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Loving Your Kids is The Key to a Good Parenting

 

While it might be obvious, many parents did not realize that loving your child holds the ultimate key towards a successful parenting. This sentiment is also echoed by a psychologist called Paul Gilligan that spent 25 years of his life working as a clinical psychologist with children and teenagers.

Gilligan said that children who love themselves and is loved by their parents will have a much healthier sense of emotional well-being as well as a stronger psychological resilience. He added that loving your child is the essence of emotional well-being.

However, Gilligan also understands that it’s hard to juggle between work and family while living in the modern world. That’s why on his new book, Raising Emotionally Healthy Children, Gilligan wrote some tips that could help parents to achieve a successful parenting.

1. Teach positive discipline

Some of you might be confused about the connection between loving your child and positive discipline. However, to make the child feel good about themselves, it’s necessary to make them learn how to obey rules and control their behavior.

What Gilligan mean as positive discipline is not a punishment-based discipline as it would instead create difficulties in parent-child relationship. For Gillian, the discipline parents should strive for is the one that could foster self-belief in their child, and to make them feel good about themselves and encourage them to see the good in other person or their peers.

2. Spend time with your child as much as they need

There are many parents that Gilligan met during his research that are really hung-up about the “quality time” they spend with their kids. For Gilligan, parents should stop feeling guilty of not spending enough time with their child and instead try to include the time spent with the child into their daily lives.

This activity can vary from simple things such as letting them help us with cleaning, going out to buy groceries while chatting on the way there, or simply having dinner together and talk about their day and yours.

For Gilligan, the best time spent together isn’t once a week where you could have an intense talk, but the one integral to daily living where kids can interact with their parents and enjoying it.

3. Express your love for them

There is nothing simpler in loving your child than expressing your love to them.

While it sounds simple and easy, showing your kids that you love them as much as you could make a big difference in building their self-belief and self-esteem. It doesn’t matter what age they are, they would love to hear someone say they love them. They want to believe that they are loved.

And nothing is better than telling and showing them exactly that.

4. Listening and communicating

Gillian wrote in his book that the most effective way to teach children to feel good about themselves is by listening and communicating with them genuinely, honestly, and constructively.

What he means by this is that it’s important for parents to pay attention to their child’s actions and behaviors, because often times this is how they would express what they are feeling.

If we could be a great listener when they are young, they will learn that when they have a problem, we are there to listen to them. And by learning that, they will be much more likely to talk to us when they grow older.

 

By loving your child, you are not only showing them that they are wanted, but you are also telling them that you are there to not only be their parents but also as their friends. You are reinforcing that it’s okay for your child to tell their worries to you.

And for the child, nothing is more reassuring than having their parents be there for them.

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You Should Let Your Kids Hear These Sentences So They Can Be A Good Adult!

 

Andrew N Meltzoff, a researcher from the University of Washington’s Department of Psychology wrote a journal that children learn from watching their parents. However many people fail to notice is that children will also mimic verbal behavior. That is why, if you want your kids to grow up to be a good person, these are some sentences your kids should hear.

1. “I don’t know”

While it might be scary to admit that you don’t know about what your child is asking you, this is one of many sentences your kids should hear more often.

By saying “I don’t know”, you are showing your child that you are also a vulnerable person. If you could say it with enough confidence, you are also teaching your kids that it is okay to not know everything.

However, you should not stop there. You can encourage your kids to find the answer together with you. That way, you are subtly telling them to find an answer if they stumble upon something they don’t know.

2. “I’m sorry”

If you want to show humility and empathy to your kids, the best way is to say that you are sorry. By saying “I’m sorry”, you are teaching about the importance to do introspection and self-reflection when your kids harm another person, be it knowingly or not.

If they see you apologizing after making a mistake, they will take note of it and start to internalize about the connection of mistakes and apology.

But that’s not all, by saying that you are sorry, you are also teaching your children the first step of reconciliation and recovery.

3. “I trust you”

Another sentence your kids should hear is “I trust you”.

Just like how adults loved to be trusted, children are the same. By saying that you trust them, you will raise the stakes of them acting much more trustworthy. This trust is usually given, but parents need to say it in a way that makes them feel like it’s earned. They will have to work hard for us to trust them.

By saying that you trust them, you will also raise their self-worth. This will make your kids to less likely feel hesitant about their decision when they grow up.

4. “What do you think?”

When you are in the middle of planning a dinner, try asking what your child wants. Just like other people, children are in dire need to know whether their opinions are valued or not.

