7 Gifts Every Parent Should Give Their Child Simple things to do for your kids that will stay with them forever

Parenting is a tough job. In our attempt to be the perfect parents to our kids, we overlook important things we need to give them. These are gifts we need to give our child so that they traverse the many vicissitudes of life with ease and competence.

parents and children happiness
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/parents-and-children-happiness-love-1794951/

These are gifts that no money in the world can buy. But giving our kids these gifts more important than any material gifts.  Further, once given they will last a lifetime.

Attachment & Security

Attachment and bonding with one’s primary caregiver are necessary for the mental health of a child. The feeling of being loved and safe is critical for our emotional wellbeing. Without this input from one’s parents, a person will usually have social, behavioral, and intellectual issues. Studies have shown how lack of loving attachment affects a child’s brain. Kids need to have a secure base from which to explore the world., be resilient to stress, and form meaningful relationships with themselves and others. Infants need a primary adult who cares for them in loving and sensitive ways and who perceives and responds to their needs.

Good Eating Habits

You may not be able to breastfeed your child for the stipulated period but you can surely ensure your child develops good eating habits. First parents need to ensure that they themselves eat healthy foods. Children are copycats, they want to emulate their significant others in their lives. If they see their mother snacking on a veggie you can be sure junior wants to eat what mommy is eating. You cannot pretend to your child.  They are very good at seeing through fakeness and deceit. Most importantly, banish sugar as much as possible from their diets it is more addictive than cocaine.

Fun & Play

According to the psychologist, Peter Gray “if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less.”

He gives compelling evidence that the decline of unsupervised play is the reason for the dramatic increase in anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness, suicide, and narcissism in children and adolescents.  So parents cut some slack and let your child play and have fun.

The decline of play | Peter Gray

Gratitude

One of the most important steps to improve our state of mind is by developing the feeling of gratitude. Gratitude is a skill that can be cultivated with some effort on our part.  It means becoming mindful of our blessings. When we teach our kids to view the glass as half full we teach them gratefulness for what they have. They learn to view the world from a feeling of thankfulness for the many good things in their lives. Gratitude fosters resilience according to the Us Army’s Mental Fitness Program Hunt the Good Stuff.

Respect

Real respect is something that cannot be taught. It is imbibed by our kids watching how we relate to them. Do we brush aside their emotions, their likes, and dislikes, forcing them to do things that they do not want to do. If you do not tune in to your child’s emotional bandwidth you will not be able to gauge who they truly are. With empathy comes respect.  Honoring our kids’ feelings is the only real way to show that we truly care. Bullies are not born, they come into existence because of parental indifference or abuse.

Responsibility

Again we don’t teach responsibility, our kids learn responsibility by watching the adults in their life behaving responsibly. If mom, does not bother to get meals on time or dad does not make an effort to get a job how can a child be expected to be truly capable. Learning to be accountable for his actions is what a child learns by watching his parents. Whether it is doing his homework, or keeping his living space clean, or washing up after a meal. These behaviors are more of a family culture than something that can be lectured to a child. If you insist on keeping things in place, on being on time and keeping your word, your child will automatically imbibe those habits.

Perseverance & Grit

Infants learn the value of perseverance by watching adults. Babies as young as 1-year-old babies make more effort themselves after observing grown-ups struggling with tasks, it’s good to let your kids see you struggle.

Julia Leonard, a graduate student at MIT The researchers noted that trying hard despite failures was an important life skill, saying “persistence, above and beyond IQ, is associated with long-term academic outcomes”.  Moreover, they warned modern societies might not be passing on this lesson effectively.

As a mother, I have grappled with the effects of C-PTSD for most of my son’s growing up years. I was a single mom struggled to keep my job and maintain a home. I felt like a failure. But recently my son told me something so beautiful “But you did so many things, I have so many experiences, I never felt poor. You are My Super Mom”. Maybe I was not the perfect mother but I know I managed to give him the gifts of love, fun, gratitude, responsibility, good habits, respect, perseverance that will always be with him for the rest of his life.

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