By: Ifeoluwa Titilayo Akinola
Successful parenting practices you need to know.
Parenting is an act or art of nurturing, mentoring and raising children to be responsible, dependable and independent young people with creative, innovative and leadership abilities. Thus, parents/guardian are required to know proven tips of good parenting in order to effectively handle matters involved in child’s upbringing.
Facts about good parenting
Fact is, good parenting requires a high sense of responsibility knowing it’s also challenging talking from experience. It involve related functions to include time, money, attention, affection, instruction, directions, counselling and guidance.
Routine training, instructing, disciplining, molding, building-up, correcting, encouraging, loving, directing kids and a whole lot of ‘doings’ are also not left out.
Parenting is more involving at the early stage of child’s life. It is a time your little one is solely dependent on your decision making instinct and the likes. And, not until a child is grown and attain a stage he/she can lean on what has learnt and start building his own good lifestyles; responsibility of upbringing will then start to shift’ else, parenting still remain continuum. It is very important to know the responsibility shifts as your child grows older is as a result of your child’s maturating and increased interaction with others as such is a gradual process.
When your child starts to attend school, the teachers share in the responsibility. It is also expected that as your child grows, he begin to take certain decisions without your permission, which shows a sign of maturity and handling of more responsibility.
Due to response to this natural course of responsibility shift, parents move from helping their child to do everything, to teaching their child to do some things, till the child can do most things by himself.
It will be amazing to know how to positively parent a child and met their needs. Therefore, the term proven tips for good parenting is discussed considering the all-time basic needs of children.
You may also wonder if children really have much needs. Yes they do. You will find out as you read on that kids appears to have more needs than adults do because they are dependents.
Children needs include but not limited to good nutrition, clothing, good sleep and rest, education, health care, creative activities, spiritual/ religious knowledge, security, finance among others.
And all this needs mentioned if adequately provided will not only help them psychologically, emotionally, physically, mentally or socially but also contribute to makings of a total child while your parenting efforts equally prove efficient and effective during upbringing.
Proven tips on good parenting
Without wasting much of time read on to understand the must know successful parenting practices you need handy looking at it from the angle of essential needs of every human being starting early in childhood.
There is a saying that ‘you are what you eat’. The physical well-being of your child depends more significantly on what you feed him with. All children health organization like UNICEF, CDC, WHO and others, have revealed that infant from birth till 6 month old should be feed with breast milk exclusively and continued to be fed with breast milk along with other nutritious meal from 6 months till 1 or 2 years old. This will help the child grow well and have enough immunity to fight diseases.
When the mother is not available to breastfeed his/her baby, the breast milk can be expressed into a feeding bottle manually or using breast pump. This is preserved by refrigerating it. When needed, the refrigerated milk is placed in warm water till it is dissolved and given to the baby. It should not be boiled or microwaved so as not to kill the antibodies it contain.
What happen when the need to introduce other food arise? It is advisable to start with liquids, semi-liquids then solid food in a progressive manner. Parents or caregivers should study the readiness of the child to take food.
Don’t force-feed the child as much as possible and don’t introduce new food to him when he is very hungry. Avoid feeding your infants with junks like candies, soft drinks and flour products, rather feed him with fruits, proteins, whole grains and vegetables in a balanced proportion.
Good mother must wean his/her child till when he is able to eat other food conveniently and well enough to appreciate in weight. This is best advised when he can walk as a toddler.
Ensure you feed your child from his cup and plate using a spoon to prevent risk of contamination through feeding bottles. Also make sure food preparation is done in a hygienic way and wash your hand with soap and water before and after feeding him.
By the time your little one has grown to becomes a toddler or preschooler, he/she is already familiar with eating solids and varieties of food. Ensure you feed him with the right proportion of all classes of food. Include fruits and vegetables in all his diet.
Let him eat with other members of the family. It will facilitate his eating well. Also let him take as much water as he can daily. This will help digestion and good body metabolism. Avoid too much protein or carbohydrate as it can lead to overweight. Candies, soft drinks and ice-cream can wait for special occasions.
Clothing is a very important aspect of your child’s life. It is noted that ‘the way you dress is the way you will be addressed’. The way your kids are dressed speaks volume about you, the parent. Looking through pictures of when I was a baby, I cannot but thank my parent for the investment they made in me. The well combined clothing with shoes to match and sometimes bag.
Although, children may not know the significant of dressing well in their respective tender age but as they grow they learn to appreciate good things. It is your responsibility as a parent to see that he is neatly, decently and properly clothed for various occasions and weather conditions.
A child putting on cardigan on a very hot afternoon is an indication of not being properly taking care of. Likewise a child putting on pajamas in the afternoon or Sunday wear to sleep.
Knowing the appropriate clothing for your child and administering it is your responsibility. Ensure that their clothes are properly washed and ironed when necessary until he/she can do it do not stop helping out.
Also, teach your preschooler appropriate clothes for different events or occasion. Clothes for school, church service, to play with at home, night wears and clothes for ceremonies. You don’t need to buy very expensive clothes but get them good and decent clothes within your means.
