As parents we strive to bring up healthy, educated individuals who are endowed with all the necessary skills for living a successful and fulfilled life. We are responsible for our children’s wellbeing, and a lot of times a lot of our effort goes into making sure immediate, primary needs, are being taken care of. Chances are we are already well on our way to promoting healthy habits such as eating right and maintaining an active lifestyle, but there are other healthy habits that can stem from early childhood and for which we, as parents, are responsible. It is therefore advisable that we make it our best effort to instill those positive habits in our little ones.
Even as adults we sometimes struggle with correctly identifying our emotions and sometimes expressing them seems like a daunting task. Even though we should be much better equipped in adulthood to manifest them in a healthy way, we don’t always succeed. It is no wonder then, that our children, faced with the added challenge of not being able to label their feelings, have difficulties in recognizing and coping with them.
There are many ways in which we can guide them towards recognizing different feelings in themselves and in others, while helping them build an adequate vocabulary for naming those feelings. Furthermore, we can support them by teaching them how to express their feelings in appropriate and constructive ways. Playing with your child by using your own facial expressions and by encouraging the child to name the feeling they recognize when looking at you is at least one game that you can use for the purpose of teaching your child about feelings.
You could use everyday examples of situations that made you, a member of your family, or one of your child’s friends feel a certain way, explaining what made the feeling arise and offering examples of how to deal with those particular feelings, especially negative ones. Encouraging your child to share their feelings by talking about them is extremely important and so is recognizing and appreciating your child’s effort when trying to express a feeling in a healthy manner.
Loving Books and Reading
Storytelling and reading children’s books together is how we can first spark our child’s interest in books and little by little we can teach our children to appreciate books for the fascinating way in which they can ignite our imagination. When you first start out, make sure you choose captivating children’s books with plenty of colorful illustrations so your child can follow along as you journey through the pages and read aloud. It can be your special activity, that you enjoy together, and this activity can continue even when your child starts reading, even though, in time, you might reverse roles and encourage your child to read aloud as you listen to the story.
Make sure that going to the bookstore is a fun event and help your child choose interesting books that will make reading a fun and relaxing activity. Try to create a space within your home where books can be stored and easily accessed by your child.
Another great way to celebrate reading is to involve your child in Book Week activities. There are plenty of ways you can do that, including helping your child choose between the different Book Week costumes available, so that dressing for the occasion is fun and exciting.
Cultivating a love for good books will prove especially beneficial over time, as reading is known to stimulate the mind and to enhance creativity, expanding vocabulary and being educative at the same time.
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