By asking them about their opinion—especially about things they are interested in and you have no clue about—you are helping them mature and help them form their own voice and cohesive opinion.

If your child can see you doing this a lot, they will also grow to realize that it’s important to hear other people’s opinion.

5. “You were right.”

As a parent, you are still human. There will be instances where you disregard your child’s opinion over yours. But when their opinion turns out to be correct, you need to say “you were right.”

By saying this, you are implying to your child that it’s okay to admit you made mistakes. This sentence will also encourage reciprocation from your child, and will probably improve any sense of collaboration and equality between you as a parent and your child.

6. “I love you”

Among many sentences your kids should hear more, the most basic one is “I love you.” For your child, having you pronouncing your love to them is like a strong arms that hold them. Your child will always need to be reminded that the love you have for them is unconditional.

Because of that, you as a parent should say how you love your child. For some parents, it might be embarrassing, but if you hold back on pronouncing your love, your kids might think that you don’t love them at all.

But be careful, if you say it too much and while you don’t pay attention to your child, the sentence will lose its meaning altogether.

7. “I’m sure you can do it”

During their childhood, there will be times when your kid is faced with a problem that will take them a long time to finish. While they are stuck, they might feel like they are not capable to finish that task. This is when you should hug them and tell them:

“I’m sure you can do it.”

It’s another one of many sentences your kids should hear. For them, it will be something to boost their confidence. By saying this, you can show that you believe in them, but at the end of the day it’s still up to them to succeed or not.

8. “You decide”

Just like letting your child to voice their opinion, this time you should try to let your child be the one to decide things. It might be trivial things such as letting them decide which holiday plan would be the best for them, or what kind of play they would like to do.

This sentence is simple, but it holds many meanings. Simply by saying it, you are giving your child responsibility, independence, trust, decision space, and affirming that you value their ability to be self-determining.

 

Those are some examples of sentences your kids should hear more so they can be a well-adjusted people later in life. Obviously, there are many others like this. What about you? What kind of sentence do you think could give a positive reaction for your child?


Activities to do with your kids


In order to give positive vibes to your kids, you can put some motivational words to be packed with their lunches. By doing so, it will not only give your kids a pleasant surprise, but also to let your kids know that they are important to you.

This time, skiptomylou gives a very good example for this:

Image Credit: skiptomylouImage Credit: skiptomylou

You can print the cards on a white cardstock and put it inside their lunch box. You can download some of the notes for free here.

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Follow These Parenting Tips to Make Your Life as Parents Easier!

 

Being a parent is hard, especially for a first-time parents. How to be a good parent will always be a topic of discussion, because parents will always face many difficult battles and setbacks as they try to be a decent parent. And for that reason, many of them are trying to find good parenting tips.

However, when it comes to parenting, some parents strive to be the perfect parent and miss out on being a real parent for their kids. Remember, at the end of the day parenting is all about having a solid bond of care, love, attention, and connection with your kids.

That is also the reason why today we will give you a few good parenting tips that can help you bond with your kids. Of course it might be impossible to implement all of them, but you can make an outline and do it your way!

Modeling

Modeling is one of the best and the easiest way for kids to learn about something. You can show them things you want them to learn, starting from body postures, etiquettes on dining table, certain manners, and basically everything.

This is because kids are actually a very good observer. Whether you realize it or not, your kids will always take note of what their parents and their surroundings do and absorb it themselves. They don’t need to be taught or asked to do that, it’s natural for them.

This is also why as a parent, you should be careful of what you do in front of your kids, because they are like a small camera that will record what we do and keep it as a safe memory before recreating it in the future.

If you want your kids to be loving, caring, empathetic, and show respect to other people, you need to show them those quality first. Let them see you do those things and those qualities will automatically be incorporated in them.

No spanking

Spanking is usually the easiest way for parents to punish their child when they misbehave. However, this should not be the case. While spanking feels easy and fulfilling for the parents to do, it actually brings many bad effects to the child.

In a featured article by American Psychological Association (APA), it’s said that while spanking can work to stop a problematic behavior made by a child, it only works momentarily. Not only that, in the long term it will make the child become much more aggressive. This happens because a child in the end will mimic their parents.

A study published in Child Abuse and Neglect also revealed that kids who were punished physically by their parents, will more likely to use violence to resolve any conflicts between them and their peers or siblings. Since their parents usually use violence to resolve a conflict with the kids, they think it’s normal to resolve conflict that way.

Loving

One parenting tips that people seem to forget easily is to let your kids know you love them.

