Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to Bring the Best Out of Your Child

By Joanne A. Jesena

    Acknowledge that your child is a unique and special individual. Refrain from comparing him with others, most especially in front of him!

    Praise your child’s positive qualities instead of picking on his negative ones.

    Support his endeavors. Buy him a small basketball hoop if he likes basketball. Enroll him in a class he’s interested in.

    Allow your child to express himself. Be it through writing, drawing, painting, singing and even by speaking out his thoughts, opinions and feelings. Children who are allowed to express themselves develop more healthy self-esteem and are able to take better care of themselves in the outside world.

    Educate yourself regarding the latest studies regarding child-rearing, child development and other related topics. Keeping yourself up to date with the latest studies helps you make informed and smart decisions regarding your child.

    Don’t get caught up with increasing your child’s IQ and leaving behind your child’s EQ. Your child’s emotional stability may even be more important to your child’s well-being than his IQ. A very intelligent child may be able to answer perfectly his exams in school but what is the use of this if he cannot handle his emotions or has difficulty relating with peers and with other people around him?

    Include your child in decision-making. Start with small decisions. As a toddler, it could be about the color of his/her clothes. As a preschooler, it could be the kinds of food s/he will bring to school for snacks. This will help your child develop his thinking skills as well as feel responsible for his/her actions. This will also make your child feel that his/her opinions matter to you.

    Let your child make mistakes. As your child grows older, you will have to let him/her make more independent decisions. Sure, you should always be there to guide him, but there will be times when he will insist in doing something that you feel is not the “right” decision. If the situation is not life threatening and does not endanger your child, let your child decide for himself.

    If his decision fails to give him the results he thought he would get, help him analyze where he went wrong. This is a teachable moment that should not be missed. His learning from his past mistakes will surely help him in making better decisions in the future.

    Let your child solve some problems by himself. Your toddler rolls the ball under the table. He seems clueless as to where it is. Don’t spoil the teachable moment by dropping to the floor to fish out the ball. Let him figure it out.

    Your preschooler is busy making a puzzle. It’s taking him forever. Don’t grab the pieces to make the puzzle yourself. Let him figure it out!

    I’m sure you can think of other situations wherein your child has a problem and you want to solve it for your child. Try to restrain yourself. You may be depriving your child of a teachable moment.

    Give your child some responsibilities around the house. Your toddler can pack away his toys. Your preschooler can put the placemats on the table. Your gradeschooler can put the utensils. As they grow older, increase their responsibility. This will instill in them the value of responsibility and help them feel that they are productive members of the family.

    . Walk your talk. If you want to pass on your values to your child, it’s better to let him/her see you do it than merely hear you say it.

* The author is the owner and directress of a play school and tutorial center for children. For questions and comments call 636-0658

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