Children are dependent on their parents from the time they are born through adulthood. Parents provide security, shelter, love and discipline when needed. A young person's morals and ideals are shaped by the behaviors and words of the parents that raised him. Parents who show love, self-discipline, communicate and give generously will raise children to do the same.
Parents can express love to their children in different ways. According to the University of Alabama Cooperative Extension, children recognize three different languages of love: touching, showing and telling. Each child may have a preferred style of communicating love to others. When parents learn a child's love language, they can be more effective at sending their child messages of love. Some children need to be told that they are loved. Some children crave touch and want to be held, rocked or have a parent's hand to hold. Still others need to be shown love through kind acts and words. Hugging children, holding them and responding to their needs and interests are super ways for parents to show love to children.
When parents choose to model habits such as good hygiene, maintaining and cleansing the living space and putting things in their assigned location, they are setting a good example of self-discipline for kids to follow. Maintaining a family's daily routine is another way that parents show self-discipline. Mealtimes, bedtimes and play times that occur at the same hour each day give children a sense of order and stability. Children can learn self-discipline through daily duties they can perform around the house. Helping with dishes, laundry or in the yard not only builds good habits but helps children feel valuable, according to Ask Dr. Sears.
Talking with children involves both listening and responding. Good communication is a two-way conversation, where both parties exchange ideas and feelings. When children are talking, parents can rid themselves of any distractions and give the child their undivided attention. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension asserts that talking with children at eye-level improves both eye contact and communication. Saying the child's name before making a request ensures that the child will pay attention. Using kind words and good manners when speaking to children will build up their self-esteem by showing them that they are worthy of respectful communication.
The Web site HealthyChildren.org states that parents who contribute to society by giving of their time or resources demonstrate the importance of generosity and connection to the community. Whether it is the gift of time to a volunteer organization, the contribution of money to a preferred charity or goods and blankets to a shelter, parents who model generosity will help their children understand the importance of giving. Parents can teach teach their children to contribute by communicating that many people in the world are needy, and by creating opportunities for their children to contribute. Parents who are also generous to their children set the precedent for the next generation of givers.
- University of Alabama Cooperative Extension: Sending Messages of Love
- Early Childhood Head Start Task Force: 7 Super Things Parents and Caregivers Can Do
- Ask Dr. Sears: 12 Ways to Help Your Child Build Self-Confidence
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Winning Ways to Talk to Children
- Healthy Children: Building Resilience in Children
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