For the kids, love is like a magical force that can keep them happy all the time. There is of course the fear of giving too much love will spoil the kids, but it’s a total myth. It’s only spoiling when that love is overshadowed by too much materialistic goods, ignoring their misbehavior, and being overly protective.

Loving your kids means spending a good amount of time with your child and also listening to them. Rather than giving them expensive goods, express your love with kisses, cuddles, and even kisses. Make sure you are there when they need you the most, so they understand that they can come and speak to you when they encounter a problem or when they wanted to.

Reflecting

In the early days of parenting, new parents will usually try many parenting styles that are different from how they were raised previously. However, even though they will try to distance themselves from their parents’ style of parenting, sometimes they will instead repeat those styles.

Because of this, it’s important to reflect on yourself. Try to observe yourself, and in parallel create a list of what you want to improve. After you finished, try to connect it with the way you do your parenting. That way, you can help your kids to escape what you think is not ideal in you.

What you should take note is changing the way you raise your kids will be tough and difficult. You will have to deal with many trials and errors, but if you don’t give up and keep yourself firm, you will succeed one day.

Focus on your happiness

Another good parenting tips that people tend to take for granted is that parents should also put a focus on their own happiness. Sometimes, in the attempt of being good parents for our children, parents tend to forget their own well-being and their relationship with their partner. While it’s true your partner tend to be much more capable of taking care of themselves, but you should not forget to love them also.

Make it a priority to maintain a good balance between your own happiness, your relationship with your partner, and your child. If there is any slight imbalance between the three, it will be devastating for the child.


Activities to do with your kids


This time, the activity is for you as a parent. According to Diana Baumrind, there are 4 parenting styles that a parent can be: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful. Each of these parenting styles have their own positives and negatives. We will give you a few questions for each style, and you can predict which style of parenting you have.

Authoritative

In authoritative parenting style, parents are nice to their kids but still have their own expectations for achievement from the kids. You might be an authoritative parents if you:

  • Listen to what your kids are saying
  • Earn your kids’ respect, not demanding it
  • Try to reason with your children, instead of forcing them to follow you
  • Allow and encourage your kids to be free
  • Setting clear limits to your kids’ behavior

 

Authoritarian

Authoritarian parenting style revolves in parents enforcing their views on the kids. They will force the kids to follow them. You might be an authoritarian parents if you:

  • Don’t allow your kids to talk back
  • Demand your kids to respect you
  • Control the way your kids act and don’t let them ask questions
  • Acts distant from your kids
  • Have a very high standard for your kids

 

Permissive

Parents with permissive parenting style tend to let their kids get what they want. You might be a permissive parents if you:

  • Rarely say no to your kids’ demands
  • You do not monitor your kids’ activities
  • You give your kids total freedom to do what they want
  • You treat your kids like a peer
  • You are really responsive to your kids’ needs

 

Neglectful

Neglectful parenting style is when you are indifferent to your kids’ life. Usually, these parents have their own mental issues they need to address. You might be a neglectful parents if you:

  • Do not demand anything from your kids
  • Detached from your kids’ development
  • You give little to no supervision to your kids’ choice
  • You intentionally avoid your kids
  • You are overwhelmed by your own problems

 

Share your results with us and write your comments below! Happy parenting!

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Get to Know the Type of Play During Your Kids’ Childhood!

Play is a very important part of childhood. Through different types of play and games, children will be able to develop important social skills such as problem solving, decision-making, resolving conflicts, sharing, and to work in groups.

Lev Vygotsky, a psychologist from Bellorusia believed that one of the best ways to help children develop new skills are with make-believe or pretend play. “A child’s greatest achievements are possible in play,” he said.

Even Pablo Neruda, a poet from Chile, said “A child who does not play is not a child.”

In 1929, Mildred Parten Newhall observed children from ages 2 to 5 during their free play time. From that, she classified children participation into 6 different types of play.

1. Unoccupied Play

According to Newhall, unoccupied play is when the child does not engage in any kind of play. This is considered as the first stage of children developing play. Usually, babies will move their body without any purpose or just because it feels good and intriguing.

This type of play is the “exploration” stage for babies. They are thrown in the world they never knew, so even the smallest object can be a full of wonder if you have never seen anything like it before.

During this stage, try to choose objects with a lot of textures and colors. However, try to avoid toys that can emit bright lights or noises as it might startle the baby.

2. Solitary Play

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Solitary play is defined as when children start playing alone. Usually, this stage will occur in children between the ages of 2-3 years old. During this stage, the child will ignore or will not be aware of their surroundings; they will be fully occupied with themselves.

