This is a little bit of a different post... it is about kids and what they need. I like to continue my education and sometimes it is just reading a non-health related book.
One of my favorite things to do besides walking, hiking in nature and cooking is reading. It is always fun to read a good book that will help me be a better person. Before having kids and while I was pregnant I read a lot of parenting books about discipline, parenting skills and the like. It was all very interesting. But honestly nothing prepares us for parenting than just doing it and being a parent. Meaning we interact with our kids, we play with our kids, we take our kids for walks and hikes, we share memories of when we were younger and just plain sharing with them. The most important thing is praying over our kids daily and making sure we are showing them love.
In the most recent book I read, for my own self-esteem and to help me be a better health coach and just a better person, it explained what kids need during the character-forming years of childhood. I really enjoyed the list that they gave, and as I looked at it, I asked myself if I was doing this for my children. Am I showing them the kind of love they need? Am I a good parent? No one is a perfect parent and every child is different so parenting style and personality differences vary but the list is wonderful so it can apply to anyone.
Let me share…
1. A child needs an accepting father and mother, who model healthy male and female characteristics.
2. A child needs to be loved unconditionally, just because the child needs love for being who they are and needs the privilege of reaching out in love to their parents in the best way they can at every stage of development and having that love accepted.
3. A child needs to be acknowledged, received, heard, included, and considered important.
4. A child needs affirmation, words of encouragement and praise, not just for accomplishments but for personal characteristics as well.
5. A child needs support, a supply of strength and assistance to achieve.
6. A child needs trust in their primary care givers, the ability to rely on them to meet their physical and emotional needs as they mature.
7. A child needs knowledge and instruction equal to the level of their inquiry.
8. A child needs safe and nurturing touch without fear of pain or invasion.
9. A child needs direction, gentle training for decision making and the governing of self.
10. A child needs active participation and caring from the significant other in their life, time devoted specifically to that child.
11.A child needs a sense of security, a peaceful home, the pure joys of the magic of early childhood, a comfortable routine, so that life is predictable and the consistency of knowing that imposed consequences would be just, based on principles, not emotions.
12. A child needs wings, Freedom, at the appropriate age and maturity level, to make their own choices in life.
That is a lot of information but it is so important to show love in the home and to your children. My kids have similar but very different personalities and I have to discipline and react differently to my kids. All kids are sensitive and all kids just want acceptance, so disciplining with love and sometimes walking away because they are driving you nuts is the best policy. I have learned in our disciplining is to make them think when they have done something they should not have done and also to make sure to always reward for the good behavior. It is so easy to get frustrated with a child but first think about how they will react to the situation and how they feel even when they have done something wrong. Words can be harsher than any time out or running laps. Sometimes they just need a job because they are bored or they need to get rid of their energy by running around the outside of the house.
With all of that said it is so important to discipline out of love than anger. And show your children love in ways that will build them up and prepare them to be stable adults. I know easier said than done but it can be done! I am so thankful for a loving God that has shown us the way and for prayer! The only thing that gets me through some days!
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