3 Key Values we want our child to learn
Mothers always want the best for their children and I’m no exception to the rule.
My baby is the most important part of my life and my husband and I are responsible for her well being. And by this I don’t mean only physically.
There are certain values that we want our child to have and that we feel we have the responsibility and honor to teach her.
So what do we want our baby girl to learn and why is it so important to us?
Empathy is the ability to imagine how someone else is feeling in a particular situation and respond with care. This is a very complex skill to develop.
We want to make sure she shows empathy, to be considerate of other people’s feelings and treat other people fairly and well. The rule of thumb here is to lead by example. I’m convinced that if your children sees you do things day in and day out eventually they’ll think it’s the norm and will act accordingly.
Understanding and showing empathy is the result of many social-emotional skills that are developing in the first years of life.
Establishing a secure, strong, loving relationship with you is key. Feeling accepted and understood by you helps your child learn how to accept and understand others as he/she grows.
At about 6 months old a baby will look to a parent or other loved one to gauge his or her reaction to a person or situation (e.g.: looks carefully at his/her father as he greets a visitor to their home to see if this new person is good and safe). The parent’s response to a particular situation influences how the baby responds. Being sensitive to a parent’s reaction in new situations helps the babies understand the world and the people around them.
Between 18 and 24 months the baby starts recognizing him/herself in a mirror and this signals that a child has a firm understanding of himself as a separate person.
To Nurture Empathy in Your Toddler
- Empathize with your child.
- Talk about others’ feelings and explain what they are and how to recognize them.
- Read stories about feelings
- Be a role model
- Validate your child’s difficult emotions
- Use pretend play
- Be patient.
It is very important for us to teach our daughter to be honest. Again this is the perfect scenario of leading by example.
If we expect our little one not to lie, than we have to do the same. Small little lies can confuse our children and make it difficult for them to understand. For example if I tell my daughter that she can have some candy as long as she doesn’t tell her father about it, I’m sending the wrong message out. I’m telling my child that it’s ok to lie in order to get what she wants (In this case the candy). So be honest if you wish for your child to be honest in return and own the consequences of your actions and words. Instead of telling your child that it’s ok to have candy as long as she doesn’t tell her daddy explain why you don’t think it’s a good idea to have the candy in the first place.
It takes a lot of courage to tell the truth-for anyone-at any age. It doesn’t always come naturally, so it’s a parent’s responsibility to teach a child to be brave enough to fess up. Like so many other characteristics you’d like your kids to have, this one depends a lot on you.
To nurture Honesty in Your Toddler
- Talk with your children (beginning very early) about how much you value honesty in your family
- Model honesty for your children. Not only in your words but also in your lifestyle
- Let them know that you put more emphasis on their honesty than on the punishment for their dishonest behavior
- Avoid labels
- Don’t ask questions when you already know the answer
- Work with your child. Acknowledge the pressures on your child while making it clear that sometimes he has to bite the bullet and do things he wishes he didn’t
- Praise truth-telling
- Keep your cool
Well this is pretty self explanatory.
We want our child to grow knowing that she’s loved and that it’s perfectly fine to show affection. Our main focus is to make her grow up in a household filled with giving and receiving love. So how do we plan to teach her this?
How to nurture Love in your Toddler
- Respect. When someone does something for you, whether it’s a minor or major gesture, it’s important to give thanks. Giving thanks is not only a sign of respect but also a sign of appreciation. Don’t you feel good when someone gives you thanks for helping them with something? Moreover, not interrupting someone when talking or ridiculing someone’s opinion is another form of respect.
- Affection. Nothing is better than a hug. We hug all the time and if a friend or family member is in a gloomy mood that’s the best opportunity to show your little one that a hug can make you feel so much better and that you sympathize with the person. It’s a great lesson and an easy one to teach. Holding hands is another way to show affection and same is a simple kiss on the cheek. So practice these simple but effective ways to show affection and your child will feel confident to express it as well.
- Saying I love you. There’s nothing wrong with expressing the way you feel about your loved ones so don’t be afraid to use those words.
Tell your child you love him/her before he goes to bed or when he wakes up in the morning. When your spouse leaves the house to go to work, or when they come back home. Don’t wait for a special occasion to share these magical words with the people you love. Use them and use them often.
- Support. It’s important that our child feels supported in what she does. I want her to grow up thinking that her parents are there for her, no matter what. With this I don’t mean that she’ll be allowed to do whatever she wants, disregarding the feelings of others or disregarding the rules. What I mean is that she will be eventually able to make her own decisions and I believe it’s important to create an environment where she feels that her opinion is valued and appreciated. For example if she decides to play a sport that we don’t feel is the right fit for her, but she shows real interest we will be there for her and help her realize her dream.
- Kindness. Being kind to someone takes no work. It is as simple as opening and holding the door for someone. Surprising a friend or a loved one with a gift just because you felt like doing something nice and spontaneous.
When you raise your child in a loving, caring and welcoming environment, they will grow up having nothing but love in their heart.
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