There are many things that a child will do during this stage. For example, kids may run around outside the garden by themselves. They may be playing with a stick they find on the street. Or they can be found reading interactive books or with other toys their parents already prepare at home.

3. Onlooker Play

This type of play is mostly an inactive play but still significant for the growth of the kids. During this stage, children will start observing the play of other children or adults, but will not be joining the play.

There is a possibility that during this stage, children will start to engage with other kids and have a conversation about what they are playing. But, the children will mostly stay out of the play.

It will be really helpful if the parents can do what they love to do near the children, or to bring their kids to a local park to see other children play.

4. Parallel Play

Parallel play is the stage that according to Parten, is a step toward a socially mature and cooperative type of play. At this stage, the child will be close to their peers and will play the same game as other kids, but will not be playing together with them.

Because children will play near each other, there might be moments where kids will fight over which toys are theirs. Ideally, it would be better to have toys that are not easily shatter and can be cleaned easily.

5. Associative Play

At this stage, the children will usually play with the other children. However, those kids will sometimes start to organize the play they are doing toward a common goal but usually there is not any set of rules or formal organization yet.

During associative play, children’s fascination will often shift from the toys to the other children. They will start asking questions about the toys or the play they are doing.

6. Social Play

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Social Play is a type of play in which your child will start to begin socializing with other children. In this stage, children will begin to start sharing their ideas and toys, and either create or follow established rules. One example of this stage is when they play doctors and figure out who will be the patient, nurse, or doctor.

To summarise, social play is a channel where children can really learn and practice the social skills they have gained and internalized themselves. Behaviours that are often practiced including being flexible, solving problems, waiting for their turns, and cooperation. 

According to Parten, as a child gets older and the opportunity for them to interact with others become more common, they will slowly move away from the solitary and parallel type of play. 

For the children to practice those social skills, the best way to do is to let them play. They will pick up the pace for social interactions better if we believe in them and give them the time and space to play freely.


Activities to try with your kids


Now that you know the 6 types of play, you can now try to find what kind of toys fit for each type. Here’s the list:

1. Unoccupied Play

During this phase, you don’t need to organize anything for them to play. However, it might be a good idea to have a child-friendly household objects to be used as their toys.

2. Independent/Solitary Play

Since solitary play require your kids to play alone without any reference from other kids or adults around them, you can prepare the following things:

  • Imaginative sets like a train sets, kitchen sets, or doctor sets.
  • Interactive toddler-safe books. A few examples of these books are Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, or From Head to Toe by Eric Carle.
  • You can also give them building blocks to let their imagination runs wild

3. Onlooker Play

The third stage is when your kids start to observe other people without them actually playing. Since most of the time this stage is passive, you can do these things:

  • Show your kids what you like to do, maybe it’s automotive, sports, playing an instrument, cooking, or even puzzles.
  • Take your kids to a place where other kids are playing, this can be a park or any other place. Make sure the place is safe for kids.
  • If they have any siblings, encourage them to look at how their older siblings move.

4. Parallel Play

This is the stage where your kids start to play beside—instead of with—other children. To ensure there is no broken toys, you might need to prepare these things:

  • A great amount of stacking blocks
  • Tunnels or low climbers made from soft materials. You can also create a fort using cardboard, styrofoam or blanket.

5. Associative Play

During this stage, your kids will start to play with other kids. They will start to have a longer attention span. Some toys you can prepare during this stage are:

  • Toys that encourage kids toward engineering
  • Art supplies that left little to no mess
  • Building blocks

It might also be a good idea to let your kids enroll in baby class so they will have more time to play with other kids.

6. Social Play

This last stage is where kids start to play in a group. They will start having a common goal during their play. During this stage, some example activities your kids can do are:

  • Puppet theater with their friends
  • A much more complicated imaginative play (Hospital play instead of only doctor)
  • Sports
  • Building a zoo using animals set. 
  • Do an adventure play where your kids and their friends are trying to get something.
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Here Are 5 Tips on Nurturing Empathy on Kids!

 

There are a lot of debates regarding whether or not empathy is innate capacity in human or a learned trait. However, one thing is for sure. Nurturing empathy on kids will only result in good things for the children moving forward.

Children with empathy will be able to cope with conflict and difficult situations better compared to those without empathy. They will also be less likely to engage in bullying; rather, they might be more than likely to jump in and stand up for the bullied peer.

