6 Tips for Nurturing Parenting

Nurturing Parenting Prepares a Child for School

Parents are an infant’s main source of information about the social world. Practically from day one, an infant is reading his parents’ facial expressions, noticing their tone of voice, and watching their gestures. Even at this early stage, he’s using this information to develop skills related to social and emotional development.

Yet many children are unprepared for Pre-K and kindergarten because they lack the social and emotional skills that will be expected of them. These skills are not included on most school readiness tests, but they are nonetheless crucial to children’s ability to learn in the classroom. One child’s inability to pay attention, show self-control, follow directions, and share with others can be distracting and disruptive to the entire class.

Like so many other aspects of development, social and emotional skills have their roots in the first three years of life. It is easy for dedicated parents to feel overwhelmed by the importance of their childrearing during these early years. It’s true that parenting is the one of the most important jobs we undertake in our lives, but it’s also important to remember that none of us will be perfect parents.

After all, there is no “one size fits all” approach to parenting: different children have different needs (Tweet this!). However, adults who are mindful of the impact of parenting have a laser-like focus on creating nurturing, loving, and safe environments for their children.

6 Tips for Nurturing Parenting

  1. Make sure your children know that you love them, even when they misbehave.
  2. Praise your children, especially when they are exploring new skills, expressing their curiosity, or exhibiting positive behaviors.
  3. Hold your children, talk to them, read to them, and play with them.
  4. Have fun with your children and do things together that you both enjoy, like visiting the library, the zoo, museums, and sporting events.
  5. When dealing with undesirable behavior, learn how to use guidance and reasoning before resorting to harsher punishments.
  6. Make sure your children’s lives are free of persistent stress and intense conflict.

There’s No Substitute for Nurturing Parenting

Take all the things you give your sons and daughters over their first five years – all the toys, action figures, dolls, tricycles, and games – and they still pale in comparison to your gifts as mothers and fathers who praise, protect, guide, and encourage your children.

Never lose sight of the fact that you are your children’s first teachers. There is no substitute for the time you spend together. They will emulate your example, so make sure it is one of respect and compassion and empathy for others.

Today’s world moves at a dizzying speed, and often seems to value instant gratification over meaningful effort. Parenting, however, remains a far-reaching commitment. That so many men and women take on such a responsibility is an enduring testament to its rewards. And the fact that so many parents aim high for the best possible social and emotional development for their children is nothing short of inspiring.