As your child becomes more self-aware and their personality develops, you have the tricky task of trying to mould their character, without crushing it. Here’s our advice on how to strike the right balance.
1. Cultivate a positive attitude
Even if you give your child everything they want and shower them with love and affection, they could still be unhappy if they don’t have a positive attitude. The best way to cultivate a positive attitude in your child is to be a good role model. Teach your child to look on the bright side of every situation. Instead of cursing and swearing when it rains, say, “Look! It’s raining! Isn’t that wonderful? The pitter-patter of the raindrops sounds like a beautiful song. The birds can sing along to it as they splash around, enjoying their bath.” With your positive energy spreading to your child, they will learn to face every situation with a positive attitude.
2. Let your child make their own decisions
Allow your child to start making some decisions, so that they feel in control of their life. At the same time, provide guidance on how to make decisions and explain the responsibility that comes with it. Instead of simply saying, “Let's go to the park!” you can ask, “Where do you want to go? How about the park? The flowers are in full bloom now and it will be really pretty!”
3. Develop your child’s interests
Find opportunities for your child to interact with different people and explore different activities. This will help your child develop their interests and hobbies, and cultivate good habits.
4. Teach your child to be brave
Children are often afraid of the unfamiliar because they don’t have confidence in themselves. One way to develop their self-confidence is to increase their knowledge and skills. If your child is afraid of trying something new, share your knowledge of the object or activity. Show them how it’s done and encourage your child to interact with unfamiliar objects by touching and handling it.
5. Let your child be independent
Too much care and concern for your child may mean they don’t get to develop proper judgement. Instead of always coming to your child’s rescue, ignore them every now and then to give them the opportunity to tackle and resolve problems on their own. For example, if your child slips and falls, encourage them to pick themselves up and praise them for doing so. This teaches them not to be afraid the next time they fall down, and they will know what to do the next time it happens. This is how your child will learn to make appropriate judgements, reduce his reliance on others and grow up to be an independent and confident individual.
6. Be patient with your child
It is important for your child to learn in a stress-free environment. Do not force your child to do things they don’t enjoy. Giving your child too much pressure might reduce their interest in learning, turn your child against you, or make them to retreat into a corner and become anti-social. It is important that you don’t push your child too far too quickly. Let them learn to face up to problems progressively instead.
Most importantly, remember that providing your child with emotional support is just as crucial as taking care of their physical health. Give them your hugs, kisses and smiles, because these will leave an impression and impact the type of person your child will grow up to be.