Parenting is a mixed ride of ups and downs, learned best through experiences and endeavors. Taking the initiative to understand your child better though, is an altogether different rewarding experience. The reward is a deeper insight into your child’s emotional and psychological well being and ability to actively participate in your child’s personal development as they grow older. No, it is not, after all, as hard as you think it is. While the idea itself is delicate, getting to understand your child’s personality behaviors only requires utmost curiosity and a lot of patience. Here is how you can start.
1) Spend quality time together
This goes without saying yet seldom implemented. Our present lifestyle is ridden with distractions that barely leaves time for quality personal interactions. By quality time we mean when you can give your full attention to your child, devoid of work and social distractions or household chores. The idea is simple: be your child’s best friend.
Spending quality time makes your child feel loved, secure, and let them know that you would be always there for them. This practice not only does wonders for your relationship but also help them open up to you. You can easily spend time together especially when if it is a weekend.
2. Talk often, listen more
Engaging with your child on a one to one basis is the best possible way to know him or her better. By listening to them you are implying that you are not only interested in their stories and ideas but also are willing to actively participate in their day to day life decisions. Building a support system for your child has massive benefits. For once, they would know that they can easily initiate conversations with you without the fear of being judged. If they started feeling that you will listen to them and also with trust then only they will share their feelings with you.
3. Know their likes and dislikes
Your child, like any other individual, was born with a distinct personality. Taking time to know their likes and dislikes is thus a special Endeavour that makes your child feel appreciated and important. While this may sound like a trifle, feeling validated and welcomed holds great value in a child’s world. A simple technique to achieve this is by organizing small activities that you both enjoy and can participate in together. For example, if your child enjoys playing badminton, you can schedule to spend the evenings engaging in a fun session or two. In this way, you and your child will have great bonding!
4. Give them a sense of freedom
While your cautiousness towards your child is reasonable especially when they are growing, too much control can backfire. Instead, focus on creating a safe environment for your child where they have the freedom to try new things and accept and appreciate their individuality. At the same time, ensure your presence at every level so that they know they can fall back whenever they need you. Rules must be there but if the rules have made the life of your child suffocated then there is no need for such kind of rules.
5. Observe More
While active engagement is necessary, sometimes observing from a distance is equally beneficial. An act as simple as careful observation can help you decode major aspects of your child’s psychology- what do they like to do the most, what are their preferences, how do they make socialize or how well do they adapt to a new environment. While at it, observe also there gestures and expressions.
6. Do your research
Keeping a basic knowledge of your child’s brain development as he or she grows can have major benefits. As parents, we shape the mold for a child’s behavioral development. Getting an idea of how different experiences and environments impact your child will help you, as a parent, to build a solid foundation for a healthy social and emotional life.
7. Understand the importance of focused attention
There is a difference between spending time with your children and giving them your focused attention. Always maintain eye contact while talking to your child. It is a time-tested fact that giving full attention to your kids for as little as fifteen minutes each day and have long-term positive impacts on your relationship and help you know your child better by keeping involved in their day to day adventures.
8. Learn to understand their emotions
You may not completely relate to your seven-year old’s frustration on misplacing their favorite toy. But you can develop the empathy to show how you relate to the situation in your way. Supporting and encouraging your child’s emotions helps your child feel accepted and that you value their feelings. This simple act also helps your child develop a stronger sense of mutual respect.
9. Encourage their creativity
As parents, the best you can do to boost your child’s overall development is to ease creative restrictions. Let your child learn and grow on his own. You can do this by actively supporting and encouraging their hobbies, extra-curricular preferences apart from the academic curriculum as well as their interests. Praising your child is another way you can show your support and help boost their self-esteem.
10. Remember to take their opinion
So what if your child is a mere ten year old? Personal opinions matter and allowing your child to participate in discussions can have double benefits. You will not only learn their thoughts and ideas but also make them feel self-important.
11. Understand your child’s personality
While the above suggestions demonstrate a state of general behavior, it is important to note that each child is different and unique. Understanding their likes, dislikes, opinions, and thoughts is a key part of acing parenting and gain a key insight into their personality and thinking. Thus, it is important to take note of your child’s temperament and similarly support him or her.
Childhood is a very important phase in a person’s life. Being aware of your child’s personality is thus an essential part of parenting and goes a long way in bringing positivity and happiness in your relationship with them.