by Happiness Hassan | Feb 20, 2022 | Family & Parenting
Humans react differently to things and situations happening around them or to them. However, irrespective of the differences, it can be broadly classified into positive and negative reactions. For instance, when challenges occur with no hope of a solution, the vast majority will lose focus and give in to fear and tears. On the other hand, there are still a few individuals out there, who can cope fine despite their current situation. These categories have learned how to understand their emotions and choose the positive over the negative. This article seeks to tell you about activities to help your child grow emotionally.
Interestingly, growing to such a stage of emotional maturity doesn’t happen overnight or within a twinkle of an eye, in essence, it’s a process that requires time – It begins from childhood. Therefore, as a parent there are a series of activities to help your kids grow emotionally mature; this process eases their growth stage unto adulthood.
What is Emotional Maturity?
Emotional maturity is a state where a person has gained the ability to understand his/her emotions, and beyond understanding has the power to manage their emotions no matter their circumstances – either pleasant or unpleasant. As earlier established it doesn’t happen in a day, but it’s a skill that is developed through consistent work overtime. Furthermore, growing to the stage of emotional maturity begins with the development of one’s emotional intelligence by having vivid knowledge of one’s thoughts and behavior.
Subsequently, this lays the foundation for emotional maturity and helps one decide how best to approach a situation. Sadly, most parents don’t feel the need to help their kids grow emotionally, because they have experienced a series of emotional neglect in the past. However, instead of depriving your children, you can choose to learn how to overcome childhood emotional neglect.
What Are the Benefits of Emotional Maturity?
1. Emotional Maturity Helps One Provide Productive Solutions to Problems
Problems are certainly unavoidable in life, arising from people, situations, and things. But what matters most is how we can handle those problems by providing a productive solution. In response to this, being emotionally mature keeps one calm despite the turbulence around. Also, in a state of calmness, a person can think straight and provide constructive solutions.
2. It Helps Kids Associate Socially With Peers
As a parent don’t hesitate to learn about those activities to help your kids grow emotionally, this is because this activity enables them to associate with their peers positively. Kids who are damaged emotionally have poor self-esteem about themselves and feel left out among their peers. In contrast, when your child is matured emotionally they feel good about themselves and mingle with their peers to learn more.
3. Emotional Maturity Empowers One to Seek Help
Those who are mature emotionally know that life isn’t about themselves alone. Rather a connected network of valuable people, who serves as a propeller towards the actualization of their goals. Hence, when they are exhausted they don’t keep the pain to themselves or die in silence, on the contrary, they are quick to ask for help if need be. In essence, kids who are mature emotionally feel free to tell their parents things about themselves especially when they are suffering from bullying at school.
4. Emotional Maturity Enables a Person to Cope with Difficult Situations
Hard times are what make the journey of life worthwhile. They build us into becoming the best version of ourselves because the comfort zone slows down progress. However, those who are not yet mature emotionally easily get overwhelmed by their difficult times, but the reverse becomes the case when such a person is emotionally matured – they overcome difficult times. Therefore, you must be determined to learn about activities to help your kids grow emotionally which enables them to cope with difficult circumstances.
5. Control the Effects of Negative Emotions
The vast majority don’t know how to curtail their negative emotions and similarly don’t care about the aftermath of such emotions. Those who struggle with anger or other negative emotions must learn to excuse themselves from amidst people to avoid taking regrettable actions. This is why everyone must learn how to be emotionally mature to avoid hurting themselves and others by venting negative emotions wrongly.
Activities to Help Your Child Grow Emotionally
1. Spend Quality Time with Your Kids by Hanging Out Together
It’s wrong to abandon your kids all in the name of a quest for money, a career, or an accomplishment. When kids are left alone they begin to feel unwanted and think less of themselves. In contrast, learn how to balance work and family to be able to spend quality time with your kids. Hanging out with your kids helps them realize that survival is tired of social connection and they wouldn’t hesitate to seek help when needed instead of keeping the pain to themselves.
2. Practice More Relaxation and Meditation
Among those activities to help your child grow emotionally mature is the frequent practice of relaxation. Kids shouldn’t be exempted from this practice. This is because both of them are healthy practices that help bring the body to a state of calmness and focus. Interestingly, the more your kids give in to the act of meditation the more they can maintain a calm state when unpleasant things happen. Constructive solutions are birthed from the state of serenity and focus. Also, encourage them to cultivate the habit of listening to calm music.
3. Encourage Your Kids to Practice Healthy Habits
The practice of healthy habits is what enables kids to value themselves and learn to become more empathetic towards others. In essence, they become mindful of all their actions and decisions to avoid causing harm to themselves and others. Healthy practices include obedience to instructions, keeping good company, proper eating routine, dedication to academic work, and being truthful and honest among others. In addition, ensure you inculcate the right morals into your kids because kids who are morally unsound easily give in to negative emotions.
