There is no universal guideline for raising children, regardless of the age of a child. Every child truly is unique, requires deep understanding and individualized approach. Nevertheless, there are some common patterns of behavior every physically, mentally and emotionally healthy child should follow in a period of a certain age. So, if you’re a mother of a relatively young child or children, here’s a preview of some patterns you should follow in raising and some guidelines you can use to improve your relationship with your young child.
All children love to…
Learn and would be the universal, simple answer. Not all the children express these needs and interests in the same manner, but they are always there. Avoid a common mistake of imposing learning as a disciplined routine and duty; you will narrow child’s view and generate antipathy towards studying. Take advantage of the common situations to explain, teach, inform and trigger kid’s interest in a certain topic. Another common mistake to avoid is to neglect the importance of playing. Playing is not a waste of time, not even when the child grows up a bit. Stimulate you kid to play, to be creative and to explore, but make sure he stays safe and follows the priorities in the schedule.
Lack of limitations spoils
Methods of disciplining your child are a topic in psychological discussions about modern parenthood. One thing’s for sure – lack of directions, limits, and rules is not unconditional love, but the surest way to spoil your kid and deprive him of a basic feeling of responsibility. At the same time, using physical punishment to impose discipline to your child suggests you have failed as an authority and a friend at some point. The best is somewhere in the middle. Talk straight, open and be clear about conditions and rules. Explain the issue and the consequences. Make it logical and simple, and the child will follow. Don’t yell, don’t threat, but keep the authority in your voice and be consistent.
Routine, rituals and responsibility
It’s not just healthy and productive, but also good for boosting your child’s independence. Set regular waking up time and bed time, the routine schedule for meals, playing, house duties and involve your child into responsible tasks with full trust into their skills and capability. Kids thrive on success after being assigned to conduct some responsible duty.
Show your interest for their inner world
In an honest attempt to provide all the material aspects of cozy life to their children, many parents neglect emotional support and interest into feelings, thoughts, impressions and experiences of their child. It particularly goes for mothers. Try to avoid this common mistake. Talk to your child, get to know what occupies his mind, what worries him, amuses him, what’s the current emotional state and what struggles he’s coping with.
Watch the language
It’s not an issue to say that children often push our limits, especially in the relationship with mothers that impose a lot more not so pleasant duties to them. If you are already stressed and losing your nerves, try to watch the self-control and the way you express your thoughts and feelings. These moments of affective reaction pass in our lives, but often leave scars in kid’s memory. Find a way to be strict, but not offensive.
Most of us were fortunate enough to grow up next to the caring parents, especially mothers, who spent decades trying hard to provide all we needed in a material and emotional manner. If the life follows its natural cycle, there will certainly come the phase when the tables turn. Our parents will obviously face aging process with all of its challenging changes and aspects, and it is going to be our duty to assist them during these years. Being there for our parents during the last period of their lives is not only a duty due to family relationship. Approaching them in the best possible way in the aging phase and providing all we can at a given period is the only way to face final ending with a certain level of peace.
However, not all of us are skilled by nature or have temperament and knowledge to cope with these challenges in an optimal manner. To avoid frustrations, problems and emotional issue for both, children and elder parents, here are some of the most useful practical tips.
Compassion, understanding and accepting the changes
Habits, life style and many character features of your parents are a pretty consistent aspect of their lives even in this period of changes. Deal with the idea that you cannot change them fundamentally. Also, aging imposes various tough changes of personality, often even irritating characteristics. These aspects require your full compassion, self-control, and the best shot to understand that you cannot fight the natural course. Train your empathy and actual patience when dealing with practical issues of the aging.
Observe and intervene without being asked to
As the year’s pass, your parents will slowly lose one by one of their skills and capabilities. Their actual daily needs will grow, and the assistance will become necessary in many aspects. However, being aware of this is a personal defeat and to ask for help directly might feel humiliating. Prevent them from feeling this way by observing their behavior, noticing the aspect where you should intervene and provide help in a subtle manner.
Flex the rules, but impose simple routines
As long as your parents are relatively healthy, daily routines won’t be a major problem. Once the serious health issue, especially dementia, strike, you will have to adjust and modify routine. Keep it simple according to the memory capacity of the parent. Also, bear in mind that forgetting or confusion or any other expected problem will face you with the unpleasant situation and require to be flexible and prepared for it.
