Children are such a delight to everyone who has them, or so they ought to be. We may all expect that the natural desire and ability to have children will come along with some knowledge on raising them, but that just isn’t the case. Raising children till they are full grown is such a task, much more, raising them to be successful and have a fulfilling future. As they grow up, children learn in stages and parents have to be there to guide them through these stages in order for them to be successful. Guiding and instructing children, just like the art of marriage is one of those things that should be learned in school but sadly, it is not. Some people just assume that when the babies start coming, they will straighten up and learn what needs to be learned in the process.
Our negligence of this subject and the unwillingness of governments to put in some effort at training parents to raise their children right is one of the biggest reasons why we have so many irresponsible grown ups. Worse still, the next generation is already at risk because some of our children are already having their own children and the same pattern of uninformed child rearing is being passed on to them. Effective parenting skills are needed to raise up a child. If they are going to pass through all the different child development stages successfully, mothers and fathers cannot ignore parenting skills. Needless to say, we had better straighten up and get some information on the subject before it is time to regret. So here are a few formidable tips for raising your children right and guiding them to a successful future. They are not all you can know, but they are sure a great set of tips to start out with.
Know your place
In order to raise up a child, parents need to understand the position they hold in the life of that child. Personally, I think so many fathers and mothers have an inadequate understanding of what the role of a parent is. Parents are not just mom and dad. They are (or should be) so many things at the same time to their kids. Raising a child successfully requires the ability to be dynamic. Children can always feel it if one of the roles their parents are supposed to play in their lives is lacking. This could make them seek that role or fulfillment in other people or other things. Raising successful kids therefore means playing the following roles as parents.
Parents are nurturers. This implies that through out child development stages, children look up to them for comfort just as much as they look up to them for provision. You may not have the financial means to provide every single thing that your children may want. However, you should make it your aim to let them know and believe that you will get anything for them if you had the means and the thing wouldn’t hurt them in the long or short run.
Parents are leaders. Raising successful kids is a function of effective leadership from parents. Sadly, too many parents let their children lead them. But you cannot raise a child who does not regard and honor you as his or her leader. I know parents generally want their children to feel comfortable, and sometimes that could drive them to allow the children make choices and decision they should not be making. As a parent, one of your roles is to lead and the ability to lead is one of the most vital parenting skills. If you stop leading, then you have simply stopped parenting. It does not matter what else you have going. This means being the ones who set the pace in vital areas of life.
It also means having the guts to lead your kids by your actions, rather than just giving instructions. It is not easy, but no other form of leadership is easy. Even leading yourself could be super difficult sometimes and requires positive discipline. But that is a sacrifice you must make. If there are attitudes, character traits and things you do which you wouldn’t want to see the kids do, then you’ve got to stop doing those things. Positive discipline will be ineffective if you are not a genuine leader for your kids. In order to raise up a child, you have to lead. Lead them responsibly and they would be responsible.
Parents are confidants. Let’s just get this one thing straight, if your kids cannot run to you with their deepest secrets, then something is wrong somewhere and that thing has to be fixed as soon as possible. In their teen years, especially, kids face difficult situations and sometimes make very bad choices. There is no way you can successfully help them if they don’t feel comfortable or confident talking to you about the issues they are facing. As you play the role of parent in raising successful kids, remember to help them trust you as a confidant.
Parents are the home’s “thermostat”. That means they determine the atmosphere of the home. It does not matter what goes on in school or on the streets, if children can return home to a loving and peaceful atmosphere, they can thrive against all odds. But many children have been broken because while they were running from the pressure without the house, they came home to a hostile and abusive atmosphere. Whether tense or relaxed, sad or joyful, parents have a great role in determining the kind of atmosphere that prevails in the home. However, parenting skills are required to make this happen.
Be committed in playing your part
In order to raise up a child, you must be committed and consistent. Different child development stages will require different levels of commitment. It could sometimes be so hard to be a parent that you just want to take a break. But until your kids are grown and have become men or women of their own, there’s no break taking. Guiding children, especially when you have their success in mind is a commitment. That means mum and dad have to play their roles whether they feel like it or not. They have to be there every time, doing what has to be done in order nurture the kids.
Whenever you feel discouraged, just remember it is a commitment and how committed you are determines how successful your children will be in the future. This is a necessary price for raising successful kids. All the roles mentioned in the previous point could be summed up in one word, parenting. You cannot make a list of those things and try to follow each of them everyday. Though they are individual qualities, they are enshrined in the concept of parenting. Now that you know what they are and how they fit in, just be committed to parenting and they are surely going to all fall in place.
Don’t forget to live your own life
There is no rule book that says you cannot live your life and pursue your dreams while raising children. As a matter of fact, pursuing your dreams while raising children make the whole thing more fulfilling and worth while. It is common for parents, especially mothers to simply throw themselves into child rearing the moment a baby comes along. But sooner or later, they find out that they are loosing out on life trying to concentrate only on the baby. It is OK to take a break on your job while in your first months after giving birth, but when the child is some months or probably a year old, it is time to see how you can pursue your career while raising him or her. Unless you plan to have just one child, you will find this an important point in the years to come.
One of the main reasons why you have to live your own life while raising children is, it keeps you from having overrated expectations of them or trying to live your life through them. Have you ever heard parents who insist that their children study and get into certain careers? Most of the times, this happens because they wanted to build a career in those professions but could not because they were occupied with child raising. When the kids eventually grow up and should start living their own lives, the parents want them to take up the profession they had always wanted to get into.
