Each day is a rush. Beginning with Sundays, most of us are running non-stop. Work, activities, errands, etc. demand most of our time. As parents and caretakers, it seems everyone in our lives want and need more of us, especially our children. If we're fortunate they will tell us exactly what they need. But more often we sense the needs of our children. More mommy/daddy time, more lullabies, hugs, kisses and home cooked meals. In talking with other therapists seasoned by clients and children of their own, they often comment that they wish they cooked more with their children, than for them. They wished they had stood for their children when they were wronged, rather than model fairness, only after seeing years later the damage that was done. Often they wish they listened more, judged less and valued their child's unique qualities instead of forcing them into a mold they've yet to fit into. Despite all of these moments and thoughts of parental regret, these children for the most part are fine citizens and stable minded adults.
Today, those of us with young children have a chance to really nurture them and hopefully have fewer regrets while raising them. With the holidays fast approaching, toy magazines are in circulation and wish lists are being created. What is the best gift besides Christ we can offer our children? Is it really the toy they can't do without, or is it you? As my kids get older, they still cry for me when I'm at work, they yearn for me when I’m running late from an appointment, and they miss me when I’m overbooked and rushing from meeting to meeting. It occurred to me, there's no dollar amount or achievement I can earn worthy of missing precious moments with my babies.
Ages 0-6 are crucial years of brain development. Personalities, preferences, skills to build on for a life of learning take place during this time. If your child is 7 years or older, nurturing and bonding is still essential and welcomed, even if they don't admit it. It’s important to nurture your child by maximizing your time together and establishing unbreakable bonds of communication, accountability and love – lots of love!
Steps to nurture and strengthen our relationships with our children:
· Make sure your children know you love them, even when they do something wrong
· Encourage your children. Praise their achievements and talents. Recognize the skills they are developing
· Spend time with your children. Do things together that you both enjoy. Listen to your children
· Learn how to use non-physical options for discipline, many alternatives exist
· Depending on your child's age and level of development, these may include simply redirecting your child's attention, offering choices, or using "time out."
For more tips on being a nurturing parent, visit:
Sharon has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She combines her experience as an art director, understanding of healthy child development and therapeutic interventions to offer interactive art and talk therapy. Sharon is a wife and mother of two young children. She is passionate about family life and early childhood development and education. Sharon is known for: her commitments to God, excellence and family, comedic wit and ability to empathize with others. Sharon will contribute blogs that will inspire and encourage parents and caretakers of children.