IF I were to share parenting tips with a would-be Mom or Dad, I would absolutely help them understanding how demanding and time consuming it is to raise kids.
We all thrive when we are loved, and will grumble if neglected. Children are to tender hearted to be denied love.
Offering a gentle cuddle, appreciating them or even a smile can go a long way to boost the confidence.
Sadly, many children seek this kind of acceptance from their peers who are in no way qualified to offer such sympathy.
Tell your child you love them everyday. Sometimes it helps if you can give them lots of hugs and kisses, just to re-affirm the child-parent relationship as child and parent.
Love your child unconditionally. You don’t have to force them to be who you think they should be in order to earn your love.
Listen to them, show interest and involve your self in their life.
Create an environment in which they can come to you with a problem however large or small.
Help them feel safe by respecting their privacy as you would want them to respect yours, For example, if you teach your child that your room is out of boundaries to them, let it be the same with their room.
Allow them feel that once they enter their room they can know that no one will look through their drawers or read their diary.
Arguing with your spouse in front of the children is pretty awful for them. If they are sleeping, argue quietly.
Modern divorce rates have left many children feeling insecure and fearful when they hear parents bickering.
In addition, they will learn to argue with each other the same way they hear their parents do.
Show them that when people disagree, they can discuss their differences peacefully.
Encourage responsibility in your child by insisting they clean their rooms and make their beds every morning.
Even the youngest of children can learn to tidy their play after play. As they grow, give them more and more responsibility.
Sometimes all these cores are assigned to the house help, directly neglecting our responsibility.
Teach kids what is right and wrong. If you are religious, take them to church with you.
When your child acts out in a spiteful way, tell them that is unacceptable and then suggest more appropriate ways.
Rude statements such as “You are bad”. Or “Go away!” may not work well.
Avoid public humiliation when your child misbehaves. Take them aside and scold them privately.
“Do as I say but not as I do” is an old song. Even the youngest boy in the house will not dance to it. Model the character you hope your child will adopt and live by the rules you set.
Kids have a tendency to become what they see and hear. This is a different world, a different ball game.
We are sadly living in an authoritarian African background amidst western influence. Handling change may be quite challenging.
Children should be very familiar with the consequences of their actions. If given a punishment, be sure they understand the reason and the fault.
Life is a great teacher. Don’t be too quick to rescue your child from the results of their own actions if the consequences are not too severe.
Children need to learn how to live the consequences of the choices they make. They need to learn that their own actions have costs (good or bad).
This helps them to become good decision makers and problem solvers, which in turn prepares them for independence.
As parents, we are our children’s first role model. It is important to pay attention to what you say or do around your children. Are you setting good examples?
Parenting does not stop when the child grows up. Being a good parent remains a life-long role.
However, remember that once they become adults, the decisions they make in life are ultimately their choices.
The author is a teacher at Kagarama secondary school