These parents look at the whole thing like it is a debt the children owe them or the family. Nothing could be more burdensome for a child than having to carry the family’s weight of expectations and dreams. But remember this usually happens because the parents made a decision to give up their dreams for their children. They did not live their own lives while they had the chance to. Now they expect to live through the kids and that is a sad thing. Dear parent, now is the time to live your own life and get the fulfillment that only your dreams can bring. Don’t give that up hoping to have it from your children some time in the future. Now is your time.
Learn to pray for them
There is no limit to what prayers can do, especially as far as raising successful kids is one’s concern. For many things we have to deal with while raising children, we need God’s help. We may not all have the same idea about God, but every living soul on the planet has a longing that reaches out to a divine being who has better answers to our problems than we can possibly get from therapists and counselors. Each person expresses themselves and related with God differently but that inner knowing and desire to be helped beyond human ability is usually present, especially when we come to our wits’ end. Indeed there is a God out there, reach out to Him and ask for help. There is no way you can watch over your children every minute of everyday to keep them on track, but God can. Pray for them as often as you can. Make praying for them a commitment and you will definitely see the result.
The power of encouragement
Children too go through rough times and in those moments they need to be encouraged. Being critical of their errors will not help. It is the same thing with grownups. When we stumble and fail in one thing or the other, the last thing we want or even need is someone to tell us how badly we have performed. Note that being critical is not the same thing as making corrections. You can correct people by encouraging them and that will be of more help than just pointing out their wrongs. On a daily bases, your children meet people who want to talk them down and discourage them from making efforts, believing in themselves or pursuing their dreams. Parents are the safe heaven they run to for encouragement and support. If you make it a habit to also talk them down in the home, then you can expect them to just breakdown and be devastated.
As they grow up, make it a habit to encourage them when they don’t meet their (or even your expectations). Note that encouraging children is also a part of positive discipline. In school, with chores, while looking for a job, at a competition, just anything. If they fail, make corrections but never fail to let them know you believe in them and their dreams. This should build a sense of confidence in them and serve as a foundation for motivation through out their lives.
The right methods of discipline
It is clear that as we grow up, we pick up traits and ways of doing things from our parents and those around us. Some are good things, others are not good at all. Having the right parenting skills also means knowing how to discipline your child. There are positive discipline methods as well as negative discipline methods. The method we choose to use in disciplining our children is one of those things we pick up from parents. However, if you do not learn to distinguish the wrong from the right way of discipline, it is going to affect you children. Positive discipline builds while negative discipline just has a tendency to break a child.
The first thing to take note of is discipline your kids out of love, not out of anger at what they have done. You may say, well, what does it matter as long as I am simply correcting them. Ask yourself what they are getting out of the discipline. If they feel anger or hate when you discipline them, they are going to pick that up. It may lead to bitterness against you. Worse still, they are not going to get the point, which is correction because their minds will be clouded by the hate and anger they feel coming from you. With regards to this, it is best to let the anger of the moment pass, then call them, and talk to them about how wrong what they have done is before punishing.
Avoid using words to emotionally or mentally torture your children. Emotional torture, no matter the reasons you may have for it should never be an option. It is difficult for people to recover from mental and emotional torture, especially when they had to go through it at an early stage in life. The hearts of children are very tender and fertile. Whatever you plant in them is sure to grow with them, whether good or bad. Emotional wounds that are caused while you try to discipline a child could lead to a lifetime of misery and pain in the long run. As you raise up a child, be mindful of your choice of discipline. Also remember that different child development stages will necessitate different kings of discipline. Be wise and know which to us and when.
Impacting values in time
Although there are certain things which children cannot get when they are a young age, there are other important things which must be thought them betimes. Values like honesty, bravery, commitment, hard work or discipline are best learned while the child is young. It is going to take some time of commitment and sacrifice to teach or impact some of these values, but the earlier the better. These are not things that children can learn by being instructed. They must practice it. Delegating some form of responsibility or the other from time to time is a great way to teach the value of hard work. For example, instead of having someone else mow the lawn while you have a 14 year old, you can take advantage of the opportunity. Give him the job and the pay. When children learn to earn money from their own efforts, it not only teaches them the value of hard work but also instills a sense of responsibility and fulfillment that can’t be gotten any other way.
Girls are different from boys
Some parents who have boys and girls seem to never get how important it is to bring them up with a consciousness that their sexes, physical and mental buildup are different. The child development stages of boys is also slightly different from that of girls. I know we are living in the age where there is a war of the sexes. So many women would like to bring up their daughters with the impression that they are no different from their brothers by trying to treat both boys and girls the same way. However, that is not just dumb but it is also a dangerous thing to do. You see, our sexes are part of who we are. Girls are girls and that is just about it, they will never become boys or like boys, no matter what we tell them. They spychological and physical buildup are not designed to function or relate to life the same way a man would. It is ok to teach your daughter to be tough and meet life’s challenges with strong winning attitude, but teaching her that she is just like any boy or man out there is outright wrong. If she grows up with that mentality, there are going to be issues when she eventually gets married and wants to settle down. No matter how successful the feminists get in propagating equality in the sexes, men are never going to accept it when it comes to the home. A man is designed to lead, and there cannot be two captains on his ship. They can condone with it at work or other places where they are not absolute leaders. As a matter of fact, a man could be led by a woman at his place of work and enjoy it. There is no problem with that at all. But he knows boundaries and those boundaries end when it comes to his jungle, his home.
I believe one of the most crucial things every parent raising a son can teach him is what it means to be man. Frankly it is going to take his whole life to learn that lesson but the earlier he learns it, the earlier he grows into a man and the better for him. In the same light, bringing him up with the notion that he is no different from his sister will frustrate your efforts to bring out the man in him. If he does not see how he differs from his sister, he will not see how he does from a woman and that means you are flat out raising a sissy. Let him be the man as he grows up with a sister and he will be a man as he grows into adulthood and becomes a boyfriend or husband.
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