You become nervous if they sleep for too long, check on their breathing, and jump at any and every unfamiliar little noise they make.
When they become a little bigger and can say a few words, you decide on their clothes and how they wear their hair. What food they should eat and when they should eat it. You decide on screen time or no screen time.
When they start interacting with other children at daycare or preschool, they become curious because they now have outside influences apart from you. It sometimes becomes a bit unsettling for mothers and even fathers. Enter peer pressure!
The harsh truth is this: "Our role as parents is to teach our children how to live without us…."
We must teach them the necessary life skills to avoid getting bitten by snakes, both figuratively and literally speaking. We must teach them how to adapt to change and figure things out for themselves.
You will not be around all the time to help them make decisions; you must teach them how to make the right decisions on their own, weigh the pros and cons of a situation, and look at as many possible outcomes and the consequences as well.
It starts with the little things, like holding a green and a red spoon and asking them which one they prefer to use with their meal by offering them a square bowl or a round bowl for their fruit snack.
They need to be included in certain decisions because there are only so many times your threats will work until they figure out that you're only calling their bluff – kids are more intelligent than we give them credit for!
Not only everyday decisions but some of the bigger ones as well. Like who to let into their circle or not. You can't always have your say about who your children befriend, but you can teach them how to decide that themselves.
Your children need to know and have peace of mind to say what makes them feel good or what makes them feel bad and to have a voice about it!
Above all, they need to know and understand what they feel matters; by teaching them that self-love matters.
This will play a significant role as they get older and reach the teenage phase of their lives – where there are outside influences at play when they want to be part of the crowd.
Our children must understand that they shouldn't do anything if they don't feel good about it. The same goes for social media influences.
Being online is a part of the world now, and we as parents teach our children self-acceptance and to strive for self-development, all in good time, which is the key! How can we achieve this…?
By doing it ourselves! Children learn from what we do, not by what we say. Remember that!
Share your stories and questions with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
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