Let him know the use of laundry basket and put his dirty clothes in it. Let him watch you wash and probably help in rinsing his cloth. Let him understand the use of cardigan and the need to stay clean and healthy.
Cleaning up is very essential for your infants, toddlers and preschoolers, if they will wear a very good scent. Urine stains on their pants or excrete make them smell and give them a low self-esteem. People around cannot enjoy being with them. Infants cannot use the rest room themselves, hence, their diapers need to be changed when it becomes wet.
Toddlers on the other hand, are learning to say their need to use the toilet and need guidance and assistance to use the toilet and clean up. Preschoolers also need help to clean up after being instructed on how to use the toilet. In all case, they need to be monitored to clean up properly after defecating or urinating. This makes your child stay neat, clean and healthy.
Good sleep and rest
Apart from good nutrition and proper clothing, rest and sleep is also very important for the physical and psychological well-being of your child. Good rest is an antidote to stress, which is almost the world order today.
It is good you help your child to cultivate a good resting habit as early as possible. Your infant sleeping time is most likely more than his active time, but this changes as he grows older.
You should be sensitive to your child’s need for sleep or rest. When your toddler is now very active and craws all around trying to climb as many things as he can. He eats more and stay more awake.
Create a culture of siesta to help him take a break from activities and rest. At every stage or age ensure your child’s cot or bed is safe and secured such that he can’t fall off the bed. Proper covering should be ensured to prevent cold or mosquito bite at night.
Many psychologists believe that discipline should be administered to a child from 2 years old to curb moral decadence. Children look so innocence but if left on their own at these years of mental and intellectual development, discipline may be a thing they will disregard later in life.
There is a saying that we ‘make hay while the sun shines’. Therefore, we need to begin to instill discipline in our children by way of instruction and device ways to control or punish them when they flouts instructions. We should not give them empty threats because this will make them take us for granted like the saying goes ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’. Reading ‘How to discipline a preschooler?‘ easen most parents burden on how to discipline children of age bracket 3 to 6 years and above.
The child will begin to take you for granted and find it easy to ignore your instructions, having the notion that you won’t keep to your word. Just like James Merrittt said ‘discipline is a two-edged sword; it is not only to correct children when they are wrong, but to direct them to a way that is right.” Your instructions and reprove will help them achieve self-discipline to time. Parents often read ‘Best ways a child’s misbehavior can be corrected with love‘
Starting to educate your child early also helps to improve his mental capacity. Learning is fun for your child when it is done amidst smiles, laughter, dance, songs and playful atmosphere. Guardian loves to read ‘How to help a child excel at early childhood education‘.
From 3 month they can recognize sound. You can begin to play rhymes, songs on letter works and number works for them to listen to. By 8 month they begin to point at objects they need, you can begin to call out the name of the objects telling them their uses in the house.
Example is by naming object like let say a spoon, you eat with it, and you drink water with your cup. At this point you can add a lot of common words to their vocabulary. By age 2 he can speak well and he is a good imitator.
Get some educational videos for him to learn letter works, number works and short commands faster. Herein is educational video content parents often read ‘Best select educational cartoons to boost kids learning‘.
By now he should be able to respond to command like ‘come here’, he should be able to say ‘thank you’ and ‘bye’ conveniently. At age 3, your child should have the ability to use hundreds of words in vocabulary. Reading ‘How to develop preschooler’s brain for success timely? is what most parent goes for when their child is at this stage. Also, don’t be slack in helping your preschooler with assignments and carefully correct his/her mistakes.
For informal education, when a child attains age of preschooler, he/she should be taught domestic chores such as house cleaning, laundry, cooking, feeding the pet etc. Parents often read ‘Household chores to train a child to do willingly‘ to be properly guided on domestic chores suitable for children.
Teach he/she personal hygiene such as brushing his teeth, taking his bath, washing his hands when he leaves the toilet, washing his hands before eating and after eating.
Start instilling social etiquette like showing respects to elders by certain cultural gesture like kneeling or prostrating to greet in Yoruba land. Teach children good morals. Parent, educators and kids lovers reads 6 best practical ways to impact good morals into a child to equip their knowledge.
Groom he/she to also learn punctuality to school, religious services and social outings from our placing value on punctuality. To be properly guide and teach a child socialization 21 important social skills to instill in a child starting early in childhood is a must read for parents/guardian and educators.
Like the saying ‘health is wealth’. It is very important for parents to have a good healthcare system for their family especially their infants, toddlers, preschools and school age. This is because at early stage of kids lives they are developing very fast and required to stay healthy physically in body system and also mentally. This is achieved by taking the necessary immunization, going for regular medical check-ups and having a good health insurance scheme.
On no account should you tread the path of drug abuse, not to talk of involving your children. Children may not be able to tell exactly how they feel when they are ill, seek proper medical attention instead, self-medication is not encouraged.
Proper medical care should be given to your child when ill. Take them to the hospital, where there are specialist for children, they will be able to diagnose what is wrong and give the right prescription.