Practical advice for daily routine
Managing their health care is probably the most important aspect. Hire a nurse, consider hospice or organize family members in such a manner to provide continuously available assistance. Write down the short list of the most important phone numbers they should have close and place it at some obvious place. Organize their day, especially periods when you are not around, but do not try to control their lives. Don’t deprive them of their finances, as long as their mental state is solid, but get the access to it and keep an eye on potential issues.
There are a lot of studies showing that offspring that are born from older parents are much healthier at least they are less likely to suffer from many problems like high blood pressure or problems with cholesterol not to mention diabetes which is a very serious problem in later life. Children who are born from older parents are usually much healthier later in life and even if they are not healthy. A lot of studies show that men who are overweight but who are born from older parents are generally in better health. They had lower blood pressure, they had much lower level of cholesterol, and they had improved metabolism. It means that the risk of diabetes was severally reduced. Experts say that rising age for birth is increasing mostly because of the carrier and that parents also take responsibility for planning and having children.
What about downsides?
It is known however that mothers have been warned about the possible problems and risks of giving birth during their later life. A lot of researches show us that older women usually have more risks and complications than younger women in birth. There is a general opinion that older mothers have greater risks for miscarriage than younger ones and the same thing goes for genetic problems. They can also have a high risk for blood pressure and diabetes. The placenta problem is also a thing to consider. Then we have the Down’s syndrome. Babies that are born from older mothers have a higher risk for Down’s syndrome than babies born from younger mothers. Studies have also shown that children born from older fathers have a higher risk for autism, genetic disorders, schizophrenia and a lot more problems. Some of those studies have linked having an older father to Alzheimer’s disease, depression, cancer and heart problems and diseases.
What about men?
It is also known that men in their 40s will probably pass down a lot of potentially diseases much more likely than men in their 20s. The biological clock is ticking even for you gentlemen. Don’t be surprised. The quality of man’s sperm gets worse by age so if you plan on having children consider this fact. Don’t wait for the last train. Unlike women who are born with a full and complete set of eggs, men will always make new sperm in their lifetime. But we all know that during all these processes, a mistake can slip through. And during those DNA duplications, there could be some genetic mutations as men get older. Those mutations or mistakes in duplication are more frequent as men get older.
And if that mutated sperm is used to form a fetus, well, then there is more chance for problems and fetus development. On the other hand, there are a lot of studies showing that babies born from mothers, who are over 40 years old, usually have better emotional and physical health. So, there is a good and the bad side of having children when you are older. The first problem is usually the difference in years, and that draws the different view of life and its meaning. Different views in the family create possible problems in family relations.
Parents are facing problems with children when it comes to their socialization and teaching them how to behave. But there are few tips and tricks to overcome those difficulties.
Manners are important
Only three words can make the difference. I love you is one of those words but what we mean are those other three words. “Thank you” and “please.” Even children who are 18 months old can learn the basic things of politeness. It is the perfect time to start because the child starts to make judgments about the value and this is the time to teach him/her to use the word “please” and “thank you”. You may have problems with 2-year-olds because they have the rebel spirit inside them but a 3-year-old can be a child who likes to please its parents with politeness. Usually, they don’t fully understand what those words mean, but you can teach them later. It will become a habit to say these words, so the understanding of them will come later.
The question that we ask so we can remind them is usually “What do you say?”. It might be difficult at first but just remind them over and over and eventually, you will make it. The first thing that comes to your mind is, why can’t they understand what am I doing for them? I clean, cook, shop, etc. Well, the thing is they don’t feel empathy at a certain age. Most of them can’t appreciate the effort you are making for them. So in their eyes, it is a normal thing. It is usually at the age of 10. But we don’t have to wait until then to star teaching some ground rules.
By the way, when you go to the store, stop for a moment and pay attention to what are people saying. You don’t hear thank you or please. They only say “I want that” or “give me that.” We can’t influence other people especially if they are grown-ups, but we can teach our children how to behave. And that is a good start.
Where is the best place to start this practice?
The perfect place and time are at family dinner. There you can teach them manners; you can always correct them or reinforce manners in your children, and of course, you can build a frame for empathy. We do that by giving them a task to help clean up the table or to cook with us or something else. Since you child can see what he/she has, you could easily show them what the word thank you means. They know they have this food and they should always thank you for it because you provided it. In time the child will understand why the word thanks to you and what it means. They will slowly learn who produced that food, who brought it to the market, how mommy cooked it, how daddy served it etc.
