It is scary that people are required to have a drivers license to drive a motor vehicle; but they dont have any prerequisites or educational obligations to become a parent.
Children are a direct reflection of their social environment. Raising productive and nurturing child/children is the same concept as using a computer “garbage in, garbage out”! In other words, if you inundate a Child’s mind with great ideals, positive notions and words of encouragement, the product will likely be what you’ve instilled.
A prime example of this is watching children being reared in a supremacist or racially biased home. It baffles most of our minds as to why these deplorable mentalities are passed down; however, this clearly demonstrates that children are sponges and literally soak up the majority of what they are exposed to.
On the contrary, college enrollment and the increase in the entrepreneurial spirit in America proves that there are parents, professionals, guardians, teachers, and caretakers that are paying it forward and guiding our youth into a bright and fruitful future.
Research clearly shows that effective parenting is the #1 reason for most children’s personal and educational development. Unfortunately, kids may stray during their pre-teen and teen years (due to hormones & peer pressure). Yet, instilling love, respect, patience, structure, a strong spiritual foundation and devout work ethic during the early years (birth- 7 yrs. old) will definitely offer a great start in life.
So how can you implement these concepts in children 2weeks – 7 years old?
1) Unconditional love- as your children make mistakes you may have to discipline them, but do this in love. When you are perturbed by a soiled pamper or broken glass, it’s ok to show disappointment and disapproval, but after the clean-up and redirection, sit down and communicate why this should not happen again. Inform your child that mistakes are a part of life. Moreover, let them know you are upset, but you love them and prefer not to have to revisit this again. Now, please note: YOU MAY HAVE TO revisit this several more times, but consistency is essential.
Fortunately, this practice will open the door to your child knowing that regardless of mistakes your love is still intact!
2) Mutual Respect & Patience – Teaching children how to be respectful and patient towards you and others is paramount. Using words like “Please”, “thank you”, “your welcome” and “excuse me” in the daily routine is just a few ways to introduce respect. Showing them through your friendships, and relationships via your phone conversations and daily physical interaction will teach then how to interact and react to people. Primarily, minimizing or deleting the habit of derogatory name calling is paramount in a child’s development. Calling kids stupid, dumb, ignorant, imbeciles, morons and other negative titles is unacceptable and emotionally abusive. Likewise, name-calling is not the answer to ultimately getting any child to do what you need them to do.
3) Structure- children admire and function better when they have a routine. Oftentimes, “controlled chaos” may be a better cliche to use (depending on how many children you have).
4) Spiritual Foundation~ Christianity teaches that raising a child with biblical principles will ensure that they return back to their roots (if or when they stray). Ironically in most religions there are similar teachings that instructs parents to give their children a spiritual foundation. The religion may vary, but the message remains the same. Spirituality often gives most people a moral foundation. Praying, chanting, and meditating to or for a higher power is a learned behavior and will be utilized by most when the time presents itself.
5) Work Ethic~ Children will want to mock their parents or guardians. For instance, When AJ sees dad or mom leave for work everyday, he will eventually have a desire or show an interest in wanting to work and be like his parents or guardian. Ironically, between the ages of 3 to 5 years old children may ask “what you do at work all day?” Do you like to work? And can they go to work with you so they can make money?
On the contrary, parents or guardians they are able bodied and do not display this work ethic will train children to settle for less. Unless the child encounters positive mentors and meaningful friendships that teach them otherwise, they will likely adopt the same lackadaisical attitude.
Remember, “garbage in, garbage out”. The priceless gift of parenting is not easy, but it’s worth it. You really are what you teach, so please make sure you are better than the most memorable teacher you know!