Friday, April 22, 2005

Help your children to be well adjusted

By Mylea

As parents, we have the responsibility to love, cherish, and take care of our young ones to the best of our ability. In doing so the goal we are trying to accomplish is to rear a healthy, stable, well adjusted individual in society. Nevertheless, how far this should be taken is another story. Loving our children by some is giving them whatever they want, whenever they want. Why is that?

Today, parents in our society are busier than ever. Single parents and two parent families alike. Single mothers, head a large part of the family population. How they came to be in this situation does not matter, the fact and reality is this is their life. Their daily routines day in and day out is to wake up, get the children ready for school or daycare, drop them off and go to work, work and pick the children up again. For some parents, parenting comes natural, they may have had good models from their own growing up experience or may not have and vowed they would do it differently and more effective than their parent or parents did. Either way the child comes out on top.

Because of the quality of time spent with their children, even if it is not a lot, helps the child to develop a sense of security and self-worth. When mom gets home in the afternoon, her work for the day continues with homework for the older children and constructive play for the younger children. There is housework, dinner, and bedtime - and if she is organized, or have the cooperation from her children, some quiet mommy time.

How does she get that, by establishing healthy routines with the children no matter how old or young they may be. Children need consistency. If mom is not consistent with her daily activities, as well as disciplining when needed, often times chaos erupts, even though it starts out slowly for instance with a cute little newborn. How beautiful and precious they are the apple of our eyes. Then they become toddlers in preschool, (still cute as a button) only now they get into more. Being in the childcare business, and in special education before that, I see it everyday. Parents not able to see pass the cuteness in their little darlings. They drop off children and complain about how they behaved at home the night before. They go to work and seek the advice of co-workers, a plethora of information there. Then she determines which part of the information she can use that will be comfortable with her style of parenting. Usually everything remains the same when the child put up a little resistance to the change.

The real problems come in when the at home behavior now follows the child into their daily routines away from home. Many times the child gets into mischief and instead of correcting the behavior and being consistent, helping the child to realize at an early age there are consequences to actions, cuteness set in. We know we need to do something but when we attempt too, they turn on the tears and do something cute, and we let it pass repeatedly. What message have we sent to the child, if I cry, kick scream or holler as if some one is killing me, I can get out of this. I'll just do this, it always makes mommy laugh, soon she will forget about it and I can go back to my normal routine.

True, some of the things our little darlings do are the funniest things we have ever seen. However, remember the goal is to rear a secure and confident person that is an asset to society. There are rules in society that we all have to follow along with acceptable societal behavior. This behavior is learned. You cannot just give in to your child's every whelm. Food is not necessary every time they open their mouth, instead substitute the need to fill some time with an activity. Help them to learn how to entertain themselves and work in a cooperative setting. All of these will help your child to cope better when they are away from you. A lot falls on us as parents, this is true, but it just does not happen by itself. We brought them into this world and it is our responsibility to teach them the ways of the world and not expect others to conform to the ways of our spoiled, yes, I said it spoiled children.

You want to be able to take your child to daycare and know that he/she is going to be fine. Pre-school aged especially get into things, this is normal and I don't think any quality daycare provider will tell you any differently. What we are talking about here is when your child's behavior disrupts the whole daycare class because so much time is spent trying to reason with, brief periods of time out over and over again on a daily basis, constant outburst, all because he/she is not being catered to. This is not fair to the other children or to the parents of these other children that so much time is used on always having to speak to your child constantly. In the defense of the child, it is not fair to he/she either that boundaries have not been set by mommy and daddy. The child sincerely becomes confuse when they are away from mommy and daddy and the rules change. This is a great injustice to the child who has not been taught that not being able to do something at a particular time or have a toy at the very moment they want is o.k. Has not been taught to cope and move on, instead is stuck in the unhappy state of wonderment and everything and everyone around must pay for it.

Love your child by helping them to cope with changes or better yet role-play daily at home. This will help your child to thrive when he knows exactly what is expected of him. When his behavior outside of the home reflects his training from home, it will in turn bring much praise and reward from others. This will be instrumental in building on his/her confidence and acceptance when away from you. Parents, we all in this together, if both parents and the one whom we put trust in to care for our young ones are on the same page a healthy stable child is your result.

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