4. Decisions Making Helps Kids Grow Emotionally
Your kids begin to take responsibility for their actions when they are allowed to make decisions by themselves. Responsible kids will always manage their emotions irrespective of the situation. The importance of allowing kids to make their own decisions can’t be overemphasized as it helps them see the bigger picture of life. This way, they can choose what’s right over what’s wrong without feeling controlled or forced. At times, as a parent, you may feel they don’t know what’s best, however, feel free to tell them the pros and cons of every action they intend to take and allow them to decide.
5. Kids Who Engage in Worthwhile Activities Grow Emotionally
Productive activities are one of those activities to help your child grow emotionally. This is because these kinds of activities boost their creativity and brain coordination and; in turn influence their emotions positively, especially when done within a group like academic activities and participation in sports. In addition, be committed to discovering your kid’s talent and supporting them as much as possible. Furthermore, they should grow their talent by learning a skill that’s related to their talent.
It may interest you to check out fun things to do with your child at home during the holidays.
6. Allocate House Chores to Your Kids
Kids who get everything done for them by others find it difficult to coordinate themselves. In other words, they don’t know the value of things because they aren’t aware of the effort put together to achieve that thing. Therefore, you would do your kids lots more good by assigning them household chores for kids. Engaging in such activities teaches them about hard work and boosts their problem-solving skills when a task requiring their reasoning is assigned to them.
7. It’s Okay For Your Kids to Make Mistakes
Oftentimes, people get confused when they make mistakes or give in to depression when they fail because they have been taught that failure is the end of the tunnel for them. This mindset is often gotten from childhood as parents make their children feel bad when they make mistakes. However, this approach is wrong as it limits the growth of any child. Failures and mistakes are part of life and are stepping stones to greater heights. Hence, allow your kids to make mistakes so they can learn and avoid such occurrences in the future.
8. Reading Valuable Books Boost Emotional Growth
Reading books is one of those activities to help your child grow emotionally when applied currently. Kids can learn about different types of emotions and the effects of reading books related to emotional growth. Oftentimes, this book comes in children’s novel format telling stories about things, animals, and humans. However, within these storylines are moral lessons for kids to learn and apply to their own lives. So, instead of allowing your kids to play around or spend unnecessary time in front of the screen, buy them this set of books and watch them grow emotionally.
Growing emotionally isn’t a day job but rather a continuous process of growth beginning from childhood. Therefore, take all those activities to help your kids grow emotionally outlined above one at a time. In addition, encourage your kids to familiarize themselves with a positive affirmation attitude. In essence, they should learn how to always say something positive about themselves, as it influences their mindset and reactions towards situations that happen around them.
by Maryam Idris Bappa | Dec 12, 2021 | Family & Parenting
Ever looked at a child and wondered what was going on in his or mind; or more interestingly, observed a child deeply engrossed in an activity that he/she is unaware of the surroundings? If yes, then at a point, we must have shared thoughts that the child was simply a mindless individual without a worry in the world and that was it!
I had that thought for quite a long time until I came across a quote by chance saying:
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from learning, but for children, play is serious learning, Play is really the work of childhood.Fred Rogers
The above quote somehow stuck to my mind that each time I saw a child deeply engrossed in a playful activity, I looked on with newfound interest. This saying kept bugging my mind and with time, it started changing my perspective.
My mind got curious and I tasked myself to find out why children got engaged in such activities and what they hoped to achieve in doing so. Although, I did not have many tools to discover why. It kept dawning on me that there could be an end goal in sight as I continued to observe him. Perhaps, there was another reason why a child spends hours making sandcastles other than the fact that he/she simply just has much free time.
So was there a way to unfold mysteries behind a child’s mind in ways we can understand them as unique intelligent beings rather than mindless individuals? And what is the need to find an answer to this rising question?
While pondering over the latter, I came across another quote by Jess lair saying
Children are not things to be molded but are people to be unfolded
It then dawned on me how as mothers, we owed it to them to learn how to understand, encourage and guide them to explore their inner potentials. This is essential considering how the home is the first school of a child.
We must, first of all, understand that every child is unique; can learn and develop in different ways and at different rates in enabling environments, and also every child can learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Although it bugs me that some mothers do not pay attention to these similarities and differences, one thing that is clear is we cannot continue to pretend as if children no matter how young, lack thoughts and feelings of their own and that a wrong move could form long-lasting damage to their mental health and more.
This made me visit and explore the concept of Montessori education to aid me to view the world through the lens of a child.
What is Montessori Education?
