The Technique of Parenting Young Children

Nurturing young and susceptible children and gently pushing them towards the right direction is a daunting task for any parent. After all, parenting young children is no child’s play. This is more so because a young child looks up to his parents and unconsciously emulates them. His notion of his own identity is formed on the basis of his interaction with his parents. If this experience has been a positive one, the child will have a strong sense of worth whereas if it has been negative, the personality of the child is directly impacted. Almost all children learn good habits and behavioral traits from their parents and the roots are planted when the child is very young.

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Many parents ignore the developmental needs of their young children because they are too busy with their own lives and find it difficult to invest some effort into understanding the psyche of their young child. This is all the more crucial as delving into the mind of a younger child presents more difficulties than with older children. A young child may not be able to articulate his thoughts very well and so communicating with adults can seem like a gigantic task for them. So, it becomes very imperative when parenting young children that you are involved pro-actively with their lives right from the initial stages. Listening to them, telling them stories and dedicating quality play time with them all are steps that you need to include into your activity chart.

Children instinctively sense the involvement and hence feel protected and wanted, and this helps them flower into confident little individuals who are eager to make their presence felt. There are many parents who over-react when their children misbehave and start blaming themselves or their child for the way he or she has turned out. This is a grave mistake. By casting aspersions on your child and magnifying the incident into a huge event, you are making your young child feel extremely guilty whereas the actual occasion in the first place may not have warranted such a reaction. If you are a parent who has fallen into this trap, try and be moderate in your dealings with your child.

It is enough that your child realizes the errors that he has made. There is no need for him to wallow in guilt. Parents who habitually make a mountain out of a molehill are in reality lowering the self-esteem of their child. If you, as a parent have a tendency to do so, it is time to take a reality check and do some serious thinking. Are you a bit of a control freak yourself? Do you have a rigid streak in you that panics at the slightest indication of your plans going awry? If so, your young child may be in for a hard time and you may be on the way of being labeled a ‘bad parent’. This is not what you want, is it?

So, communication is the key when it comes to parenting young children. You may not always get the response that you desire and your child will persist in behaving disobediently for a while. This does not mean that your throw in the towel and write your child off as a bad case. Perseverance is very important when dealing with a young child. You could also try innovative ways of interacting. You need to realize that talking to a six or seven year old and expecting him or her to understand your logic may not always work. Keeping this in mind, you need to tone down your expectations and communicate with your child in a way that he or she can relate to.

Most importantly, you need to be the role model for your young child. When parenting young children, actions can speak more effectively than words. The phrase ‘Practice before you preach’ was never truer than when dealing with young and impressionable kids. If you say one thing and then do just the opposite, your child will be very confused and most probably remember what you did rather than what you said. This also applies to your child’s ability to use language. If you are polite and considerate when conversing with others, you are more likely to have a well-mannered child on your hands.

On the contrary, if you send conflicting signals when parenting young children, they may easily look to external influences and factors to guide them in their behavior. Since their capacity of discernment has not been honed, most young children pick up the wrong clues from peers and other sources around them and the end result can be very stressful for you as a parent. The only way to avoid such a possibility is to empathize with your young child and openly express your approval at those moments when your child deserves it. Also, do not set the bar too high when it comes to your definition of positive behavior and actions.

This has to be coupled with a practical attitude towards your child’s mistakes. Most of us are over-protective when parenting young children since we feel they are too young to face the slings and blows of outrageous fortune. However, you need to understand that your child is never too little to explore life on his own and make the mistakes that will help him grow as a person. When your young child stumbles along the path of life, never discourage him. The ideal thing to do is to spur him on to try better things and inculcate the belief that failure is the first step towards success. Discarding the fear of failure is a great gift that you can bestow to your child and he or she will always thank you for it.

If you punish or scold your child frequently for taking risks in life, he will always fear trying out new things. Your child does not have the maturity to encompass the reasoning that lies behind your castigation. Gradually, fear might form the basis of your relationship and this will prove very detrimental when your child grows into a teenager.
When raising young children, a great quality that you can incorporate in them is to embrace differences in people rather than scoff at them. We live in a multi-cultural society now and you see so many instances of grown-ups harboring prejudices that were ingrained into them at a tender age. Young children can be shielded from pre-conceived notions that make them wary about other cultures, and parents can be hugely instrumental in bringing about this change.

Remember, even though parenting young children is a great responsibility, the rewards can be very satisfying if you go about it with patience, discretion and plenty of love.

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