Parenting is one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs one will ever do. I personally do not have kids right now, but I plan too. I am so excited to raise them in a home with my husband. I took a parenting class this semester for school and I learned a lot from the course. I wanted to share with you three takeaways from the semester.
#1: We must understand our children before we can guide them
Each child is unique in their own way. They all grow up at different times than their friends or other child we may have. The parent may think they are ready for the next step, but they could be slower to develop. I learned how children all adapt to change differently. The parents have to adjust their parenting based of where their child’s temperament is and be willing to accept the difference. It is important to know their temperament before parents are able to lead and guide.Parents should be patient with their children when they are growing. If parents teach them too early, they may not fully understand the importance. For example, if parents want to teach their children about keeping their room clean and their bed made but their temperament is still developing, parents should adjust our ways of teaching and make it very clear to where they would understand the importance. Everyone takes their own path in life, no matter how fast or slow.
#2: Nurturing our children entails more than we think
To nurture means to care for another person and encourage them in their development. While this is true, there are many principles that go along with nurturing. First, parents must be slow to anger. Parents should always wait till they are calm to talk to their child. Joseph F. Smith teaches, “When you speak or talk to them, do it not in anger, do it not harshly, in a condemning spirit. Speak to them kindly; get them down and weep with them if necessary and get them to shed tears with you if possible.” This quote was from the course. When parents use the spirit, we grow in our bond with our children. Second, parents should teach their children how to respect. The best way to get respect from a child is to give them respect. Lay out the lines with your children so they know what to expect. When a child is acting up, parents should take charge and correct them in a loving way. Lastly, parents should work on understanding their child’s emotion and validating them when they are upset/happy. For example, when a child is upset parents should say, “I understand that you are upset because you had to eat all your dinner.” Understanding your child and their needs is very important to be able to nurture properly.
#3: We should praise our children in a descriptive way
There are three different types of praises including, descriptive, appreciative and evaluative. They are important to use to further your child’s development. Although praise is good, we have to watch what kind of praise we are giving them. It should be detailed and help the child understand what they have done better or what they are doing good. If we give them too much or not the right kind, then it could make them too self-confident. The best way to give praise is to consider their age and their motivation. Then, the parent should use one of the three phrases. In the course, it outlined these praises. The first one is descriptive, which makes the child feel good about themselves. It describes an action the child is doing well based off of what the parent has evaluated. For example, a parent would say, “I am proud how you are studying for all your tests.” The second one is appreciative. This is like descriptive but the parent helps the child understand how their behavior affected another person. They should be very specific and call out an action that they saw when praising. For example, parents should say ” When you helped your sister with your homework, it helped me to finish cleaning the kitchen. Thank you.” Parents should use the first two phrases and try to use the last one the least. The last one is evaluative but doesn’t let the child know specifically why the did good. Words like “great job”, “excellent”, “super” are included. They make the child feel good for a moment, but it does not help them understand why. Praise is important for a child because it boosts their self-esteem and builds their motivation.
This video links to ways we can help build our children’s self-esteem.
I hope that we can all learn to become better parents with our children and have a stronger relationship with them. I really enjoyed this course, and I hope you learned a few things from what I learned from it.