Founded by Italian doctor, Dr. Maria Montessori and named after her, Montessori education is a child-centered philosophy that developed through scientific observation of children in mental health facilities in 1897 Rome. Maria’s careful observation and experimentation of children, their environment, and methods of learning led her to develop her educational philosophy which she described as a ‘Model of human development. There were two principles guiding this theory.
The first was that children and developing adults engaged in self-constructed psychological development through interaction with the environment. The second emphasized children especially those under the age of six as having an ‘innate path’ of psychological development. Based on this theory, Maria Montessori saw that for a child, the freedom to choose and act freely within a prepared environment would make the child act spontaneously for optimal development.
In other words, the Montessori Method attempts to develop children physically socially, emotionally, and cognitively by regarding the child as the initiator of learning and describing him as one who is eager to learn in a prepared learning environment.
Montessori Education in Northern Nigeria
The Montessori system of education in schools has generally found a wide range of applications in Nigeria from daycare programs, kindergartens, and elementary schools. From the early 2000s, Nigeria has successfully implemented Montessori teacher-training programs as well as applied the concept of a safe environment and curriculum.
However, the existence of issues ranging from lack of sufficient training in self-acclaimed teachers to overcrowding of classrooms has proven to pose a stunt in its growth. This shows that a well-learned individual on a one-on-one relationship such as the one between a mother and child on a daily basis could revolutionalise its existence.
As such, many countries have adopted Montessori methods in their homes.
Montessori in Nigerian Homes
Most schools guided by the Montessori curriculum are schools that are located in the southern regions of Nigeria. These include states like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ondo, and only a few in Northern Nigeria which are mostly located in the Federal Capital Territory in the North-Central. Its knowledge and application seem to be limited as northerners are generally more conservative.
However, we need not wait for its widespread in schools located in Northern Nigeria before we can apply it in our homes. Women in many regions within and outside Nigeria have already adopted Montessori education at home.
Similarly, the lifestyle of Northern Nigerian women in Nigeria proves to be especially suitable for the application of Montessori methods in the home for the following reasons:
Montessori years begin at pre-school or homeschooling age, that is from 0-3 years as in Northern Nigeria.
Most northern Nigerian women especially housewives would have ample time to spend with their children.
The one-on-one relationship gives a mother the mentorship advantage.
Northern Nigerian mothers can conveniently create a personalized learning environment for the children for learning and development using local materials and methods.
How to Implement Montessori in Your Home Using These 5 Steps
How does a woman begin implementing Montessori at home? Does she jump to the first video tutorial she sees on YouTube?
A woman needs to understand that there are a variety of ways of implementing Montessori at home that needs to tally with the individual needs of the child. When it comes to Montessori, the one-size-fits-all is not advisable. These five steps will guide a woman on ways to start implementing Montessori in her home;
Step 1: Assess Personal Discipline Style
The Montessori Method gives wide room for the child to do what he wants. A mother might consider coming up with a positive rather than a negative approach to maintaining discipline.
Step 2: Assess Your Space
Look around your home and include your child’s needs in the space. For example, provide a low bed he can climb up and down on his own, or provide his very own low utensil cabinet in the kitchen.
By doing things on his own, it will enable him to achieve confidence, independence, and self-sufficiency.
Step 3: Follow Your Child
This step is the most important when implementing Montessori at home. Observe your child’s most minimal behaviours like how he twists his fingers, eats, and communicates. This will enable you to find out where your child is developmental as an individual. It is more recommended than comparing him to his age mates or siblings since every child is unique.
You also need to know;
What motivates your child?
Consider his sensitive periods
Find out which schema he belongs to
Some of these will be explained more in detail as we progress.
Step 4: Prepare the Environment
Make the environment safe for your child. Constantly buy or recycle his toys when he begins to show disinterest in the ones he is using.
Also, allow him to choose which toy he wishes to use. In this step, make sure you remove yourself and try not to influence his choices with your personal thoughts or actions.
Step 5: Practical Life
Involving your child in your every day will make him feel like a valued member of the family. Talk to your child constantly, ask them questions even if it means providing the answer yourself. Engage him in formal practical life activities like helping to wipe the table or doing the dishes. This will give him an added sense of belonging and responsibility.
Be careful not to overburden him though, such that he won’t feel like it is a chore and lose interest. In that case, don’t force your child as that will only make him lose interest more.
What to Know Before Implementing Montessori at Home
Incidentally, there are mental tools the northern Nigerian mother needs to equip herself with before embarking on the journey of becoming a Montessori mentor to her child. Concepts that need to be explored will better inform her of the choices she will make in the future.
