There are many different parenting books and parenting methods in the world. When you read various materials for better parenting, you may sometimes feel like you’re getting lost in a crazily complicated maze. There’s a lot you need to know to raise a child well today, but we have prepared 5 basic tips to try and make it easier for you.
5 Ways to Raise Children Well
1. Respect your child’s independence, even for very young babies.
Overprotection is just as bad as overly strict discipline. It is often thought that if you do everything your child wants, your child will grow up happily and well, but that is not the case. Because in the end, children have to live independently of their parents and live with their peers.
However, compared to the parents who did everything, society cannot satisfy all the needs of the child. Children raised under an overprotective parenting attitude are more likely to have high anxiety and a passive attitude. If possible, help your child do everything on their own.
Even if your child is having a hard time, they should be able to, for example, hold their spoon and eat the food themselves. When choosing what to play with, help your child choose their own toy and make adjustments to help them, rather than directing all their play yourself.
It's more important to let your child entertain themselves with the simple toys you have in the house to their liking rather than offering and leading special play each time.
2. Don't be anxious. Just enjoy time with your child.
There is a concept called the Pygmalion effect. This is a term that appears in educational psychology. It refers to an improvement in the student’s grades according to the teacher's higher expectations. The achievement of the child is in line with what is expected of them.
In other words, children can do better than expected if you show that you believe in them. A child who has grown up with parental anxiety will have a hard time believing in themselves.
3. Focus on the 'pleasant atmosphere' rather than the 'must do'.
As you raise children, your 'to-do list' increases without you realising it. Then, even spending time with your child feels like 'work'. For example, if your child is a picky eater, urging them to eat a balanced diet can ruin the atmosphere at mealtimes. “What to do” is important, but in the end, your children will eventually become adults no matter what you do.
Enjoying one meal is also the best way to overcome your child's picky eating. If the place to eat isn't fun, their appetite won't change. When playing with your child, if there is a list of 'I have to do this and that', banish it from the forefront of your mind. Even if you’re playing a very simple and repetitive game, it is more important to have fun.
4. Find alternative items that can save energy.
It would be perfect if we could breastfeed well, do housework perfectly, and prepare for work and sleep training, all at once... Unfortunately, we're humans, so we often run out of energy. Find out how you can replace this lack of energy.
Try using a food delivery service or recipe box service, a part-time cleaning service, or a childcare assistant. If you want to know the areas supported by the state, you can inquire at a public health centre or general childcare support centre). You don’t have to be perfectly good at everything or do it all yourself. When you’re tired, it's easy to be irritable with your child. It is helpful to use these essential services appropriately.
5. Don't Forget the Big Picture.
No matter how you proceed with sleep training, there are some key principles. Your child should go to bed before 9 PM, play during the day, eat during the day, and sleep at night. If you focus too much on parenting methodology, it's easy to miss the big picture.
'Is this a fun and perfect way to play right now? Is my baby getting enough love from mum and dad?' It's good to ask these fundamental questions from time to time to keep yourself feeling refreshed and fulfilled in the tough job of child-rearing.
Tip: Don't get too anxious about every little method. Think about the big picture often. Talk with your partner, family, and friends about what kind of parent you want to become. You may make mistakes often, but you shouldn’t worry about them. Like your child is learning about the world, you are also learning how to be a parent.
Author: Lee Ji-hyun
- A Secondary School Level 2 Teacher Certificate
- As a real mother of a child, she ponders specific parenting tips between reality and theory. She has worked as an educational civic activist and freelance journalist.