Didn't get the instruction manual? Has your cuddly baby grown into a child with its own character and personality? And you thought you were in charge? Follow these 5 tips to create a happy and confident child.
Popular culture would have you believe that parenting is difficult, challenging and requires you to spend lots of money to keep your child happy. Not at all! Parenting comes down to a few key things. Get these into practice early on and life will become so much easier.
Smile at your child. Notice them when they come into the room and look pleased to see them. Message: you are loved.
Speak positively to them and about them. It's possible to correct their behaviour without being negative or critical. Message: you have value.
Be encouraging - praise their achievements, even the smallest ones. It's not always about trophies and winning. Message: I notice you. You're doing good.
Spend time with them - not by being in their company while you're doing something else, but actual real time spent doing something with them - walking, talking, art, cooking, exploring - it doesn't have to cost money, but its priceless to your child. Message: I enjoy being with you.
Listen to them and talk to them - even the smallest stories are important to them. Chat about everything and answer their questions. Speak to them as the adult they will be rather than as a child. Message: You're interesting. As well as helping them develop language skills, you're building their social skills and developing a relationship between you that will last forever.
Towards a happy and confident child.
The recurring message here is that we're constantly letting our children know that they matter to us and that they have value. These are fundamental building blocks for a child's self esteem and mental wellbeing.