This article originally appeared in The Asian Parent
With the right guidance, your kids will be empowered to strive for success. This drive will, in turn, help them grow up to be well-rounded, confident individuals. Here are 11 tips to nurture your child and their natural abilities:
1. Spend Time Together
The key to understanding your children is by spending time with them. This helps them to feel the love you have for them. At the same time, it gives you a better understanding of their interests, as well as their likes and dislikes. Anything goes: You can do fun activities with them like arts and crafts, or you can just go out, share a meal, and go shopping. Just make sure that during your time with them you avoid nagging or lecturing. Negative interactions might discourage them from bonding with you in the future.
2. Praise Them When Praise Is Due
Words of encouragement and praise are a great way to show your children that you’re proud of them. It makes them feel good about themselves and contributes to their happiness. Point out the things that they did well, and you’ll guarantee a repeat performance from them.
3. Encourage Them to Express Their Feelings
It’s all about respect. As early as now, you can teach your children to express their feelings properly — whether you talk about it, or have them express themselves through an outlet like drawing or roleplay. Discussing their emotions helps children work through their temper tantrums and it teaches them to handle their feelings in a mature way. The key is to maintain open communication channels that will help prevent future outbursts.
4. Hear Them Out
Remember being dismissed by adults when you were young? Didn’t you hate being told, “You don’t know anything yet.” It’s a bad feeling, and chances are, your children will feel the same way if you treat them that way. That’s why it’s important to take their words and actions seriously. No matter how ridiculous or long-winded their stories are, make sure to listen all the way to the end. If they have something to suggest, consider it. You may actually learn a thing or two from them.
5. Teach Problem-Solving Skills
Children learn by experience, which is why setting a good example for them is key to teaching them problem-solving skills. This can be the last thing on your mind when you’re overwhelmed with emotions, but remember to be a model of how to be calm instead of an out-of-control rage monster. Show your children how to manage their emotions properly, and this will, in turn, help them solve problems rationally.
6. Let Them Make Their Own Choices
Let children choose what they want to wear, and what they want to do, but make sure it’s within reason.
While it is tempting to just do everything for your children, this can actually lower their self-confidence and may prevent them from becoming independent. By letting them figure things out on their own, they become more capable little people. Trust your children and just let go of the reins sometimes – even when it means mismatched shoes.
7. Give Them a Chance to Succeed
Give your children age-appropriate goals based on their capabilities and let them work their way towards bigger challenges. This builds self-confidence and a “can-do” mentality, which will encourage them to be goal-oriented individuals in the future.
If the task seems tough, break it down into smaller, more manageable ones. Remember not to just celebrate the big wins — the small ones matter too!
8. Support Their Interests
Children often look up to their parents, both for praise and support. Figure out what your children enjoy and encourage them to pursue these interests. If they like drawing, let them go crazy with paint! If they like basketball, enroll them in lessons! Don’t push your own expectations or unfulfilled dreams of being a pianist to them, especially if they don’t care for it. Children have their own preferences, which you need to accept as their parent.
9. Encourage Further Learning
Does your child have a knack for numbers? Or perhaps an eye for color? They may be naturally talented. Take the opportunity to enroll your kids for lessons to hone their skills. The experience will not just help them improve their gifts, but it will also open them up to new experiences, such as meeting new friends, travelling to new places, and so much more!
10. Teach the Importance of Discipline
Hard work and perseverance are priceless traits for your children to possess. In a fast-paced world of instant gratification, children may become accustomed to getting their way easily. But the real world is different. They need to understand that good things require hard work.
Discipline is an important lesson for children to learn. Teach them to stick to the instrument they said they wanted to learn, and to practice diligently until they’ve perfected their piece. In the end, the fruits of their labor will be better appreciated the harder they work for their goals.
11. Give Them What You Think Is Best
As a parent, you spend so much time providing your children with what they need: food, clothing, shelter, love and the unconditional support they need to help them reach their maximum potential.
You can nurture your children’s abilities naturally by giving them Arla Organic Powder Milk. This Danish brand is 100% European Certified, meaning it uses European standards to guarantee quality. With this milk, both the environment and the animals are as nature intended. What you get is a nutritious, healthy glass of milk to get your children going, along with the peace of mind that they are getting only the best.