Raising children can be a challenge, but when parents are open to sound advice and trying new things, parents will find the process straightforward and uncomplicated. The greatest hurdle to parenting is our pride getting in the way of seeking support or guidance. Rest assured, we do not need to know everything. It is more than acceptable to seek advice and encouragement. Kudos to you for broadening your spectrum of parenting wisdom. Children need these three essential components from their caregivers in order to become well-balanced, secure and happy:
Love. Love is that bond between people that keeps them together in mutual affection and protection. Most of us give our children abundant love and this is usually not an issue in most families. We, however, are often challenged when it comes to setting limits with our children and creating time for them.
Limits. Children and teenagers need boundaries. When limits are set and enforced, children feel safe and secure. We need to be strong enough to keep limits intact and not bend the rules. Children really do appreciate parents who have positive, strong, and well-defined expectations; moreover, they respect their parents for maintaining their boundaries. Respect is a character trait that is expected in the classroom and later appreciated in the workplace of adults. Respect builds trust. Trust builds camaraderie, teamwork and strong interpersonal relationships.
Time. The old adage of quality time being important, whilst true, needs to be supported by the quantity of time a parent spends with his or her children. This can be a challenge in single parent homes or where both parents are working. Furthermore, if our children are involved in sports and other extracurricular activities, family time together becomes almost impossible. This is when we need courage and tenacity to get out the calendar and start scheduling family time first (around all the other activities). While this may be a challenge at first, families can get quite creative. Families can exercise together and schedule meals together. Ideally, it would be great for families to have two meals together daily (breakfast and dinner), but it can be a struggle just to have one meal a day together. Mealtime conversations promote family unity, as long as there are no distractions. In order to have this unifying, meaningful mealtime conversation, we must be willing to shut off and put away all our electronic devices. Arranging and organizing family time is unique to each family as we examine what we are already doing and see how else we can manage more time together.
Strong family foundations are built when we can give our children love, limits and time in the appropriate amounts that best suit their needs. Raising children is a challenge, but when we are open to sound advice and trying new things, we will find the process manageable and reasonable.
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