Raising Kind and Empathetic Children
Categories: General Parenting
Parenting is hard work. Every child is different and so is every parent, but at the end of the day what we all ultimately want is to raise good kids.
If only there was a manual!!
Fortunately for parents, there has been a lot of research conducted around what it takes to raise happy, well-functioning humans. And ParentTV has lots of great experts to give you tips along the way.
Even though raising children isn’t a step by step process, what is certain is that there are some fundamental things parents can do…
1. Build secure attachment.
When people hear “attachment” in relation to parenting, they automatically think of babywearing and co-sleeping. But those things aren’t imperative to building a secure attachment with your child. Attachment is about having a strong bond with your child and being responsive to their needs, which helps them grow to feel loved and secure. Dr Vanessa Lapointe explains the various stages of attachment in this video. Even when they are older it is important to connect with your children and maintain that emotional bond and responsiveness. You can find some great tips on connecting with your kids from Maggie Dent here and Stephanie Wicker here.
2. Teach self-control and self-discipline.
To be successful in all stages and paths of life, we must exercise self-control and self-discipline. This can be a hard thing to teach, and while parents may think imposing strict boundaries and limits on children is the way to do this, it often inhibits a child’s ability to implement these skills for themselves. Likewise, if a child has no boundaries, they are less likely to be able to manage themselves effectively. Dr Justin Coulson discusses the importance of teaching self-control in detail here and if you are struggling with discipline, this video on discipline without damage is a must-watch.
3. Build emotional intelligence.
Teaching our kids about emotions and how to manage them is imperative. Our children must learn emotional self-regulation to ensure they can master their big feelings. When they are young, it is important to teach children how emotions can feel both mentally and physically. Allison Davies advocates expressing emotions through music as a great exercise for kids of all ages. It is also imperative that parents coach children through times where emotions can be even more tumultuous, such as puberty and grief. David Loyst has some great advice about growing your child’s social and emotional brain.
4. Understand ourselves as a parent.
It is important for parents to have insight into how their own behaviours, reactions, and lifestyles can impact their parenting style. Much of this is shaped by how we were raised. Dr Kaylene Hendersend stresses the importance of understanding how your own childhood influences you as a parent, and how this, in turn, impacts your children. There are many parenting styles and understanding more about yourself helps you understand more about how you parent.
Of course, there will be many speed bumps, detours, and even U-turns, in your journey as a parent. But with lots of love and a little support from the experts, you are sure to raise good humans.