How To Raise A Child

pexels-photo-127968As any parent will tell you, raising a child is not for the fainthearted. Not only is it a demanding 24 hours a day 7 day a week job but it comes with a responsibility to not only provide the basic essentials of food and shelter but to instill the values and beliefs to create capable adults of the future. If that wasn’t enough, from the time you bring your new bundle of joy home, you are bombarded by well-meaning friends and family giving you “tips” on how to raise a child.

The good news is that raising a child isn’t actually rocket science. Parenting is demanding and tiring, but the basic needs of a child and how they are raised are the same regardless of race, age, religion or any other external factors.

A recent Harvard study is assuring parents that regardless of technology’s impact on a child, there are still six basic areas that you can focus on for your child to ensure that they learn to become a confident and well-rounded person in their own right.

According to the study, these are the things that a parent needs to do to ensure they are helping their child to reach their full potential:

  1. Spend time with them…sounds simple enough but sadly in a busy world, a lot of parents forget to be present with their child. Turn off devices, take time away from everything and converse with and listen to your child. You will both benefit in the long run.
  2. Teach them to care…about more than themselves. Most of us expect our children to be caring individuals, but we rarely check in with the people they spend the most time with to find out if this is the case. Model being a caring person; tell them what it means to care about others and the world around them. Lead by example.
  3. Help them work out problems…don’t make decisions and choices for them. Teach them how to work through a problem and come to the right decision for them. Learning this skill at a young age will help them through their entire lifetime.
  4. Teach them about gratitude…yes being thankful matters. In a world where everything is disposable it is very easy to forget to be thankful for all that you have. Teach your child that everything in their life is something to be thankful for not expected and they will grow into adults who practice gratitude in life.
  5. How to deal with emotions…sounds simple but is often overlooked. Help your child to understand the destructive emotions such as anger, jealousy or shame and help them to understand how to deal with them and process them rather than letting them take over their life.
  6. Show them the world…no you don’t have to travel the world but you do have to teach your child that the world is bigger than their own family and that we all need to care about others and our world not just what is in our own backyard.

When we focus on the basic principles of life such as caring, sharing and love for others, we can raise healthy, happy individuals.