Make sure the child or children are listening because all your effort will be in vein if that information is not absorbed well enough.
First of all, it is very important to have a well and firm support system at home so that your child can have a normal and satisfied life that is full of achievements and fulfilled ambitions. The first goal for you as a parent is to help and protect but also to help your child to feel confident and useful. In this way, the child will develop a feeling for purpose, sense, and protection. We need to start educating our children before they go to school and by education, we mean the introduction and first steps to socialization. If you want to help your child and enhance it’s learning abilities and help for future studying such as academic performance, you will need to be consistent, dedicated, patient. Your primary task is to develop a child who is balanced and happy but most importantly happy with his/her results.
You need to encourage special skills and abilities.
Every child is unique and has a different set of skills and talents. These things can be seen in the classroom in the school, but there are a lot of children who show themselves in their best light usually after school. Their teachers don’t see much of them, or they aren’t spotted by their teachers just because they didn’t show their special skill in school. So it is very important to have activities with your child such as a music class where you are involved or some martial arts lesson to free and open their minds. Of course, your money doesn’t need to be spent for those activities.
Unstructured play is very important and doesn’t underestimate it. For example, playing football or catch in your backyard, or dancing in your bedroom or living room, or any other type of playing can provide opportunities for spiritual, physical, emotional, personal and intellectual development. It is also recommended to find a hobby for you. It is recommended to allow your child to see you in other activities and in that way it will or might inspire him/her to do something like you.
Always praise efforts and applaud.
When we talk about parenting, it is suggested that praising your children or child for his/her work is much better than to tell him/her that he/she is smart, talented or a genius. Most of the people with fixed mind-set do not accept or accept challenges with less interest because they believe they are natural or born geniuses or natural talents. Those who have growth mind-set are usually much more willing to accept the challenge and face them with hard work, and that is because they believe that they will learn new skills. We all know that grades do not motivate the best student to succeed. The success is won by his/her inner drive for learning.
Always respect different techniques and learning styles.
Most of us need silence to do our jobs effectively, but maybe our child needs music or any other sound to be productive. Children usually don’t need a noise-free room or environment. It is important to realize what is the best way and environment for a child to learn whether it is music in the background or something else.
One of the probably most asked questions in parenting. Don’t worry dear parents it’s nothing difficult. There are some basic rules on how to raise a good kid.
Teach them and show them the value of money
Adults know pretty well that money is time plus work. But unfortunately, children do not understand. At least not in the beginning. They think that money is just another funny paper which you can get at that big building called the bank or near that strange machine that gives that paper when you click on it. Yes, I am talking about ATM. You can tell your child that, for example, he/she can get only one doll. The next thing you hear is “Mommy can I have both dolls?”. So it is important to teach them that there is no such thing as a free meal or free money. The child feels secure in the family, and that is why you should give him a task to help you with something. For examples, chores are a very popular thing for kids. The child needs to know for example how to put the dishes in the sink or how to clean up the table or whatever chores needs to be done. To teach them the value of a dollar, his/her work needs to be related to money. But instead of money, they will do the job because it needs to be done and the work needs to be shared among the family members. Some experts say that it is a good thing to give them money because they will understand the connection between work and getting paid. It is up to you to choose what is ok with you and how does it fit with your family philosophy.
Teach them about the budget, household and costs
You could teach the older kids about the budget of the household and the costs. You would see their surprise when you explain to them what are the costs for something to buy or to maintenance. Children don’t know what we pay and what are the costs for some things. It is a good idea to start explaining and introducing the term costs, money, and value. The sooner they understand what these things are, the better it will be for them and their maturity to develop and to grow up according to their age. When they understand what the expenses are, they will be more responsible, and they will know what to do, and you won’t need to ask them to do anything. They will already know what needs to be done.
The good idea is to show them how the less fortunate people live
Usually, the child does not understand empathy when it is little, but it can feel sorry for someone and then appreciate the things it has much more. You could teach them how to be humane and to develop the feeling for someone and also to understand what it has and what other people don’t have. It will help your child to understand the real life and how things work in the adult world.
