Parenting small children can be quite a challenge with the busy lifestyles we lead today. In times past, mothers had the luxury of staying at home with their children and witnessing every milestone. However, nowadays, most families require dual incomes to keep the household going, thus drastically reducing the time spent rearing the children. As such, it is that much more important to value the time we have with our children and use these periods to teach our child, as well as strengthen our relationships with them.
When our child is an infant, bonding should be our focus. Rather than coming home from work and buzzing around doing housework, it is important to take those first moments at home with our baby. We need to show them affection through cuddling, reading to them and feeding them, just to name a few. Also, and most important, is our responsiveness to our child’s needs. Simply fulfilling their basic desires is conducive to parent-child bonding. These small things make a big difference when it comes to building closeness with our child.
As our child moves into the toddling stage, attending to their basic needs remains very important, not only for bonding, but also for cognitive development. It is also integral that we create a home that is stimulating for our child. The presence of learning toys and those conducive to fantasy play are the best choices for toddlers. However, we should not simply put the toys in front of our child and walk away. Active parental involvement helps children in a number of ways, from bonding to helping with speech. This is also the stage where we can begin teaching our child about behavioral expectations. Utilizing positive and negative reinforcements are key for our child’s learning.
At the preschool age, we should take all the time we can to teach our child about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. We can do this through storytelling, explaining learning moments and utilizing positive and negative consequences for behaviors. This stage of childhood is wonderful for beginning a lifelong pattern of open communication with our child. By engaging them in conversation at every opportunity, we are teaching them that we value their thoughts and opinions. We are also staying committed to strengthening the bond with our child.
Even though a number of us are working parents, we can still form strong bonds with our children. We may have to sacrifice some of our personal time or let the household chores go undone for an extra day, but it is possible to be an active parent. By focusing our free time at home on our children, sometimes just through talking, we can form an everlasting closeness with our child.