Let me congratulate you first on the birth of your little girl. A baby brings joy to any family, especially to a mother. But motherhood is not only a joy, with motherhood comes great responsibility. It is a challenging task for any woman because there is no perfect formula for being a good mother. Being a mother myself, let me share with you some insights on how to raise your child.
Parenting may be a tough job. There are several parenting styles which you may choose to adopt. You can choose to follow the parenting style of your parents if you think it has been effective. A caveat though is whether the same parenting style is still applicable to the new generation today. It is important that your parenting style is also attuned with the times.
Whatever parenting style you opt to adopt, it is essential that your child will be enveloped with love, happiness and encouragement so that she may grow up with enough confidence to achieve her dreams. According to educational therapist Susan Stiffelman, a parent’s goal should be “to help your child feel competent and confident, and to help her develop a sense of passion and purpose”. Simply put, a well-rounded child must have a supportive family.
One of the basic steps in raising a child is learning how to communicate effectively with your child. Communication does not only begin when the child learns how to speak. Communication should start to develop even when your child is still an infant. You can start connecting with your child through your voice, touch, sight and smell. Through their senses, babies will know and feel that they are loved. As your baby becomes a toddler, she will learn to express herself more even with her little knowledge of words. This is the time when your encouragement is much needed through praise and rewards. The positive attention that you give to your child by talking and listening to her will improve your bonding with her and enhance her self-esteem. It will encourage your child to talk and listen to you and express how she feels which will later be the foundation of a deeper relationship with you as she grows up.
The next major stage in parenting is when your child goes to school. This is the stage where your child will begin to socialize with other people outside of the family. Your child will now be exposed to values or rules which may differ from those which you have at home. It is necessary that you explain to her why these differences occur and why it is essential that she respects other people’s views although it may vary from those which you have taught her.
As your child grows older, you will observe that there will be times that she would rather be with her friends than be with you. Do not fret. It is all part of growing up. It does not mean that you are now less important to her. She just wants more privacy. As she approaches her teens, the more you will need to show her your love and support. The teen years may be considered the critical stage of parenting. Trust plays a major role during this stage. You have to trust that your child can now make responsible decisions. Although you want to give your child more privacy, it is also imperative that you still monitor her activities without intruding into her personal space.
My dear friend, as I told you in the first part of this letter, parenting is not an easy job. It will take a lot of sacrifices. There will be problems along the way but the key is to shower your child with love. No matter how old your child is, stay connected. Let her know that you will always be there for her, whether in good times or bad times. Remember, every child is a blessing.
I pray that God will enlighten you every step of the way, so that you may become the mother you want to be.