Creating a healthy environment for your child takes work, discipline, and consistency. Children are sponges and as such, fully respond to and navigate their world based on the influence of their parents. Of course, needs differ depending on each child, and thus, parenting styles will as well.
Of the numerous reasons to actively cultivate a healthy environment for your child, one of the best ones is to ensure their current enjoyment and future success. Children while inevitably grow in various directions and develop their own interests, and with ample love and support from their parental figures, they can truly thrive and lay a solid foundation for the rest of their life.
Who doesn’t want to get behind that? Here are some extra tips, in addition to your current efforts, that we hope you find helpful and will aid in making you feel fulfilled as a parent:
- Make sure safety is your number one priority. Children are able to fully grow into the best version of themselves when they know they can unapologetically discover what that means for them. Not only does this entail physically ensuring the safety of your home, but also in being a good listener, cheerleader, and maintaining both structure and routine. Remind them that you are always there for them, as are others in their life: their teachers, coaches, etc. These efforts demonstrate that you care.
- Support your child in their creativity and independence. It’s natural for children to develop an affinity for certain hobbies, gain interest in various activities, or find their “thing”. Fully encourage them to be curious and continue exploring what speaks to them. By doing this, you express interest in and show support for the things that make them happy, while also fostering the sense of creativity and independence that lead them there.
- Actively bond with and get to know them. Simply put, this requires your time and energy over the long haul. Schedule a weekly game or movie night, go on a walk together, read a bedtime story, etc. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Just ensure that the time you are spending together is spent actively engaging the other person. Naturally, this nurtures your parent-child relationship.
- Make sure you involve them. Bake cookies together. Give them simple and fun chores or tasks around the house. Take them with you when you’re running errands. Meaningfully engaging them will boost their self-esteem while also inspiring their sense of imagination.
- Reward them for good behavior. While discipline certainly has its purpose, children’s good behavior should be recognized and praised. Determine for yourself which reward system works best for your child; just be sure it’s something consistent so they know the power of doing good.
- Foster and encourage good communication. Being in good communication with your child is of paramount importance. Get to know their emotions and how they regulate them, ask them how their day is going, encourage honesty and openness and that you will always provide a safe space to talk.
- Flexibility is key. Sometimes things just won’t quite go according to plan, and that’s okay.
- Give yourself grace. Neither of you will always get things right and you should cherish opportunities to learn as a parent-child team with kindness and compassion.
- Relish in the simple things. The simple things will always matter most and shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Love without limits. Perhaps it goes without saying, but make sure your child knows they’re loved. This is by far the most important one there is.
Of course, there are multiple ways to navigate parenting, and your child undoubtedly deserves your undivided and individualized attention to determine what’s best for them. These tips are intended to help strengthen and hopefully inform your style more, and if nothing else, be points of consideration. When equipped adequately, you create the best and healthiest environment possible for your child.