There’s a lot of different parenting advice out there. For example, some parents are firmly against corporal punishment, while others see it as a valuable tool. Everyone has their own personal convictions about the best way to support and love their child. However, what all loving parents have in common is a desire to help their children thrive.
To thrive, kids need to develop a sense of security and wellness in themselves. They must learn to think critically, make good choices and protect themselves. Children who flourish are like a deeply rooted tree — they’re healthy, happy individuals who will continue growing for years to come. Here are six unique ways you can help your kids thrive.
1. Head Outside Often
People spend most of their time inside. However, kids are wired to grow through play and exploration. Sending them outside helps them build coordination, practice curiosity and develop valuable neural connections. Studies even show that children who play outdoors are less likely to become nearsighted.
Spending time in nature can reduce stress and strengthen your child’s immune system. When kids play outside on their own, they also start developing self-confidence. It keeps them active, happy and engaged with life. This is an easy way to help your child thrive.
2. Let Them Fail
Failure is an essential — yet uncomfortable — part of learning. Children that want to avoid it will also be afraid to try new things. You can teach your child that their performance doesn’t define them by allowing them to fail early and often. This helps kids develop a strong sense of self.
People who can separate their identity from their performance are more successful in life. Disappointments, setbacks and challenges come to everyone. However, individuals who aren’t afraid of failure are equipped to persevere until they succeed. You can start your child on this road by allowing them to fail.
3. Talk About Feelings
People are very emotional creatures. Big feelings can be scary for kids — and too often, adults ask them to ignore or change how they feel. You can help your child thrive by teaching them tools for understanding and navigating their emotions.
Feelings come and go and can change quickly. Kids need to learn that their feelings are separate from their actions. Their emotions matter, but they shouldn’t always be in charge. Emotional maturity is an invaluable tool that will help your child thrive in their career and future relationships.
4. Plan One-on-One Time
More than anything else, your child craves your time. Relationships are built through communication and physically doing life together. Giving your kid attention and affection creates security, develops their sense of self-worth and equips them for healthy relationships in the future.
Even before they can speak or understand English, children love to play. Games like peek-a-boo help develop their brains and teach them they matter. Plan time in your day just to play with your kids. Doing so will build a strong foundation for their future.
5. Screen Their Friends
Your child’s friends have a massive influence on their life. People want to belong, so they subconsciously become like others they spend time with. Small children don’t have their own discernment. You can ensure they thrive by carefully screening their friends for positive qualities.
Look for kids who tell the truth, are kind and have healthy families. See how your child acts and feels after spending time with their friends. Ask them questions so you can determine the dynamic at school. It’s also important to teach your kid how to be a good friend and to evaluate healthy friendships for themselves.
6. Be Your Happiest Self
When kids are small, they are the center of their own world. This makes it easy for them to internalize negative circumstances as somehow their fault. They don’t have the capability yet to consider outlying factors that have nothing to do with them. This is why many children believe their parents’ divorce is their fault.
Another unique way to help your children thrive is to invest in your own happiness. If you’re sad, exhausted or angry all the time, your kids may think it’s their fault and feel like a disappointment to you. Communication can help you clear the air, but the best way to improve your child’s happiness is to be happy yourself.
7. Water Deep Roots
Most of your child’s life will not be lived under your roof. When your kids are at home, you can help them develop deep roots that will keep them stable and happy for years to come. Your children are looking to you to build their sense of self-worth, learn healthy habits and find emotional security.
Your time is the most valuable gift you can give to your kids. No one else knows or cares about them the way you do. You are best equipped to understand what your child needs to thrive. Use these six tips to help your little one develop into the healthy, happy individual they’re meant to be.