1. Child Development Ages and Stages
The growth and development of a child may occur at different paces for children, but generally, they usually exhibit similar characteristics within a stipulated time. These have been categorized into six stages with each exhibiting mean characteristics. The period between 0-3 years are outlined as follows:
- Birth to three months: Behavioral characteristics of babies in this time include kicking, stretching, responding to loud noises, and grasping at things like your finger.
- Four to six months: At this time, babies are more social and interested in their surroundings. They grab toys, grab hair or hold toys, laugh and squeal more, blow bubbles, and generally sleep longer.
- Seven to twelve months: Babies engage in mobile activities like rolling over, crawling, standing, and strength testing.
- One to two years: A child becomes more conscious of behaviors of himself and others. He is eager to learn and starts communicating through words and facial expressions.
- Two to three and a half years: Toddler begins developing a distinct personality and changes in his social, intellectual, and emotional activities. He is constantly exploring so safety is paramount and needs a lot of attention
2. Principles of Montessori Education.
There are many principles guiding Montessori education but whether at home or in school, these five principles are key in practising the Montessori Method:
- Children are shown respect and taught kindness through demonstration by the mentor
- Children have absorbent minds and as such, are always eager to learn from their environment
- Sensitive periods for children are critical for heightened learning. Mentors should seize this to provide resources and opportunities for optimal learning
- Children learn best in a prepared environment: Provide a variety of materials and organise resources for individual selection of the child in a safe and free environment
- Children can teach themselves through auto-education by active exploration: Encourage them by introducing new materials in a prepared environment.
3. Sensitive Periods of Development of a Child
This is a period of a child’s natural burning interest in something. Maria Montessori recognized eleven basic sensitive periods of development of children regarding them as windows of opportunity. They include movement, math patterns, emotional control, order, interest in small objects vocabulary, sensations, letters shapes and sounds, music, and writing.
- Movement: Born with limited movement control, children develop cognitive abilities as they learn to use their bodies.
- Math patterns: Montessori informs us that babies are born with mathematical minds
- Need for order: Children, (six months to three years) desire order and throw tantrums if the order is disrupted.
- Interest in small objects: Leads to development of fine motor control and the pincer grasp essential for writing and other important skills
- Vocabulary: Children (under the age of six) are hardwired for language acquisition
- Sensation: Children (between two and a half to five years) are drawn to tracing textured letters with their fingers while matching the sound of a letter to its shape
- Letters, shapes, and sounds: Children becoming sensitive and interested in these
- Music: Children (three years) experience a sensitive period for learning rhythm, pitch, and more. It develops their brain and leads to academic, social, and emotional growth.
- Writing and Reading: Children are open to the right information at the right time. When ready for them, learning is a natural continuous process.
4. The Concept of a Schema
An important aspect of Montessori education is the concept of schema. A schema is a set of instructions one creates through repetitive trial and error. This proves to find the best and efficient ways of completing tasks.
There are eight schemas outlined by Montessori which children may use varyingly at different periods including connecting, orientation, Transporting, trajectory, positioning, enveloping, enclosing, and rotation.
- Connecting: a child may connect and disconnect a tower of blocks in an effort to understand how things come together and fall apart. By doing this, he understands, strength, stickiness, purchase, and slippiness,
- Orientation: A child may swing upside down to discover seeing things from a different point of view. This builds their confidence in physical activities when anticipating how a player might move.
- Transporting: A child may move items from point A to B to see something happen as a result of their hard work and gain pleasure from it.
- Trajectory: A child may drop food from his chair or watch a pendulum in action. These develop into throwing, catching, kicking, and driving skills.
- Positioning: A child may arrange toys or create scenes and displays. This will help later in maintaining neat works in school books or placing shoes under pegs.
- Enveloping: A child may enjoy filling empty boxes to discover what happens if they hide or wrap an object.
- Enclosing: A child may want to create an enclosure for his toys in an effort to learn how to create boundaries. Eventually, enclosing skills leads to learning letter formation.
- Rotating: A child may twirl round or watch the washing machine that eventually leads to understanding rotational symmetry in mathematics.
In this article we have journeyed through and learned the following:
- Children begin their developmental and cognitive journey from a young age (0-3 years) which compels us to understand and guide them.
- Montessori is a befitting guide to raising and educating our children because of its child-centered nature which assists us in understanding our child.
- The northern Nigerian mother is the best person to begin a Montessori child’s journey before school due to her domestic lifestyle and position which gives her a mentorship advantage.
- The northern Nigerian mother needs to understand every child is different and equip herself with basic child development knowledge and Montessori concepts before jumping into implementing Montessori at home.
Also, the write-up also advises the future or already practising Montessori mother to:
- Treat every child as a separate individual and realize his needs are dynamic.