There are a few things parents could do regarding nurturing empathy on kids, and some of those are:

1. Model empathy

One way of nurturing empathy on kids is by practicing empathy to them. When parents empathize with our children, we can let them develop trust and secure attachment with the parents. This can be done with simple things, such as picking children up when they fall and listen to them.

When children see the way their parents use empathy to respond to difficult situations, they will start to internalize those actions and will try to learn practicing the same thing.

2. Teach empathy through play

When children are playing with dolls or other things, parents can try to follow their children’s lead and use the opportunity to teach empathy during the play. For example, if they are playing with dolls and one of the dolls bumps into another doll, you can say “Ouch, I think my doll is hurt, can you help them?”

With this action, children will start to think that if someone is hurt or needs help, they should help out.

3. Teach kids to identify their feelings

Another way that could help in nurturing empathy on kids is to label their feelings for them, be it positive or negative. That way, children can connect their emotional reactions with words. This is very important because it will be hard for a child to understand how other people feel if they could not identify theirs.

Parents can do this with many things, and one of them is by reading through a picture book and point out the facial cues on the characters.

4. Make caring as a priority

In order for children to understand that other people’s perspective is also valuable, they would need to hear it from their parents directly. Parents should tell their children that caring about other people is important—as important as their own happiness.

5. Give children time to practice empathy

There is almost nothing better than letting children practice their empathy. This can take form in a family meeting where children can have their voices heard and listen to other people’s perspective, to the simple gesture of asking about their classmates or friends.

By nurturing empathy on kids, parents are preparing their children for the future. Empathetic people are generally well-liked due to how they are “socially intelligent”. This will then increase their self esteem.


Activities to try with your kids


If you want to try nurturing empathy on kids, there are a few activities we can suggest for you, and those are:

1. Facial Expression Exercise

This exercise will help kids with knowing what kind of emotion is felt by other people. In order to do this, you can grab a piece of paper and draw a facial expression, then show it to your kids. Let them guess what kind of feeling is the person is expressing.

If you want to experiment even more, you can let your kids draw the expressions, and you can be the one to guess.

In order to help you, TeacherVision provided a sheet of basic facial expressions you can print and show to your kids.

If you want to go for even more advanced emotion, Thought Catalog have some photographs that might help you to introduce facial expression to your kids.

2. Create a scenario during play


When you are playing dolls with your kids, you can try to create a scenario such as one of the dolls fell, or they dropped their lunch. See the facial expression of your kids and ask them what do they feel seeing a doll got into an accident. Also, ask them about what they will do or whether or not they will help the doll.

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Is It Important to Teach Empathy on Kids?


The answer is yes.

Before we talk about the importance of empathy on kids, it might be best to understand what empathy is. Empathy is something that is stronger than sympathy. While sympathy is a shared feeling of sorrow, pity, or compassion towards another person, empathy is the ability to put yourself in the place of another person and understand their emotions.

During their early childhood, young children are usually very ego-centric by nature and often times think mostly about themselves rather than about the needs of another person. They are not ready to consider the feelings of other people.

However, developing and teaching empathy on kids is an important thing to do as it will benefit them from their childhood until their adult life. It’s important to help children understand that their own actions can impact other people and to let them know that someone might be experiencing a certain feelings at a certain time.

Helping your children to develop their sense of empathy will gives a few benefits during childhood, such as:

Helps the child building a sense of security and stronger relationships

When we teach empathy on kids, our child will try to position themselves on their peers situation. This will create a stronger relationship between them and their friends or educator. With a stronger relationship, the atmosphere at school will be better suited for studying.

It will encourage children to accept others

Usually, children won’t realize that each person is different. Once they learn about empathy, they might be able to start seeing the difference and will try to accept other people for it. Not only that, but empathy will also teach them about tolerance.

It can reduce the likelihood of bullying

One reason why bullying happens is because children saw something different from them. With empathy, there will be lower number of bullying because with empathy, children will tend to promote harmony and peace instead of mocking someone else because they are different.

It promotes good mental health

By teaching empathy on kids, they will create a safe space for them and their friends. Experiencing empathy from others will create an emotional connection, love, and support. It will also reduce anxiety, feelings of loneliness, and depression.

Not only during childhood, but teaching empathy on kids will also affect them as they become adults, and those are:

  • A higher level of happiness
  • Better ability to understand other people such as their co-workers or customers.
  • Becoming a good leader
  • A lower level of stress overall

In a simpler term, helping to develop empathy on kids is vital in nurturing the ability to regulate emotions within children.