Think way, way back to when you first became a parent. For those who gave birth and raised biological children, the moment I am talking about was the exact moment that your child was born. For those who adopted, fostered or became kin care parents; however you became a parent……that first moment that you laid eyes on your child is the moment I am referring to. Since that moment and basically forever more while you exist on this planet, you are the role model, the leading example for your children.
Children are born not knowing anything except what is a natural instinct, like sucking, crying, peeing and pooing. Everything from this moment is taught and learned. No kids are born good kids or bad kids. They learn from what they are taught, what they hear, what they see.
The first thing they learn about is attachment. They cry, because they are hungry, need changing, have a pain or are uncomfortable. You go attend to them, you fulfill their need. This becomes a cycle, they cry, you attend to them. As you attend to them you show them affection, smile and talk or sing to them. What they are learning here is called “Attachment!” They are learning that he world is a safe place, that they are important, their needs will be met and that they are loved. If you do not attend to them when they need you, or if you are always harsh and abrupt with them, they are learning the world is not such a nice place, it is harsh, with people who are not so affectionate. They are learning that they are not important. They don’t know this is wrong, as this is what they are being taught. I know which parent I am……Do you?
Being attuned with your child as he/she grows is really important. By this I mean knowing that your child is going to be hungry or needs a nap, or gets cranky at a certain time. Instead of allowing to get over tired or to being starving, try to be preventative by being attuned with them. Make sure there is a safe place for them to nap at nap time. Have food available when you know they are getting hungry. If they are under stimulated be aware of this and pay attention to them or give something to stimulate then. By not being attuned with your child you run the risk of melt downs, tantrums, out of control children and children who depending on themselves to be self- regulated, which they have no idea how to do. They may develop a sense of apathy or being withdrawn, possibly even socially awkward and uncomfortable.
Setting boundaries for your children is the next important step. This is how they learn what is safe, what isn’t, what to do and not to do, how to become self-regulated and self-disciplined, when something is right, or when it’s wrong. This lays down the path for their emotional guidance system. This may determine, if they are leaders or followers, if they have a conscience, if they can develop remorse and empathy. All of these things are taught by the parents or caregivers.
These are just a few of the examples of what is important to teach your children right from day one. As they grow there are many other things they must learn……I will write about these soon……it’s so important that we as parents start our kids out on the right path. It will determine a lot in their future. It will help with confidence, self-worth and self-esteem if they are taught right from day one. Children who are not taught these simple things will have behaviour which shows it, they are not bad kids, they are reacting to what they are in lack of. Ask yourself type of kid do you want to raise?