Important Parenting Tips for Successful Child Rearing

“Important Parenting Tips for Successful Child Rearing” is a guest post by Amohuni Fred Jatto

I’ve seen so many mothers struggle as they bring up their
children in the best way they possibly can and still create time to take care
of themselves and their husbands. I pause for a while and ask myself: ‘What
kind of mother would I want to be to my children when I start bearing them?’  

Parenting or child rearing is the best thing
that can ever happen to a woman. A lady revealed that when she was in her sixth
grade, her teacher went round the classroom and was asking the students one by
one what they would like to become when they grew up. 

Some students said
Medical Doctors, some said Pilots, others, Engineers. The response went on
and on. When it came to her turn, she stood up proudly and said that she wanted
to be a full-time mother, so that she could rear her children well and become
prominent in life.

Her teacher told her to aim a little higher. Because of the
great achievements so many women have made in the highly competitive world
today, being a mother and giving adequate time to rearing your children is
being viewed as a little life achievement and a simple job. 

Successful child
rearing is the greatest achievement any woman can ever attain in life. This is
more than being president of the most powerful nation without a child with good
up-bringing. The joyous feeling that you’re carrying a full human being in your
womb, during pregnancy, is the outset of this greatness. 

That’s not the end. Being
able to successful raise the child, after bearing, into a full-fledged man or
woman who becomes very prominent in the world, is the great achievement that I
am talking about. There are certain things you should watch out as you engage
in this noble assignment, which I shall briefly highlight:

Create ample time for
your child as he grows up


Your child should be one of your major priorities, right from
birth to maturity. He is second to your husband in the priority scale. He needs
your tender care, affection and love. Therefore, be careful not to throw temper
tantrum on him when he frustrates your efforts or the demand of daily needs,
job and care of life get you frustrated. 

Because of his make-up, your child is
highly sensitive to your actions and inactions and he doesn’t easily forget
those things you do or refuse to do for him without adequate explanation.
Many hurts remain indelible in his heart. No matter how tired, frustrated and
confused you are, when you come back from work or a day outing or have a rough
time with your husband, make sure you don’t tell your child off when he wants
to talk to you. 

The first act you must learn in child rearing is patience. This
is closely followed by willingness to give your child attention any time he
needs you. No matter how busy or tight your schedule may be, give your child
time to interrupt you very briefly, for his comfort and exchange of
information. Mother, remember that you are the most important person in your
child’s life and environment. 

Therefore you are the best educator of your
child, not his school teachers. If you frequently hurt your child, he will turn
to his peers who will listen to him, if his father not willing to give him his
attention too. Some of these peers who offer to give your child solace may turn
out to influence him negatively. 

No matter how tired you are always make out
time for your child. When you’re too tired to do so, hold him tenderly close to
yourself embrace and explain to him how tired you are as a result of the day’s job.
Assure him that you’ll attend to him when you’ve fully rested. Remember to do
as you’ve promised.  

Don’t indulge your
child


Some parents, in the name of love indulge their children.
This usually happens to ‘first child’, because of the joy of being a parent for
the first time. In a closely knit nuclear family, the father is expected to
initiate child discipline, while the mother sees to the compliance of the child. 

In the absence of the father, due to distance, separation, job, business or trips, the mother disciplines and makes sure the child complies. All
children need to be corrected when they err. Some children resist correction.
Such children need appropriate and proportionate force, in form of discipline
to bring them back to the right track. 

For discipline to be effective, both
father and mother must cooperate and jointly decide on the way they would want
their children to be disciplined when they do wrong. When children misbehave,
the mother is usually blamed. This means that if the father is weak in term of
child discipline, the wife should be firm and insist on discipling the child
when necessary. It has been reported that the best mother is the mother who is
a firm disciplinarian and at the same time shows great love and affection to
his child. 

No child enjoys discipline. But when he is brought up in a disciplined
home and he grows up to be a successful and highly disciplined individual in
the society, who is well respected by all, he turns round to appreciate his
parents who disciplined him when he was young. Part of discipline is
appreciating and commending your child when he does well in school and he’s
well behaved. Treat him like a prince when he’s celebrating an important event in
his life. Buy gifts for him and give him some measure of freedom. 

Guide him to
choose good friends who will impact his life positively. Give him some responsibilities in the home and monitor to make sure
he does it regularly. A pampered child, most of the time, turns out to be a
disgrace to his family and a threat to societal peace. To succeed in child
discipline, you must strike a balance between unabated love and proper and
proportionate discipline. 

What this simply means is that you show love and affection to your children; you should
learn to dialogue with them, no matter their ages; treat them with proper
respect, irrespective of your children’s ages; expose your children to what they
are interested in and take interest in those things too; help your children to
properly organise their time; give them proportionate and timely discipline; maintain a stable home and be
mentors to your children.   

Be the best friend of
your child


Be the best friend of your child. This injunction applies to both
parents. Where the father has little or no time for the child, the mother
should be very close to the child. Because, you as the mother is closer to your
child, as his primary carer, be a very good friend to him. When your child
knows that you are his best friend and are willing to listen to him anytime, he
can tell you anything about his life. 

Children love talking and making observations,
therefore, be ready and willing to listen and dialogue with them. Your child
may be very inquisitive and sometimes ask questions you may not have answers
to. Yet don’t shun him. If you don’t have answers to his questions, assure him
that you will look for answers and get back to him. Treat you child as equal,
yet maintaining proper respect for each other. Crack jokes with him and tell
him stories. Read books of interest to him. 

Let your child know how upset you
will be if he does something wrong, you’ll be amased how quickly he‘ll avoid
doing wrong things. Lovingly correct him when he makes mistake. If you have
more than one child, try not to show preferential treatment and love to any of
them, not even to the best behaved. Take him to take your child for outing and
for shopping. Get to know his friends and show them love the same way he loves
them. Take interest in his school work and attend functions in his school as
much as you can. 

The mistake most people make, which you should avoid, is that
they think they can boss their children around. Your child already knows that
you have authority over him, therefore don’t try to enforce it. As your child
grows older, gradually release him into independence and freedom. Don’t
unnecessarily restrict your child’s freedom. 

Trust him and entertain no report
about him until you have thoroughly investigated any allegation against him.
When he hits his teen, acquaint yourself with what he’s going through at this
stage of his life. Empathise and support him through this phase of his
development.

In conclusion, I’d like to enjoin you, not to compare your
child to other children you feel are better. Your child is uniquely different
to every other child, therefore, joyfully accept your child the way he is.
Don’t shout or threaten your child. 

This has never helped children nor their
parents. Speak to your child, considering his age and level of understanding.
Carefully study your child and see what works best for him. Boost your child’s self-confidence
and self-esteem through positive reinforcement, commendation and praise.
Encourage him to stand up for what he knows and believes are right. The joy of
every parent is to see their children succeed in life and make them proud.

Photo credit : istock