“Information, Not Direction.” Easy to say, not always easy to do, as following it requires intimacy with the first of our “3 Rs”: Respect. Your child makes her own...
Your job is hard - and rewarding, and really fun. You get one chance with this kid, and what you do now matters most: in the first 3 years your child develops the social, emotional and "learning how to learn" tools that will set the course for the rest of their life. Your young child can build the foundation for a lifetime of confidence, resilience and good relationships now - not by what they are taught, but by interacting with their environment. You create that environment, with what you say and do.
One could say "Creating the best environment for your child is as simple (and as repetitive) as training a dog - and You Are The Dog!"
Your children are at the age when "people skills" develop: their value cannot be overstated, especially as our world is increasingly dominated by machines and accelerating technological charge. Getting it right, now, is really important - isn't that difficult, and is fun. A little bit of investment in your parenting skills now will payoff immediately ... and the benefits will come for the rest of your child’s life, and your life together.
The benefits of creating the right environment for your child for you are a better, more joyful and cooperative relationship with a thriving child, and the satisfaction that comes with knowing you are giving the most important tools. For your child, besides the tools, there is empowerment, confidence, resilience, the ability to focus, better physiological health and development, and all of the benefits that come with cognitive development, mental wellness, and productive relationships: relationships with others, within the family, and with oneself.
In a nutshell, our instincts as parents don’t always serve our children. When we react automatically, we can be over-protective, manipulative, and interfering, in our efforts to "help" our child. Our own social and emotional needs, as well as what we’ve picked up from our parents (or their absence) lead us to habits of words and actions that are not in our child’s best interests. Changing habits can take effort at first, but soon the rewards will reinforce your new habits with every interaction.
All Articles for Parents
Minimize all levels of judgement - both positive and negative - by simply communicating what you observe.
Published Feb 11, 2007 in New York Magazine – used here without permission What do we make of a boy like Thomas? Thomas (his middle name) is a fifth-grader at the...
My awesome wife is neither emotional nor verbose. Here’s a summary about RIE she put together for my little brother: I love RIE. I love RIE because it provided...