As a parent you want to help your child have a happy, healthy start in life. You want to nurture your child to reach his or her fullest potential. Luckily, children are naturally born to learn and explore. They are curious about discovering the world around them. The parents who provide a peaceful, caring, beautiful environment with interesting and engaging materials at the ready for children to work with will be giving their children a great start. However, this does not always feel like an easy task and parents often find themselves unsure about how to best help their children. We hope to encourage you on your parenting journey with a few basic tips to remember:
1.You, as a parent, are part of the happy environment you wish to prepare for your child.
Spend time with your child on a regular basis. You don’t always have to be doing something special, just engaging them in everyday activities with you around the home is a good place to start.
2.Get back to nature.
Any opportunities you have to connect with nature should be taken advantage of no matter how small. The outdoors can enliven a sense of wonder in a child, no matter how ordinary the experience. It could be something as simple at watching a butterfly on a flower or ants crawling on the ground. As children grow they may find joy in helping to keep a small garden, or a small pet. Later, they may be drawn to keep a nature journal with drawings and notes on the things they have observed.
3.Keep it simple.
When the time is right to start some more structured or academic learning with your child, keeping it simple is best. Start by reading stories together, coloring pictures, singing songs, practicing letters with wooden cut-outs, etc. Do activities with your child that are short and sweet and uncomplicated. If the activities are easy for the parent and not too time consuming, it’s more likely to be accomplished. Too many materials can be overwhelming and difficult to keep organized.
4.Keep it neat and beautiful.
Ensure that whatever special materials you use with your child all have their own places, that they are kept neat and organized, and show your child how to restore things to their proper places. This will make the materials more appealing to your child and will teach him or her respect for the learning materials.
5.Don’t Fret and remember the process.
Parents often feel worried or discouraged when they see certain behaviors (or lack of certain behaviors) in their children. They wonder what might be “wrong” and how can we “fix” it. The job of parenting becomes terrifying and exasperating when we are focused on results and on ourselves and what we want to see our children achieving. Parenting can become such a joy and really quite simple when we learn to step back, relax, and observe the child. Then we can begin to understand our children and their needs and then begin to reflect on ways we might guide them towards the tools and methods they need to really build themselves up.
In taking some of the small steps discussed above not only will we be able to help our children in their growth and learning, but also a sense of gratitude will awaken in us as we discover the beauty and power that lies within our children and that we are fortunate enough to walk along this journey of life with them.