Spending quality time with children and getting them involved in the daily life activities not only breaks the ice but makes them responsible, feel wanted and prepares them for life
It involves intensive, personalised and long-lasting care. One of the crucial responsibilities of a parent is to create an atmosphere at home that will make the child feel wanted and accepted. Parenting implies integrating the head, heart and the hand of the child. One should remember that parenting is more a cultivated art than a biological inheritance.
In this day and age when time is a valued commodity, pressures abound both at home and at work. How does one manage to provide the best for one’s child, and yet cultivate a balance on other fronts as well? Is being around all the time the only way to bond? Parental involvement is all about attitude and initiative. It is about communication and interaction. In other words, it is about how parents relate to their children in the context of the time available to them.
For the child, the family offers a model for identification and a source of protection. A child’s home and family is his micro-system, embedded within larger systems comprising school, the extended family, the network of friends and so on. Giving extra time to children may make people feel like better parents – they may even be recognised as exceptionally devoted – but if the interaction is not appropriately monitored and nurtured, its very purpose will be negated. What brings about long-tem bonding and promotes the emotional well-being of the child are love, patience and commitment.
If crucial attachment and dependency needs are to be generously met, parents have to enjoy being with their children and integrate them into a supportive and companionable adult lifestyle. Good conversations with children are a balance between what you want to say and what they want to tell you. Parents should exchange views on preferences and favourites in any area – books, clothes, video, trips etc. thus cementing the relations and alongside encouraging them to express themselves with clarity and confidence.
If your children enjoy activities with you, they will often be learning at the same time. For example, activities such as shopping and cooking will tap into your children’s skills and become an exercise in sharing responsibility. Similarly, physical games and exercise can be a good way to spend time together outdoors. A child who is currently struggling with reading may be enthusiastic about learning to ride his bike. This activity would not only boost his morale, but also teach him the value of perseverance.
As a source of learning, computer games encourage quick reactions and are very enjoyable. Cards and board games, while enabling you to intensively interact with each other, will also help your child to look carefully, plan ahead and practice numbers and spelling. The great advantage of being a parent is that you can take an overall look at what your child is doing, experiencing and learning. Children will come first in your lives only if you decide to put them first, irrespective of the other prevailing factors.
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