Most of the parents ask themselves how to establish a better bond with their kids. The time to start bonding or to improve the bond is never too late. A good way to improve the bond between you and the children is the simplest one. Read to them. You could read bedtime stories or even something from school books if the child likes it. This kind of reading encourages language development and better performance in school. It also improves reading skills. This way, the child will understand the rhythm of the language, and it will be able to understand and build a listening vocabulary. Reading also helps and improves child’s emotions and balances them in the right way.
It will bring you closer to your child and vice versa. Eating together is very important because it is an instinct that predates modern man. It is a “pack” instinct. This way the child will feel a “stronger” connection with you. It doesn’t matter if you know how to cook or you just make a quick meal, the feeling is there. For example, during dinner, you could always ask questions and show interest for your child. This way the child will be more stable as a person knowing that his/her mother and family cares for him/her. It is a good method to give you child a good example of how a family breakfast, lunch or dinner looks like and that this type of gathering is a normal thing for a family. Studies have shown that children who eat at least five meals a week with their parents are less likely to have or develop an eating disorder and will probably have better grades and success in school. It Is very important for a healthy family regarding family relations and normal behavior within the family.
Bedtime schedule is very important
Bedtime schedule is very important for the child’s development both physically and mentally. Studies suggest that TV should be turned off at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Same thing goes for the mobile phone. You can watch TV with your child before bedtime, and you should turn it off at least 30 minutes before his/her nap. The same thing is with a cell phone or a tablet. Spend quality time with your child but always make a bedtime schedule because this type of organization is good for their health, and what is a better way to bond with your child than to read a bedtime story, or to watch your favorite movie or a cartoon with your child. It doesn’t matter as long as you are spending those precious moments with your child.
Remember to always give your child a hug, not only before bedtime but also through the rest of the day when he/she returns from school. It is important to show emotions and to show that you care for your child and that it can see that you care. It is a nice path to becoming the best parent for your child.
Regardless of how busy and occupied with your career, husband, and kids, friends and your personal life you are, dedicating some quality time to handle aging process of your mother is a ‘must do’ in your schedule. All those long hours your mother spent awake, caring and nursing and babysitting – you, should be rewarded when her old age strikes. Nevertheless, aging parent is a challenge nothing less than a baby is and knowing how to handle this delicate period of their lives is essential for both, you and your mother. Here’s a brief rundown of some useful advice and instructions on how to behave, what to take care of and how to handle best your Mom’s aging process.
Make plan B for finances
Aging is primarily associated with various health issues, need for medications, treatment and long-term care. All of these senior services cost significantly. It is a scenario that your aging Mother faces financial issues at some point realizing that her savings just won’t suffice. Keep in mind that you will probably have to intervene and take care of many of these expenses. Making a solid, reasonable strategy about health care and senior services is essential for financial stability.
She will need assistance, even if she denies it
This aspect is a sort of a challenge and tactfulness test. On the one hand, Elder Mother will certainly start to lose her abilities, skills, and capacities for various actions one by one as time goes by. She won’t be able to drive anymore; you’ll face troubles reading, climbing stairs, memorizing long lists and many similar things. These limitations are hard to accept for both, children and a parent. Mothers are commonly independent and struggle giving up these “freedoms.” At the same time, she will need help, but asking for it will come humiliating or embarrassing to her. Try your best to be tactical and considerate. Try to observe her behavior and notice the difficulties without asking too direct questions. Then just do those duties on your own, without mentioning it as a form of help and assistance.
Talk about changes, but careful with words
Aging will impose various changes in physical condition, health issues, mental state, social life and daily routines. It’s absurd even to try to ignore these aspects and pretend life is the same. On the other hand, pressuring your Mother to face upcoming death is the morbid and insensitive approach. Find the middle way. Find the right words.
Be honest, open, moderately intimate and rather kind with your mother when it comes to these delicate topics. Still, going through this period with the full support of your will certainly soft the bitterness of these life challenges. These conversations should not only focus on philosophical aspects of aging but also on the practical issue. Suggest gently changes and modifications of some daily routines, habits, activities to adjust them according to her deteriorating health and decreasing strength. If you do this adequately, she won’t take it with fear, embarrassment or guilt, but as the loving and caring approach of her dearest people.
