10 Things Child Experts Say Parents Should Do More Of

By Sophie 7 months ago

1. Ask For Their Child's Opinion

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Authoritarian parenting can sometimes discourage children from making decisions for themselves. They're too fearful of upsetting someone by speaking their mind so they go along with the crowd. This can be damaging when they reach their teenage years, so it's important to teach them that their voice matters. In small decisions that involves them, try asking their opinion and just watch them grow in confidence.

2. Label And Discuss Emotions

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Even as adults, if we don't understand our emotions we may become upset, frustrated, and angry. For children with no impulse control, these states will manifest in tantrums which can be hard to navigate. If you label your child's emotions not only are you helping them figure out how they feel, but you're offering them solutions that won't lead to a meltdown. This way, you will raise emotionally stable people with great communication skills.

3. Get Messy!

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We may cast down messy play if we don't wish to clean it up afterwards, but it can be a really rewarding bonding experience. Messy play helps your baby's brain to develop, as they explore materials and awaken their senses. Doing it together will enliven your inner child too, so let loose and get creative!

4. Let The Kids Lead The Way

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Releasing the parental reins and going along with your child's ideas is letting them know that you trust them. It's extremely liberating being the follower in a parent-child relationship when you're used to being the former, and you never know what adventures you might get up to!

5. Enjoy The Here And Now

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When we have children it can be really easy to wish time away. You might be struggling with the current stage they're at, or be excited for them to develop further. It's important to slow down and enjoy the present moment - after all, you won't get these years back!

6. Allow Their Children To Do Things For Themselves

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This can be tricky if you're a nervous parent, but it's crucial for your child's development to let them do things for themselves. When we make mistakes we are exercising our logic, so should a little person have everything done for them then they will grow without the ability to work anything out for themselves. Give them a bit of space to explore, their capabilities might just surprise you!

7. Read More Books Together

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Bedtime stories may already be a part of your routine, but the more books a person reads the better so don't just save them until nighttime! See if you can create activities based on the books you read together to make the experience more interactive, their imaginations will go wild!

8. Encourage Individualism

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As parents we often think that we know best, so we end up trying to create a person based on our own ideals. If they don't conform to your beliefs then they might completely rebel and turn out to be the opposite of what you were trying to shape. Either way, the child will not reach their full potential this way so it's vital that you let them have, and celebrate, their unique personalities.

9. Parents Should Take Care Of Themselves

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Being a parent means you're switched on 24/7, taking after another person. So much so, that you'll forget to take care of yourself at times, which will only make you feel burnt out. If you don't look after yourself then you'll be in no fit state to take care of your kids so make yourself a priority!

10. Always Focus On The Positive

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As much as you love your children, if they drive you insane sometimes then it may be easy to overlook their positive behavior. If it feels like you're always shouting or teaching lessons, try instead to focus on where you can give praise. You'll find yourself getting less and less wound up!

11. Narrate What They're Doing Daily

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If our lives are busy then we may just want to get tasks done without any interference, meaning your child misses out on hearing about what's happening. Even if they don't understand words yet, they still love to hear your voice. Descriptions of everyday tasks is beneficial for language development and helps them to feel included.

12. Offer Some Responsibility

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Kids want to be involved with everything you do so it may feel as though they get under your feet. If this is the case, give them something to do! It doesn't have to be anything big and it'll need to be age appropriate so as not to lose their attention. By handing out a task you're actively saying that you trust them to complete it. This will build their confidence and strengthen your bond, leading to very helpful children!

13. Visit More Places Together

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It can be hard sometimes figuring out what to do with your kids, but they're imaginative little beings who have the ability to make fun out of most things. This is especially true if they have lots of space to run around and burn of energy. If you start with that purpose as the focus then you'll find more things to do than you realized existed!

14. Practice Patience

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Having patience can be a hard ask if you're a busy parent, especially if you feel burnt out. It's why we must practice! Losing your temper with your kids can have a knock on effect for both yours and their confidence, and everyone will end up dysregulated. Make a point of walking away for a breather at times; not everything has to be dealt with straight away.

