3 Questions to Ask about your Child's DevelopmentOct 19, 2012
We're busy people with lots of responsibilities. Among all those activities that capture our time and attention, parenting is the one job we all want to get right. It deserves our time and attention so let us take a few moments to reflect on the kind of people our children are becoming. Here are three questions to mull over:
1. Does my child show respect for others?
Much of a child's social skills are molded before school age so now is the time to develop the ability to work and play well with family and friends. The best way to do this is by setting a good example yourself. Parents who role model kindness, sharing, politeness, and truthfulness are instilling the social skills that will help their children succeed in life.
Think about what your child observes when they see you interacting with others. What character quality do you think comes to their mind when they think of you: your diligence, attentiveness, hospitality or some other virtue? Is there a character flaw that might come to mind, too? You do not have to be perfect to be a good parent. They learn a lot when they see us struggling to overcome a weakness in our own lives. Being open and humble makes you approachable and puts you in the best position to help your child when they struggle.
2. Does your child get at least an hour of physical activity each day?
Do they enjoy it? Is their weight and fitness at a healthy level? Do they eat healthy foods every day and avoid empty calories and junk food? Are most of their favorite foods also healthy foods? Children who have not been active should start with low-intensity activity and gradually progress to moderate and vigorous activity. This can be spread out over the day and be play like and not heavily structured. The Exercising Values exercise plan is an excellent way to happily get your child interested in fitness.
3. Are you spending quality time with your children each day?
This question involves you as much as your child. You invest so much in your children; be sure to also have some fun with them. Teaching them valuable lessons, listening to them and enjoying their company is absolutely vital. Teachable moments often come while doing interesting activities together.
As parents, every day we make choices that effect our families. Many times a day we discern what our children need and try to provide it. Here are three reasons why we might miss an opportunity to contribute to our child's store house of knowledge and character development:
1. Being Too Busy
Children are active, inquisitive, and full of new ideas. It's fun to watch them play. Try to save some time just to enjoy their antics.
You've maybe heard this one as tending to the urgent instead of the important. We settle for less than what a day could bring because we have too low of expectations. We are just trying to get through our mental to do list without giving thought to how we are impacting the lives around us. A small word of encouragement here or there might have far reaching effects. Helping someone make a decision by sharing your own experiences might help them avoid pitfalls you've fallen into. It's important for us to believe that we have something to contribute and slow down enough to recognize the opportunity to do so.
Everyone knows it's a good idea to get a good night's sleep. We insist that our children go to bed only to burn the midnight oil ourselves. People who lose sleep on a regular basis will have foggy thinking, gain weight and age more quickly. We need deep, high quality sleep to have energy and enthusiasm for life. We need it to repair physically and mentally. If we fail to take care of ourselves in this fundamental way, we will likely fail, period.
3. Choosing What's Easy Instead of What's Best
How did fast foods get such a hold on the American diet? They are easy, that's how. Next to that fast food establishment might be a grocery store filled with better choices but we are too lazy to get out of the car, walk in and find a better choice. It's not that hard but we take the easy way instead and pay the price with our health and energy levels.
As we rush through our busy days, it's good to stop and ask ourselves how our children are doing and how satisfied we are with the life we share with them. As we head into the holidays, let's make our resolution early to maximize the time we have with our families. I hope these simple questions help you to get the most out of your parenting day.
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