As parents, we all want what is best for our children and what will help them grow up happy, healthy, and whole. Throughout parenting, we will be faced with choices on how to raise our children, and which strategies you use will ultimately determine how your child turns out. Make sure to consider safety as a top priority when making choices for our children. The following are four parenting choices that matter when raising our children.
Read to Your Child Every Day
A child who reads is the child who succeeds. Reading opens doors for all other learning to happen. All subjects taught in school require children to read. Ask any teacher what is the best way to improve your child’s reading, and the unanimous answer given is “read to your child every day.”
The single most important thing a parent can do to help their child read well is to read to and with your child every day. Children benefit from hearing stories read to them and from parents listening to them read. Choosing to read to your child every day matters!
Model Good Nutrition
Childhood obesity is on the mind of everyone. Over one-third of the nation’s child population is obese. No one wants a child to experience the hardships associated with being overweight, especially the long-term health issues associated with childhood obesity. Self-esteem and friendships are deeply impacted. The child’s overall health is threatened by excess weight.
How can parents make a difference and help stamp out childhood obesity? Children mimic what they see. Parents who raise healthy eaters are parents who model good nutrition. It is best if a balanced diet is introduced from the start; however, it is never too late to make a difference in a child’s quality of life. Choosing to model good nutrition for your child everyday matters!
Exercise as a Family
Exercising as a family goes hand-in-hand with modeling good nutrition. Families who eat and exercise together are much more healthy and energized. Children who develop a love for outdoor activities and sports early are likely to continue to be healthy and active throughout their lives.
When it comes to our children, safety matters. Simple things like bike helmets and ankle braces for soccer and basketball can keep our loved one protected while exercising as a family. Exercising safely as a family matters!
Discipline Using Positive Language for Guidance
The most difficult part of parenting is disciplining our children. It can be challenging, frustrating, and stressful for both parent and child. The goal for disciplining children is to teach appropriate behavior.
The language we choose to use when disciplining our children makes a difference. Instead of overusing the word “no” to stop behavior, give using positive language for guidance a try. Whenever your child needs to be redirected, talk him or her through the reasons behind the desired behavior.
Instead of saying “no running” or “stop running” to the child running through the house, you positively state, “We walk carefully through our house to keep ourselves and special things safe. If we want to run; we can run outside.” At first, this seems to require more effort, but soon you will hear your own child repeating those words and begin regulating his or her own behavior. Imagine that!
Our children are our world, and we want to model what is best for them so they will enjoy good health, happiness, and success for years to come. The choices we make as parents matter, so let’s make them count!
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