- Prepare the child’s environment and space based on the child’s existing schema and seize a child’s sensitive period to educate him.
- Keep constantly researching about Montessori methods.
Thank you for your time and I hope you enjoyed the read.
by Maryam Idris Bappa | Nov 27, 2021 | Opinion, Family & Parenting
Yara manyan gobe
This is a popular northern Nigerian saying meaning children are the leaders of tomorrow. You ask a child what he wants to become in the future and he replies with “I want to be a footballer”. This is okay because, at that stage, the child is replying to you out of pure passion and adoration for the profession and not because he understands what it will truly mean for him to become a footballer. But that does not necessarily mean you should throw what he is saying out the window. Here is why.
It is true that at the earliest phase of childhood, children are driven more by emotions rather than logic. Generally, a newborn baby will cry when he is hungry, sleepy, or sick. Thus, generations of parenting have allowed parents to interpret this signal in many ways to enable them to understand what the baby actually wants. They understand that a baby may cry and rub his eyes when he is sleepy or cry and suck his own tongue when hungry. This means that children know what they want even before they are able to express it coherently.
As children grow, they begin to feel more than just hunger and sleepiness and experience emotions of joy, sorrow, fear, and surprise. As time goes on, these simple emotions evolve into more complex ones like pride, hope, confidence, guilt embarrassment, and empathy. Then it is at that stage that a child begins to develop his own unique likes, dislikes, wants, and personality in general.
It is also at that point that a child needs to learn how to manage his emotions. But this is where the problem arises as the average northern Nigerian parent is likely to be ignorant of these developments and usually ends up infringing on the child’s mental rights.
Unfortunately, a child’s mental state is very fragile, and continuous abuse of it may affect him psychologically as regards how he behaves, controls his emotions, or socializes with people in the future. Therefore, understanding why a child thinks the way he thinks and acts or reacts the way he does and acting appropriately on it will not only support his present but help in building and shaping his future self and personality based on who he actually is. This brings us to study the concept of child psychology.
What is Child Psychology?
Child psychology/child development is the study of subconscious and conscious childhood development. At the same time, it is the study of the psychological processes of children, their uniqueness, and their development.
Initiated in 1840, when Charles Darwin began studying and collecting data on the growth and development of his own children, child psychology went through German psychophysiologist and American educational psychologist namely William Prayer and Stanley Hall respectively. These two put forth methods and periodicals to child psychology and education.
By the 20th century, the field of child psychology was further defined by the development of intelligence tests and the establishment of child guidance clinics. In modern child psychology today, Jean Piaget regarded as its founder, developed a theory of acquisition in children, where he described the stages of learning in childhood and characterized children’s perceptions of themselves and the world at each stage.
Key Areas of Child Psychology
Moreover, five key areas of child psychology are outlined including development, milestones, behaviour, emotions, and socialization. Each area has its own sub-areas. Our point of focus here is ‘development’, which in this article proves to be crucial of the five.
Child development has three areas of focus namely; Physical development, Cognitive/intellectual development, and Social/emotional development.
1. Physical Development
This refers to the physical changes a child’s body undergoes from birth and usually happens in a mean predictable manner. Usually, your child will roll his head up, roll over, crawl, walk and run.
Physical development also includes the acquisition of gross and fine motor skills which means the ability to use one’s big muscles to carry out activities like walking, and also the ability to use smaller muscles like their hands and fingers to pick up small objects or hold a spoon.
These different skills and developments of children usually occur within a specific time frame or window and are guided by developmental milestones from the first six weeks to seven years of infanthood.
2. Cognitive/Intellectual Development
This includes reasoning, imagination, language, and thought, cognitive development refers to all processes children use to gain knowledge. It is the intellectual learning and thought processes of a child, mostly influenced by genetics and environment.
Nowadays, babies show interest in their environment before they have the language to express it.
3. Social/Emotional Development
Social development deals with learning to relate to other people. It is how a child develops values, awareness, and social skills necessary to relate with people around him.
Emotional development refers to how a child feels, understands, and expresses his emotions. The emotional development of a child has a major effect on his social development because the way a child feels understands and expresses his feelings has a direct impact on how he relates with other people and gain social skills.
Social skills that children may develop include trust, friendship, conflict management, and respect. These are greatly influenced by the amount of love and affection a child receives. Failure to attain these social skills may later pose difficulty for children in creating and maintaining satisfying relationships with others in the future.
Every parent strives to their best to see their children develop physically. They are overjoyed when their child takes his first step or says his first word. Enabling a child to attain his physical development milestones has never really been a problem. However, the same cannot be said for the other two development areas.
Learning to express and regulate emotions healthy has proven difficult for many children. Therefore, in this article, the effects of understanding cognitive/intellectual development and social/emotional development of a child by parents are aspects of child development to be focused on.
