Understanding your child is one of the most important things you should learn as a parent. It will be very helpful and effective in nurturing and guiding your child as they grow and mature, and navigate through their childhood. But every child is unique, they have their own personality traits that differentiate them from the other children. So, there is no fixed and guaranteed formula for understanding your children.
You can begin by observing your children; the little details about them, their habits and patterns. Look for consistent traits. What are the activities and hobbies they like doing best? How do they react to changes? Is it easy, and does it come naturally, or does it take time for them to become familiar with the changes? These are all perfectly normal characteristics for a child, and your child may not be an anomaly in this regard.
Parents have an immense impact on their child’s emotional development. Being able to decode their child’s emotions, figuring out what they’re thinking about and decoding the reason behind their conduct isn’t always easy, but figuring out and understanding the meaning behind it is more important than judging them. In order to understand your child, you do not need a degree in psychology; all it takes is time and observation. You will need to recognize traits and qualities unique to them. You will need to identify what makes your child happy and what upsets them.
Parents (for the most part) look for answers to solve problems, and understandably so. But simply being curious and wanting to learn more about your child’s behavioral patterns will aid them in regulating and managing big emotions, give them the ability to think flexibly, and manage and navigate through social situations. There will be many situations in which you will not understand your child’s behavioral patterns and their behavior. Simply talking to the child about it rather than judging, misunderstanding, and jumping to conclusions can prove to be the more helpful and productive option.
Always bear in mind that parents play the biggest role in the emotional development of their child. Parenting is more than just providing your child with all the comforts of life. It also entails being there for them emotionally, providing them with support, and with a sense of security and assurance.
Talk to your child as much as possible; communication is key, and essential to gaining an understanding of your child. In the case of younger children, they will require communication that is more physically expressive, rather than verbal, like exaggerated facial expressions and body language. This will help better expressing yourself to younger children. As for children who are slightly older, talk to them and encourage them to talk to you, express themselves, and their feelings and thoughts.
Self-Esteem is a major key to success in life. The development of a child’s positive self-image and a healthy self-esteem is extremely important to the child’s happiness and success. The roots of a positive and healthy self-esteem begin with the relationship that is shared between parents and the child. A positive and healthy parent–child relationship serves as the base and framework for the child to develop a healthy image and regard for themselves. Children crave time with their parents. They want attention from their parents and want to be acknowledged by them. It makes them feel special, and parents are encouraged to find and make time to spend time with their children.
Spend quality time with your children. Parents often end up juggling their time between home and work. Multi-tasking allows parents to tackle and take care of many things at once, but this often means that their child gets neglected, or does not get the adequate amount of time and attention. If a parent wants to understand their child, they will need to spend more time with them. Having a simple conversation with their child will let you know what is happening in their life; at home and at school, what they enjoy watching on TV or what kind of music they like listening to, what they find exciting and what bores them. Spending quality time does not always mean talking to them or doing some kind of activity. It could also be sitting together in silence or even simply observing them.
Children benefit from focused attention, even if it is for a brief period of time. Giving them your full focus and undivided attention can lead to creating a positive environment at home and building a strong relationship with your child. You may be already spending a lot of time with them doing other tasks such as laundry, cooking, or cleaning. This time is important too, but it is not as impactful and does not hold the same wight as spending even 10 minutes of time with your complete attention focused at them. Keep children’s books at home. Read together. There’s nothing better than reading bedtime stories together. Early learning gets kickstarted in a fun, involving way. Children love it. It makes them feel special, and the focus of undivided attention of their heroes; their parents.
Listen to your child. Listening is a very important quality, whether you are a child or a fully grown adult. Listening is important when you are having a conversation with your child. You can initiate a conversation with your child but be sure to make an effort to listen to what they are trying to tell you. Kids are not always the best when it comes to expressing themselves, so be sure to pay extra attention to them, to their actions, and non-verbal clues as well.
Understanding your child is not an easy process, it will take time and effort. Take up the challenge! While having a consistent parenting plan can be helpful in certain situations, being flexible and having an open mind will help in other situations. The time you take and the time you spend in trying to and putting in the effort to understanding your child and their emotional experience will serve to nurture and develop them into healthy adults.
Have a look at the Learning Time A+ Program. You’ll find a fantastic array of books to read that enlighten, that introduce skills, that teach moral values. Ideal for spending quality time with your young ones.