In my view, parenting/caregiving is probably one of the most significant things many of us do in our lifetime. But, sheesh. How do we do that? Do we raise our kids like our parents/caregivers raised us? Or just the opposite? Regardless… Here are a few tips to try. I believe you’ll find them useful, and hope you’re willing and able to incorporate them into your daily lives. Be ready to practice until your child is about 25 years old, when it’s thought that brain development is complete. So, here goes:

  • Intentionally make more frequent eye contact with your child. This lets your children know you’re paying attention to them. And, I believe it does wonderful things for their brain development.
  • Help them name their emotions by saying, “I wonder if you are feeling XYZ right now.” This can help them understand their world and learn to understand that it’s okay to have a full spectrum of emotion.
  • Allow them freedom to make mistakes and to learn from their mistakes. I’ve found that natural consequences can be one of the best teachers we have.
  • Be a safe haven for your children to turn to when they are experiencing difficulties. Who doesn’t like having someone that loves them anyway?
  • Hold your children. Rock them – if they’ll still let you. Again. Brain development.
  • Give them safe opportunities to explore their world in ways they need. I believe children innately know what they need and will often express their needs in their behavior. For example, if your child likes to climb… make sure she/he has lots of minimal risk opportunities to climb. Climbing could be something he/she needs to be able to progress developmentally.
  • Encourage your children to go outside, and spend time outdoors with them. I’m a huge fan of the healing powers of the outdoors and how it supports growth – not only for children, but for us adults, too.

I’m hoping what I’ve had to say is helpful to you in some way. Check back in now and again. Take care.

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