This is because they are given less attention to raising children in Northern Nigeria.
Why is Understanding Child Psychology Important?
We worry about what a child will become tomorrow yet we forget that he is someone today.Stacia Tauscher
If you want your child to attain greatness tomorrow, believe in who he is today and make him grow. This does not involve forcing the child to be someone he is not or making him suit your needs. A child is an individual of his own and not an extension of who you are. Knowing who your child is and aiding him to be the best of himself is the way to go.
Below are a few of some of the reasons why you should understand your child’s psychology:
1. To Improve A child’s Mental Stability
Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves.Jean Plageat
A child is one who goes through several schemas in which he explores different phenomena around him constantly learning and unlearning. At that stage, he is discovering himself and needs guidance and support more than education.
A mentally stable child is a child who has been allowed the freedom to make his own decisions and mistakes from infancy.
To allow a child freedom of mind is to improve on his self-identity and mental stability.
It is easier to build a build strong children than repair broken adults. F Douglas
Rather than overburden and confuse your child with the manual of life which you have acquired, support your child by knowing that it is okay for him to discover, try and make mistakes or succeed on his own. Thus, watch him closely and guide him where possible.
This continuous trial and error will equip him with more understanding of his own self and deter him from developing personality disorders.
2. To build a Child’s Empathy
Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them, they remember what you are. Jim Henson
By understanding and respecting a child’s emotional needs, you are teaching them how to respect other people’s feelings, emotions, and wishes. An empathic parent is far more likely to raise an empathic child than one who disregards the child’s feelings and gets what they want through manipulation.
Try to see and understand the world through your child’s eyes and the reason why he/she is hurting or doesn’t want to do a particular thing. That way, you make room for communication and teach your child that it is okay to not have your way all the time. This will go a long way in enhancing his emotional/social development.
3. To Enable a Child Become Independent
To take children seriously is to value them who they are right now rather than adults in the making. Alfie Kohn
Boost your child’s self-confidence and independence by valuing and trusting in their instincts and decisions right here and now. Otherwise, you can choose to keep seeing and treating your children as infants and not valuing them as individuals. However, it does not stop them from growing emotionally and cognitively out of the prison you have built for them.
Instinctively, your children will slowly begin to demand privacy and independence from you as they grow. If you do not give it to them, they will take it for themselves.
Value your children even when it is difficult for you and do not treat them merely as extensions of yourselves. They too require most of the things adults require even if you feel they have not financially earned it or even deserve it.
This will improve their cognitive and emotional development and boost their sense of independence to enable them to perform even if you as a parent are not there.
The more risks you allow your children to make, the better they learn to look after themselves. Roald Dahi
4. To Maximize a Child’s Potential
If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes learn to trust, share their feelings and grow. Alfie Kohn.
There is no limit to what a child can achieve once you provide the right environment for him to develop. Sometimes, success is not measured by how much someone makes but by the satisfaction they are able to achieve with their own unique talent.
Every now and then, a great painter or a great lawyer arises to become a hero among others because he/she has been supported up to his full potential. I rather have the best bricklayer as a son than the worst engineer or doctor. Forget societal standards or stigma and help your child attain his full potential.
If we want our children to move mountains, we first have to let them get out of their chairs. Nicolette Sowder
5. To Pass Onto the Child Better Values
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family. Mother Theresa
They say you cannot give what you lack. In order to instil love and respect in a child, you must first give the child love and respect. Demonstrate good values to your child, help him develop physically, mentally, and socially and watch him become a great human being.
They say what you don’t know cannot hurt you, but guess what, children nowadays start knowing at a very young age. They may not be actively conscious of it but they are aware of all the damages being done to them at an early age and one day they will remember. Also, they will remember but it will be too late to do anything then. So cut the toxic trend and understand your children today.
Know who your child is and do not force them to become other than who they are. A child’s emotional and cognitive development is just as important as their physical development. There is no room for one to give way to the others. As such, child psychology is evolving every day to help us understand and raise our children better.
Therefore, we all must join this trend and make sure our children grow healthily in all developmental aspects of their lives.
by Happiness Hassan | Sep 23, 2021 | Family & Parenting
Words are powerfully endowed with the ability to build and destroy, encourage or discouraged, captivate or demoralize. Therefore, one must be mindful of the kinds of words used while communicating, especially to kids. As a parent, there are lots of things you should never say to your child if truly you desire the best for them. Unfortunately, most parents fall victim to this parenting mistake to be avoided, unconsciously at the detriment of their kids who hold onto every word spoken to them.
