) Set Boundaries
Kids need to have healthy boundaries set up by their parents so they can learn to do this on their own they are adults. Parents must hold strong to these boundaries when their children push back. This will help them learn to accept their boundaries and thus learn acceptance.
2) Have a Routine
Routines help us feel grounded and relaxed, this is especially so for children. Knowing what to expect brings a sense of relief and comfort. It also gives children a sense of control. These are all very important emotions children need to master in their lives.
3) Early Bedtime
Sleep is key for all people. But it’s especially important for children whose brains are developing. Sleep promotes healthy brain development and allows kids to develop and create new neural connections. Getting enough sleep also helps their behavior and prevents them from being cranky.
4) Teach Empathy
Empathy allows one to sympathize with another and see what it’s like to be in their situation. Research shows that empathy is a predictor of a child’s happiness and success.
“Empathy promotes kindness, prosocial behaviors, and moral courage, and it is an effective antidote to bullying, aggression, prejudice and racism. It’s why Forbes urges companies to adopt empathy and perspective-taking principles, the Harvard Business Review named it as one of the ‘essential ingredients for leadership success and excellent performance.’” says Dr. Michele Borba.
5) Make Time For Hugs
Hugging releases oxytocin which a feel-good hormone. It also releases growth hormones to enhance a child’s growth.
“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth,” says family therapist Virginia Satir.
6) Make Time For Play
The hustle and bustle of life can make it easy to forget about making time for fun. But making time for play helps us to connect with our children. So, put your phone down and make time to connect with your children through play.
7) Spend Time Outdoors Outdoor Time
Being outside is good for the soul. It improves creativity, academic success, and emotional stability.
“Kids who don’t get to do this can have so many issues, from problems with emotional regulation—for example, they cry at the drop of a hat—to trouble holding a pencil, to touching other kids using too much force,” says Meryl Davids Landau, author of Enlightened Parenting.
8) Make Them Do Chores
Research shows that children who have chores have higher self-esteem. They also found this helps children be more responsible, deal with frustration better, and delay gratification. This also helps them be more successful in school.
9) Limit On Screen Time
Children need real-world stimuli to properly develop. They don’t get that from staring at a screen all day. That’s why it’s crucial to limit screen time.
10) Value Experiences Not Things
Children won’t remember the things you bought them but they will remember the experiences you shared with them. Experiences are the best way to create happy lasting memories with your children. As we grow up, we find out that things don’t really make us happy, it’s relationships and experiences that do.
11) Take It Slow
“I encourage parents to take some time to just watch their children, whether they are playing, doing homework, or eating a snack. Take a moment to drink them in. Remember and remind yourself how remarkable your children are. That pause alone, even if momentary, can drive a shift in the pace,” says clinical psychologist John Duffy.
12) Read Time to Them
Reading is one of the most important things you can do with your children. Start reading to your children and then read alongside them when they’re able to read on their own. It teaches them to learn how to speak, interact and helps them to feel closer to you. It also teaches them to understand the world around them and be empathetic citizens of the world.
13) Expose Them To Music
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When children learn to play music their brains can hear and process sounds they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. It helps them to develop a neurophysiological distinction between sounds. This can help them with literacy and succeed academically.
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