‘All work, food, sleep without play makes Jack a dull boy’. Children are very active as they grow and have various ways they get themselves busy with their toys. Buy your children toys that are suitable for their age and teach them to use them. Parents likes to read ‘Best educational toys for brain development in a child‘ to choose right toy at right stage. Play ‘hold and drop’ with your infant, ‘hide and seek’ with your toddlers and ‘catch the ball’, ‘count the stairs’ with your little one.
Be involved in their playtime like every other aspect. Let them see daddy heartily smiling and mum giving them a winning hug, it will help build their self-esteem. Also at age 2 to 3 years you should provide opportunities for your children to play with others of their age under supervision. This will help their social interaction with other. Good and read ‘The 25 important social skills every child should have‘ to be properly guided. You will be able to see them interact with others and correct them when they are wrong.
Spiritual/ religious knowledge
Teach your child about God during these years of development. Let them grow up to love God. The Bible says we should ‘train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it’. From 3 months old, that your baby can recognize sounds start to sing songs to him about God.
Pray for him and with him. Let your baby be a part of your joint family prayer time. Let him recite some short scriptures after you as preschooler and school age kids. Lead him to pray on his own. This is the best way to prepare him to face the future without fear amd properly guided about knowing the right from wrong.
The repeated occurrence of economic meltdown across the world has made financial issues a very pertinent one to every individual, organization and nations of the world. Therefore, a proper financial sense is an indispensable gift for your child starting to instill same in early childhood to teach your child the use of money and the various currencies is very important.
Let children be familiar with the different denomination of your native country currency for example in Nigeria, we trade in Naira and we have 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Naira denominations.
It is good to make your child know the value of money. It is must to let children have the understanding of the concept of earning, giving, saving and investing. Involve your child in household purchases and pretty trading. Give them orientation of saving from gifts they get. And as he/she attain school age and above entrepreneurship is a good takes to teach your child.
The increase in crime rate in Nigeria has made insecurity of life and property a major concern to its citizenry. Security education has been integrated to the school curriculum for basic school and middle school student. Teaching our children early about security is very important so that their lives will not be cut short.
There has been increased cases of mass kidnapping and abduction of children. SBM estimated that an average of 13 persons were abducted daily in Nigeria in the first half of 2021. This left us with finding a way out.
We also hear of mass kidnapping and individual abduction of people in Nigeria through the media on a daily bases along with other criminal activities that threaten security. Various cases of physical attack against the body of another person resulting in serious bodily injury, sexual assault, threats, slapping, punching, assassination and rape are also on the rampage.
Teach your child not to engage in conversation with strangers while playing in the neighborhood. Your preschooler should know that he is not to entertain gifts in whatever form from stranger. Don’t leave your child with anyone you don’t know much about, no matter how pressing your need to leave them behind while attending to other things may seem. Other things can wait till you ensure your child is safe.
Teach your children how to raise alarm and alert others around while in danger. It is also important to teach your child sex education from their tender age especially the girl to prevent sexual assault. Teach your child to be vigilant and observe changes in the neighborhood or school that can pose danger.
Teach them road signs and danger sign and how to avoid accident. Teach safety rules and guidelines when using the road. As they play around the house, teach them to avoid dropping slippery things, like banana peel, on the floor and cleaning up liquid that spill on the ground to avoid falling. Also, teach your little one not to play with harmful objects, flammables and poisonous liquids as such should also be kept far from reach of kids.
There should be adequate preparation of every individual for emergency. Adequate orientation can help your child stay safe. A lot of children has been able to survive motor accident, fire outbreak, flooding and other disaster because they have proper sense of handling emergency.
A particular story of a girl was told, she woke up in the middle of the night to hear her father groaning, without thinking twice she quickly woke her mom up. The mother in turn called the ambulance and that was what saved her dad who was experiencing a serious sclerosis at that time.
They should know who or what number to call when there is emergency. Teach your children the use of fire alarms and emergency exits in a building. Teach them to be prompt in handling usual situations like informing their teachers when one of their classmate falls during a play, informing you when they have a bruise or notice a strange around the house. Teach them to identify the odors of gas or burning and inform you of any perception of the same.
Communication is a very important tool in everyday living. As your child grows, ensure he has a good command of language. It is very important to know how to speak at least one international language. You can also groom him in his native language. This will help his communication skill.
He should also be taught how to speak to various categories of people. He should learn how to address those that are ahead of him in age, status and position. He should learn how to address dignities in the society using words like; ‘Your Excellency’, ‘Your Royal Majesty’ and so on.
He should be taught how to use communication tools like telephone. He should know that telephone communication start with ‘hello’ from both end. He should learn how to listen to others and response well. You should teach your child the cultural and acceptable way of greeting in your environment, it helps them communicate respect to all around them.
Your child should know that it is rude to start a conversation with anyone without exchanging pleasantries or greetings. Let him find delight in saying ‘hello’, ‘good morning’, ‘good evening’, ‘well done sir’ and other simple pleasantries.
It is the joy of every parent to see their children grow to become a responsible and honorable adult. Without doubt in my heart, you have gone through this article because that is your desire. Please make yourself available to continually practice this proven good parenting tips so as to achieve this wonderful desire in your heart and experience the joy of parenting.
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