10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Child
1. Never Say to Your Child “You’re a Failure”
The dawn of a new day is another opportunity to better one’s life. Hence, it’s wrong to assume that your child is a failure mainly because they made a slight mistake. There is a lot of room for improvement, if only you make your child view life from the standpoint of progressive growth.
Moreover, using the word ‘failure’ on a child tarnishes their passion to try that same thing again or do anything captivating for fear of being insulted by their parents.
2. Why Can’t You Be Like the Other Kids?
The above statement is a destructive rhetorical question to ask your child. They can’t provide an answer to your question but within them, they begin to feel worthless, unloved, and ashamed of themselves. Gradually, he/she begins to withdraw from their peers to avoid being mocked.
Moreover, as a parent, never compare your child to another, for everyone has his or her strengths and weaknesses. The best you could offer your child is to help them discover their passion and give them your maximum support.
3. Avoid the “I Don’t Love You” Statement.
No matter how angry you’re with your child to the point of employing the violent method of disciplining a child, never say to your child I don’t love you. It’s wrong and can destroy a child emotionally, intellectually, morally, and otherwise. The home is the platform where kids learn the right attitude of love. However, if it’s not properly done in the home, the child gets the wrong concept of love and replicates it in the larger society – hurting other people.
4. Never Say to Your Child You’ll Never Get It Right.
As a parent telling your kids they will never get it right is one of the things you should never say to your child. Unfortunately, most parents feel that this kind of word helps challenge the child to do better. On the contrary, it encourages a child to remain average and endanger their self-esteem. Instead, join your kids in doing what may appear difficult to them rather than criticizing them for not getting it right.
5. I Regret Giving Birth to You Shouldn’t Be Used to Address Your Child
No matter how frustrated you may feel as a parent, most especially a single parent raising a child, know that it is extreme to tell your child you regret giving birth to him/her. That statement is wrong and is similar to disowning that child.
However, the more you express your frustration towards a child, the thinner the love between you and your kids will become.
6. Avoid The Statement; Let Me Handle It for You
There are lots of benefits attached to letting your kids make their own decisions for themselves. Therefore, it’s wrong to interrupt your kids with the comment; let me handle it. This is mainly because you feel they can’t do it to your satisfaction most especially household chores assigned to kids. As simple as these words may look, they go a long way in making your child feel imperfect.
7. It’s Wrong to Use “I’m Busy, Stop Disturbing Me” as an Excuse for Your Kids
Among the things you should never say to your child is; you’re too busy for them. Giving such excuses is common with parents who are struggling to balance work and family together. However, instead of shutting your kids up when they interrupt your activities, choose to suspend your activity and attend to your kids or talk to them calmly about your engagement and fix a better time.
8. Recommending Big Boys and Girls Don’t Cry Techniques to Your Kids
As a parent, never find yourself advising your kids to numb their emotions when faced with all sorts of circumstances. It isn’t a sign of weakness when they choose to cry or get angry when they make mistakes, but you must guide them on how to recognize and control their emotions so they don’t go extreme.
9. You Have a Bad Character
It’s about time you stop highlighting the faults of your kids and enhance their strength. Fortunately, the more their strength grows, the more their faults begin to disappear. In addition, calling your kida liar, noisemaker, or addressing them as being greedy, selfish, naughty among others are parts of those things you should never say to your child despite what they have done.
10. “You Will Never Be Like Me” Is a Wrong Word Used to Communicate with Kids
As a parent, know that you’re the first role model for your child. Therefore, you need to be mindful of how you live your life in the presence and absence of your kids. Irrespective of how successful you have become, don’t discourage your children from aspiring to reach higher goals in life by telling them they will never be like you. Instead, guide them on the part of success.
To regulate the kinds of words you use when communicating with your child, picture yourself in their shoes and examine how you will feel if someone else used such words on you. Certainly not happy. Hence, always weigh your words before you alter them for your kids.
Feel free to share your opinion on the types of words not to use for children in the comment section below.
by Thaalith Abubakar Gimba | Sep 15, 2021 | Family & Parenting
Parenting is one of the most herculean tasks in the world from time immemorial. It’s an automatic job you receive the moment you have a child or even children. Parenting is a job that loads with incessant responsibilities every day without rest. The only time a parent gets recess is when the child has become a full-fledged adult. However, raising a child with disabilities is a special responsibility. It requires extra patience, extra parenting, and above all, extra painstaking efforts. This is so because a child with disabilities is a unique being in the eyes of our Creator.
Let me take you through some of the things you may need to know as a parent raising a child with disabilities.
What to Know if You are Raising a Child With Disability
1. Enjoy Playing With a Disabled Child
Children are innocent and sinless creatures. You can’t take it from them. They spend most of their growth playing. It is said that whenever a child is growing up, those forms of play he engages himself with aid in the development of his brain. Children with disabilities also love to play. As a parent raising one, you must focus on playing with them. A child with disabilities who doesn’t see his parents play with him can give him negative thoughts instantly.