15. Be Silly!

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Kids love it when you're silly with them; it's fun, carefree and entertaining! Take some time to let your inner child loose and be playful. We spend too much of our lives conforming to social norms so we should take every opportunity to act like children again. The little ones will love it

16. Go Out In Nature Whenever There's The Chance

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Children are wild little beings and their infectious need for adventure should be supported by their caregivers. Being in nature provides them with calming fresh air and new learning experiences as together you can spot birds, bugs and trees amongst many other things that the world can offer. They'll sleep well after a good run, too!

17. Discuss Turn Taking

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Children don't develop empathy until they're about seven years old, so they struggle to understand that someone else might want what they have. Sharing may be an alien concept to them but turn-taking is easier to grasp. Discuss this with them as they're playing with their toys in order to aid in their development.

18. Expand Their Vocabulary

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When talking with children, you might find yourself adapting your speech and using language you think they'll understand. Kids are like sponges in that they'll take in anything you say, so use a wider vocabulary with them to aid in language development - you'll be surprised how much they understand!

19. Teach Self-Sufficiency

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Now this doesn't mean that you should completely stop doing things for your children, but it's important that they to realize they can be self-sufficient. All you'd need to do is to help them to build confidence so that their independence shines. This will discourage co-dependency in adulthood.

20. Let Children Dress Themselves

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Letting your kids choose their own outfits can be a hilarious activity, providing you all with a good laugh! There's much more to it than enjoyment though, as it again will prove that you trust your children to do things for themselves. They'll become independent as you become giggly!

21. Encourage New Experiences

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Child development relies on experience, so the more things they can try the better! This point relates to everything, whether it be food or activities, so try and offer things to engage all of their senses. They may need some encouragement as trying new things can be overwhelming, so make sure to offer lots of encouragement!

22. Engage With One Another's Imagination

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Some adults find it difficult to get into pretend play with their children as we're really not used to doing it, but trust us when we say it'll get better with practice. Really get involved with the stories they develop; it's a beautiful bonding activity and you might learn a thing or two!

23. Sing Together

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We don't sing together often enough and doing it with your child can really support your connection. You don't have to be in tune, simply singing songs you know or making up brand new ones will have you both feeling good on the inside as you create melodies together. These are moments your child will remember and you will cherish forever.

24. Create Art

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Getting creative is a brilliant way to understand your child. They can't always use words to communicate well but art can tell a thousand stories! Again, you needn't be any good at it (what is 'good art' anyway?), you just need to be willing to let go and let loose! You might even discover a hidden talent.

25. Make Mealtimes Fun

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Meal times are an essential part to the day, every day, so why not make them fun? It might feel like a chore cooking for everyone and getting them all to sit for a meal, but if you melt away your own stress by adding less pressure then it can be more enjoyable for everyone. You can make interactive meals or play silly word games - you'll be creating some beautiful childhood memories in the process!

26. Let The Children Explore

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We can be too controlling as parents at times as we want everything to go perfectly, but who says that our way is perfect? Let your child explore for themselves without your input, it's great for their brain development as their imagination goes whirring. They'll no doubt have lots of questions which will get you thinking too!

27. Provide Clear Communication

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Have you ever said things like "because I said so", or "stop asking why"? Don't worry, many of us have. Sometimes it's easier to say things like this rather than answer the millions of questions that come with you saying no. This unfortunately doesn't teach your child anything, so try and communicate with them clearly to help them understand your decisions.

28. Make Time For Nothingness

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You may think that working all the time and then coming home to a strict routine is the best way to support your kids, but it isn't always the case. Children need your time, attention and space to just be themselves. Try to be less rigid and focus on offering them your full self - you'll be doing wonders for your relationship whilst making them feel secure.

29. Notice Their Children, Even When They're Exhausted

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Children are exhausting, there's no question about it, so sometimes you just want to ignore them. If this is the case, take yourself off for a little break. Children notice everything and if you're actively ignoring them whilst in their presence they'll feel unimportant and invisible. If you can go for a breather your children will be confident knowing that you're there for them, and you'll get time to regulate. It's a win-win!

30. Cook Together

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You may think it's your role to cook for your children, which in a sense it is as it is your duty to care for their basic needs, however you need not cook alone. Get them involved and teach them basic skills. They'll really enjoy the bonding experience as much as you will, and they'll learn a life skill along the way!