To raise a well-rounded child may appear to be challenging.. And, believe it or not, raising a child in faith-challenging times can be even more complex.
It seems like more and more of our values are being tested with each passing day. We all want to instill in our children both kindness and compassion. We want them to learn important life skills. And above all, we want them to be healthy—physically, mentally, and spiritually. But, how do we raise them to have faith when much of the world seems so determined to express doubt?
Raising a well-rounded child doesn’t just focus on emotional balance. It includes raising them to have their own beliefs, passions, and teaching them to have both tolerance and respect for all human beings, from all walks of life.
This can be quite a challenge for parents—especially when they don’t know where to look for assistance. It’s not always easy and no one ever said that parenting would be. But, it’s what we owe to our children. If you’re hoping to raise a well-rounded child, consider these tips.
They’re Their Own Person
We all want our kids to make the right decisions. Sometimes that can mean us wanting them to follow in our footsteps. But, who among us has ever uttered the words “do as I say, not as I do”? Your child needs to develop their own identity apart from you. They are not an extension of you. They’re their own person. And, sometimes, they need to make their own mistakes. And, well, sometimes they just might surprise you with hidden talents that you never even considered!
Reading Truly Is Fundamental
It’s no secret that reading is one of the most valuable gifts that you can give to a child. The earlier that they begin reading, the deeper their appreciation of literacy will be as an adult. Don’t just read to your children. Read with your children. There’s plenty of stories, both biblical and secular, that can impart a profound impact on their morals, beliefs, and values. Consider a book to be more than mere entertainment. Books can become a part of your child’s emotional support system. And, they can create a gateway to your child’s imagination that is absolutely full of infinite possibilities.
Positive Reinforcement Isn’t A Code Word
Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to help increase your child’s understanding of themselves. But, don’t applaud mere effort. Applaud their actual talents and abilities. We all know that practice makes perfect. But, maybe your child isn’t cut out to be a concert pianist. And that’s OK. What are their real talents? What do they really want in life? Ask them these questions early on and nurture their hopes and dreams with optimism.
Keep Communication Open And Honest
Your child naturally wants to please you even when it seems like they’re doing everything in their power to frustrate you. Don’t explode with anger as a result of their behavior. After all, they’re looking to you for guidance. Explain your aggravations both calmly and with the purpose of trying to understand them better. Teach them to rationalize. Teach them to focus. Be honest with your kid and you’ll find that they will be just as honest with you in return.
Open Up The World For Them
We all love to talk about diversity, but, how many of us actually practice it? Exposing your child to the diversity of the world doesn’t just balance their values, but it also exposes them to a whole new world of possibilities. Maybe they won’t like Japanese food or maybe they’ll love it. Maybe they’ll be so obsessed with it that they’ll delve into all facets of Japanese culture. Helping your child to appreciate the richness of various cultures also teaches them tolerance—a rare commodity in the world today.
Teach Them Self-Control
Discipline is something that no parent looks forward to. But, sometimes it’s necessary. It is important to know that both patience and restraint are virtues that can be cultivated. It can seem like hard work. But, it will bear rewards. You are there to help set an example for your children and to be a positive role model for them. If you have habits that are unhealthy or downright dangerous, work towards giving them up for your children. You owe them that much.
The Art Of Art
Children are naturally creative and discouraging their self expression is one of the quickest ways to stunt their development. Maybe banging on pots and pans might sound like a racket to you. But to your kid, it’s a veritable symphony. Creativity itself can lay the foundation for a much more profound appreciation of the arts. Does your toddler’s finger painting skills mean that they are destined to become the next Picasso? Maybe so. Maybe not. Regardless, if it helps to build their self-esteem, maybe it’s worth the mess it makes in your kitchen.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously!
We all have foibles and follies. We all make blunders. It’s a part of being human. But there’s a time for gravity and a time to laugh at yourself. Choose wisely. Life is simply too short to always take yourself so seriously. Your children know this. They’ve probably laughed at your mistakes from time to time too. Learn to laugh with them and the whole world will laugh along with you!
If you’re looking to raise your child to be both well-rounded and to live by the word of God, Cornerstone Learning Center just might be a good fit for your family! With three locations in the greater Memphis area, including both Olive Branch and Southwind, you can be rest assured that your child’s education will never conflict with their values—or with your own. Find out more at Cornerstone Learning Center.