He’ll probably assume his parents don’t want to play with him because he’s different from his other siblings. Moreover, even if you’re a parent who goes to work and returns home as late as 4 pm or 5 pm, whenever you set foot in your home, try and locate your disabled child and play with him. Show him you live for him. Whenever you’re not nearby, flood his surroundings with toys. It’s also very effective in raising them.
2. Create Time to Take Your Disabled Child for Fun Activities
Who doesn’t love outings? Outing with family is top-notch. Imagine carrying out a disabled child from home, he’ll think you’ve taken him to another country. Sometimes parents don’t like exposing their disabled children to the outside world due to paranoid presumption. As such, that child will feel like he has been put behind bars. And so his life will resemble that of a recluse.
But then, with the help of a timely outing, he gets to see the world in a better way, sees how expansive, he gets to gamble with his siblings and other people. Because of this, his love for his parents will magnify because he’s being treated like other children. This is very effective when raising a child with disabilities.
3. Praise Them to Make them Happy
Naturally, whenever a child is evolving, he’s bound to try out new things and confides in his parents. So, with a disabled child, laud them frequently. Remember, the aim is to treat them specially. Even normal children require praise too.
However, if you’re raising a child with disabilities, let him feel like he is a normal child but add extra condiments to your parenting. Never criticize. I know that’s nearly impossible because humans are fickle. But a child with disabilities is different, one mistake could lead to a cascade of mental breakdown.
A disabled child is very fragile which is why soft and constructive criticism can come in handy.
4. Visit a Therapist if Needed
Being a parent is a gift for many, while for some, it is a course you must learn. If you happen to be a parent raising a child with disabilities and feel utterly oblivious, rather, ignorant of how to go about things. It’s a simple calculus, meet therapeutic personnel with sheer experience in parenting a child with disabilities. You should frequently visit the therapist so that you’ll get sound knowledge of how to be the best parent to your disabled child. And if you happen to have tons of questions, ask so that you’ll be enlightened more.
Knowledge of parenting a child with disabilities is vast and the course itself never ends. As such, the practice is harder than the theory.
5. Adopt Proper Parental Diction
An ideal parent sifts his wording meticulously before he utters it to his children. Psychology says that most children’s behavioural nuances and utterances emanate from their parents. Children are mostly copycats of their parents.
Significantly, for you to speak to your disabled child in an ideal way, it is germane to never use vulgar or obnoxious language at them and even with them. Your vocabs should constantly be on word check to avoid bad parenting. A child with disabilities is also a normal child in front of his parents which is why a parent must raise them well with the appropriate diction while speaking.
To wrap it up, you’re also teaching him decorum in speech.
6. Cultivate a Patient Attitude With Them
Raising a child with disabilities requires a heap of patience. You may think it is simple to handle until you have a child born with the marionette strings of autism. These are special children that will sweat you out. Even when they are growing up, you’ll have to always be there for them despite their poor communication skills. Not just children with autism, even those blessed with dyslexia amongst others. You need to learn how to be patient with kids.
Parents should never relent, nor retire nor repose whenever their raising children with disabilities. It is very difficult, but with piles and heaps of patience, it’ll become a normal routine of responsibility and they’ll thump their chests as proud parents.
7. Avoid Dissociation From the Outside World
Sometimes, some parents are the architects of their children’s inferiority complex. I say this because there are a lot of parents out there today who hide their disabled children at home. They have a first-class paranoia that the world would laugh at them or feel irritated by how God morphed them. This should not be the case. Instead, parents must avoid taking them away from friends, family members, and even playmates.
Children with disabilities need people to enliven them to experience smooth growth. The parents of disabled children need to educate other children who feel disgusted to stop such puerile acts. Make them understand that God’s artwork shouldn’t ever be ridiculed under any circumstances.
Parents should encourage their disabled children to mingle with people from time to time so that the cancer of the inferiority complex won’t cripple them.
Raising a child with disabilities is a true testament to parenthood. In the beginning, it will seem like God has punished you and your world is falling apart. But then, with such a kind of child, you’d be forced to comprehend that it’s a blessing to you in ways you can’t possibly fathom. You will learn to connect better with children who have never experienced love before. Your level of parental tolerance will also rise.
A parent who can raise a disabled child can help any kind of child through any form of developmental drawbacks. And any parent who doesn’t know how to raise a disabled child, with the help of the aforementioned ways, shall excel in no time.
If you’re a parent who has battled or is still battling with raising a child with disabilities, feels free to share your own experience in the comment box.