As parents we all want our kids to become well-adjusted, successful young adults with good morals and ethics, right?

In recent years more and more emphasis is being placed on early childhood development and care. The UN Convention on the Rights of Children recognize that for the full and harmonious development of a child’s personality, he or she should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.

Involved parents can make a positive and lasting impact on their child’s learning ability. During the first 5 years the brain’s synaptic networks are still in the process of forming. This is when a child’s development is particularly receptive to human contact. So yes, how we interact with our kids from a young age will define them as adults.

Being a parent is a huge responsibility (still no manual … sorry!) Parents are not only caretakers, they are crucial in the development of their child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being.  Our role is to provide encouragement, support and access to activities that will enable our children to master key developmental tasks. They need to be empowered from an early age to become the authors of their own lives. So yes mom and dad, you are their first (and best) teacher throughout life.

We know that time is in short supply in our multitasking, digital lives, so we’ve come up with a few ideas on how to be more present in your child’s life:

  • Make a date with your child and stick to it. Create a ritual, something that can be done every day. E.g. she needs to know that she can rely on story time every day.
  • Try to have at least one meal per day together. If it’s not possible, grab an apple and sit with her for a while. Use these snippets of time to talk about her day; it’s all about making the most of the time you’ve got.
  • Show her that you care. Tell her that you love her, every day. Listen to what is important to her.
  • Notice the good stuff. Tell her what you admire about her, constantly. Pack on the praises.
  • Show her how to be a kind, honest and dependable human being. Talk about your values when she’s close by, e.g. you might say to your spouse: “The clerk at the store gave me too much money in change. I could have kept it, but I gave it back, I always feel better when I do the right thing”.
  • View mistakes as teachable moments. Whether mistakes are trivial or have momentous consequences; always keep your relationship with your child a priority.
  • Provide experiences and opportunities to learn. g. show her the value of money by using it wisely.

Remember mom and dad, each connection has a lasting impact. Giving your child your undivided attention, even briefly, is the least - and sometimes the most - any parent can do.

“Enjoy the little things with your kids for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” – Robert Brault

Source: kidsandvalues.com, www.familylife.com, www.ahaparenting.com, centerforparentingeducation.org, www.quickanddirtytips.com, www.parenting.com, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.parentfurther.com, www.pointsoflight.org, www.care.com, www.loveandlogic.com, panworleducation.com, parentalrights.org, parenting.firstcry.com, childdevelopmentinfo.com, oxbridgeacademy.edu.za, unicef.org, www.ginamcclain.com, wwww.mother.ly, www.naeyc.org, www.irishexaminer.com, www.lifehack.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.