A-Z STYLE PARENTING
What does STYLE mean to you?
Fashion and beauty is great, lifestyles decorated with posh cars and houses are fabulous. For us at MIS, style transcends beyond the display of wealth and an expression of all the good things money can buy. What you own or see on the outside isn’t all that there is to style. Style isn’t just all summed up in material things, it’s a lot more than that. We believe it’s an expression of one’s self-image and self-concept reflected in character, that quality that makes one distinct and unique. One’s true style is reflected in his character, choices, personality and mannerisms. It is expressed in both leisure and work behavioural patterns. It can be AFFORDABLE, it doesn’t always have to be expensive, but the lack of it could be. So, beyond all the glitz and glamour, how do we get to instil REAL STYLE in our children? Instilling this will even give more meaning to the glitz and glamour most people believe is all that defines style.
ASKING FOR PERMISSION
Instil into your child the importance of always asking for permission whenever he or she wants to do something or use something that another person is responsible for. Let your child know that asking for permission always shows his respect for others and increases the chances of his request being granted. It doesn’t matter how little the item is, you must ask for permission!
Note, I said bath, not shower. We often mix up bathing and showering. These are two different activities, although they both involve getting cleaned. Bath time can be a very relaxing and exciting time for both parents and children. For children, having a wide range of toys for the bath keeps them happy in water. Parents however could add some fragrance oils in the water, turn off the electricity, and light up some candles. If possible, have soft music playing.
Teach your child proper use of cutlery from as early as 2 years of age. This is done by showing your child by example. If he or she sees you eating with a fork and knife, soon, you’ll find her imitating you trying to use cutlery. She may not be perfect initially, but will definitely improve with time.
This isn’t the same as punishment. It doesn’t in any way mean that a child should be seen and not be heard. Groom your child to know when and where to comport himself. Teach him to know right from wrong through effective communication and dialogue.
Children can be infuriating, exhausting, and a downright nuisance when they overreact to life’s little setbacks. Children are like that. They seem to time their dramatic performances for the most inconvenient time for their audience. Nevertheless, these “small” events are important to them. Don’t try to get a child to stuff her feelings. When a child is upset, sit back, look into her eyes, and give her time and space to express herself. Resist the urge to unload your reaction- anger, judgement, logic. Your child is not in a receptive frame of mind to receive any of these. Feeling stuffers give the child the message that you are not accepting of her emotions, and cause the child to clam up. It’s a lose-lose situation. The child loses the ability to express himself, learns not to open up to you and distance envelops your relationship.
Raise your child with so much fun even in difficult situations. As much as possible, make every learning process fun and not tedious. Let him learn to look at the positive sides of everything. It helps him develop a sense of humour. Remember to maintain a positive mood yourself when dealing with your children because it reflects on them.
Being able to plan and achieve goals is a high level and vital skill. Start small. Let his goals be realistic and achievable. For example, you can get him to save for a small project or for Christmas gifts for family and friends. Encourage your child to have goals and help him plan to achieve them. This helps to prepare him for the competitive world of work. All children have goals (not necessarily the same ones), and all can be successful in their chosen areas.
Know when to find the balance between letting your child begin to do things for himself and providing him with the support and guidance he needs. This is an excellent time for you as a parent to teach your child responsibility as independence and responsibility go hand in glove. Guide your child towards independence by teaching him to make his own decisions, help and encourage him to solve his own problems, encourage him to take certain degrees of risks and be there to provide support when needed.
Raise your child to be able to make sound judgements on certain relevant issues that pertain to him. This is how he becomes assertive and can help him withstand peer pressure
Help your child to develop a quest for knowledge by reading to him early and regularly. This builds up the child’s vocabulary and intellectual capacity towards the right direction. The foundational words go a long way to determine the child’s mental and psychological inclination. Bring the world of books alive to your child by exposing him through traveling to places far and near.
It is important to raise children to be aware of other people’s feelings, care about them and settle conflict in cooperative and disciplined ways. Build warm, deep attachments with your child so that she feels loved and safe. This forms the basis for love and care for others. Stay connected to your child and teach him how to cope with reality. Teach him how to deal with frustration, sadness and disappointment. Don’t forget! Love your child unconditionally.
Raise your child to appreciate music and encourage her to learn how to play at least one musical instrument. According to the M.I.N.D Institute research, learning a song, a dance step or a musical instrument helps your child experience the unique integration of body and mind that music provides.
Groom your children to eat healthily. Note that nutrition guidelines recommended for adults are inappropriate for most children under the age of five. This is because young children only have small tummies and so need plenty of calories and nutrients in a small amount of food to ensure they grow properly. A healthy diet helps children grow and learn.
Help your child become organized, know where stuff is, anticipate, be able to plan, be able to transit from one assignment to the other, and remember things. You can assist by consistently reinforcing your rules, establishing routines, giving him little tasks and encourage him to think for himself which can help him multi task.
Teach your child to be passionate by helping him maintain and build on the natural joy and enthusiasm he was born with. Encourage your child to do things with enthusiasm and passion and pursue a career that they have a passion for. This is because passion brings fun, enjoyment and sheer vitality. Passion is a marketable skill.
Train your child to take a break from all his activities and be quiet for a moment. Teach him to daily have a time for sober reflections by doing same. Remember that children learn by examples. This will help him truly connect with himself.
Your child doesn’t want to be left out of the smooth running of the home. Assign chores to your little one and assist him to carry out these chores. This way he becomes useful to himself, the family and community. To foster responsibility in your child, encourage him to do things for himself, and help with challenging tasks. Create a balance by praising your child when he displays responsible behaviour. Parents who praise such behaviour are letting their children know that they notice and appreciate their efforts.
Teach your child simple pleasantries like ‘hello’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when they start speaking their early words. Teach them social graces like opening the door for others, shaking hands, making eye contacts and being polite and respectful to people who serve. Let them be humble enough to offer apologies when necessary.
TEACHERS AND NANNIES
Teach your child to address teachers and nannies using ‘Mrs’, ‘Miss’ or ‘Mr’ their names. ‘Aunty’ and ‘uncle’ should be left to close family relatives and family friends. This is to help her understand the boundaries and relationships with these people.
Unwind with your child by spending quality time together. Set aside time to travel, see new places and meet new people. Travelling in itself brings about positive exposure. Take time out to go for picnics, to the parks, zoo, and interesting places.
Due to the fact that we have so many ready images from sources such as the computer, video game and television, it is more important than ever to provide opportunities for your child to use his imagination. Practice this by engaging your child and taking him on an imaginary journey. You help your child to create his own experience by encouraging him to visualize and to obtain his heart’s desire. This is how you create a winner out of your child.
WORD OF PRAYER
Show your child the need to pray often. A word of prayer offered up to God regularly gives your child a sense of security and reassurance that he is not alone.
Teach your child honour by raising him to examine his real intentions for making certain decisions or doing stuffs.
Teach your child to take responsibility for maintaining a skin care regime and looking after his body. This will help limit injuries, scars and diseases.
Encourage your child to put his best into everything that he does, reaching above average. Constantly reassure your child that anything is attainable if he sets his mind to it.