In addition to the traditional generation gap, many families host common phenomena of a troubling relationship between mother and daughter. It becomes particularly intensive during daughter’s teenage period or mother’s menopause due to various mood swings. The fighting might stop, fade away at some moment when their lives separate enough, but it’s far away from being benign. It can last for years, cause serious emotional issues and leave scars for the future life. Common life and growing amount of duties usually cover these issues up, but there are better and healthier ways to try to come to an understanding and establish steady, close relationship between mothers and daughters. These are some of the most useful methods to be applied.
Avoid ignoring and silent treatments
People argue or avoid conversation completely when they fail to find a way to go through a healthy conversation and discussion of the matter. Silent treatment or any other form of “cold war” will only worsen the atmosphere, lead to no resolution of the issue, but cause both Mother and daughter to feel rejected, lonely and frustrated. Give it up without even applying. Open conversation and clean coming should always be the only strategy you aspire to. Maneuvering situation with the adequate words, honest emotions and fair wish to resolve the problem is far better than mental pressuring with silence and pouting.
Improve argument, don’t raise voice
Hysteria, bursting into tears, heavy words and drama all over the place is way too often integrated aspects of fighting between mothers and daughters. Nothing good will ever come out of this. The art of reasonable, calm and mature conversation is the essence of every good relationship. Although it seems quite hard in some moments, having control over strong feelings and affects, watching your language and avoiding harming tone are healing methods. The drama will only exaggerate the whole issue and harm both of you physically and emotionally. And leave you with no better situation. So, always keep in mind wider picture. Be open and strong enough to accept the option of losing the argument and being wrong, but the aim is to resolve the conflict, not to prove the point.
Improve your relationship during peaceful phases
Learning how to cope better with occasional struggling and conflicts should include continuous efforts until the relationship is free from these ugly aspects.
However, improving the whole relationship, becoming closer and more emotionally attached to your daughter or mother and getting to know each other in more subtle manner could be achieved by spending more time together, having deeper conversations and building connection during the days without conflicts. It will prevent or at least soften some potential future disputes and give you both better ground for healthier resolution of the troubling moments.
Spare the rest of the family
To avoid the common situation when fighting between mother and daughter becomes the issue of the whole family and worsens relationships between other members, don’t pull anyone else in a mess. Don’t expect other family members to judge, arbitrate, choose sides and intervene. It will only spread the chaos. Finally, don’t hold grudges. Forgive and try to forget, without pulling dirty moments out of the memory during family meetings and gatherings.
Mothers that don’t have work tend to spend a lot of their time with the kids. Some go even further, and they keep their children in the house where they can observe them constantly. This is normal for kids that have less than five years, but for older children, it’s best to let them play with other kids.
Pressure from perfect parenthood leads to stress
The study showed two things that shocked a lot of people. First, it proved that parents that focus everything on children (making changes to their schedule to increase the amount of time they interact with their kids) builds up stress faster than other activities.
And indeed, working parents get more stressed that people who don’t have children even if they work at the same place and get exposed to the same amount of stressful situations. An obvious difference between stress levels can be observed between parents that focus their life on children and parents that send them in kindergartens.
Couples that are overly attached to their children place them at the center of their life (there isn’t anything wrong with it, but) and they build their life, including work and social activities, around their kids. This causes stress because they think that their children deserve more of their time which they should use to relax from work.
How this issue affects kids?
The study in question also showed that the time spent with children (under the age of 11) doesn’t affect their psychological or academic success in any way. So, one could claim that parents do this for self-satisfaction only. But that claim would be false because parents want the best for their kids and they are spending too much time with them for that reason.
The stress that parents get from scheduling their life so they can devote more time to their children can have adverse consequences on children as well. Parents that are under a lot of stress can unwillingly take it out on their kids. This is rare, but it happens in some cases. Another thing that can happen is the transfer of the stress on the children. They get the impression that their parents expect a lot from them and that causes negative thinking and kids can’t cope with stress as well as adults can.
Moms and children – Moderation is the key
All parents, especially moms as they tend to stick to children more than fathers, should take it easy with kids. They should spend some quality time with the kids, but they should also allow them to play with their peers.
Moms will get to rest and reduce the stress by spending some time on things they like while kids will get to play with their peers and lead a carefree life. Moderation is a key in a lot of stuff and parenting is one of them.
Do check this blog every once in a while and read new posts that will be focused on moms with children and parenting in general.