A Happy, well-adjusted child and how to raise them

  • Kathmandu World School
  • 2018-12-13

While the elders in our part of the world take parenting pretty easily, but once the responsibilities come on to us we realize it is not. Parenting in modern world is complex and frankly exhausting when you have a career to juggle on the side which by the way is a means of raising the kids. Everyone desires a happy well-adjusted kid yet we struggle to raise them, why is that and how do we fulfill this shortcoming we shall discuss this in this write up.

Thriving

A thriving child is a flourishing one, growing physically, mentally and emotionally in leaps and bounds, It is said - "When your child is thriving, wear your parenting hat as little as possible. With a thriving child, you may only need to parent a few hours a month. At these times, your child is consumed with growing and with life. Adventure and creativity are abundant and as parents, we have a front row seat. It’s an easy and wonderful place to be."

So what are the traits of thriving child?

  • Follows the important rules
  • Gets along with others to an acceptable extent
  • Performs in school at an appropriate level for his abilities
  • Is honest and cooperative
  • Shows creativity and passion for life
  • Demonstrates obedience when obedience is important
  • Lives with age-appropriate courage to face new adventures
  • Refrains from breaking any laws or acting reckless in any way

So basically an independent, self-aware, empathetic and courageous child. At Kathmandu World School we focus on the holistic development of a child who grows to become an asset not only to his community but also the world. For such great endeavors we require help from our guardians as well. Here are some tips to guide you through this journey.

How to raise such children

Experience Over material

A toy holds attention for a week or a month for a child whereas an experience they share with the parents should it be a holiday, art class; road trip; craft project or even mundane task like gardening creates memories that last for a lifetime. Research also shows that spending quality time with kids reduces the risk of delinquent behavior later in life.

Responsibility

Chores are fantastic way of getting the children to learn about responsibility. Feeding the pet, changing the paper towels, setting the table, filling up water jugs. These little chores give them a sense of accomplishment on completion and some praise as well. It in turn helps teach kids valuable attributes such as diligence, self-reliance, time management, responsibility, and higher self-esteem and they don’t take these things for granted later in life.

Sleep and Rest

An entire day of learning, playing takes toll on a child. Good food and rest help them recuperate so that they can take on another day with full energy and enthusiasm. Growth hormones work during the resting phase of children so rest is indeed very important for the brains as well as body of children. Establishing an early bedtime not only can help improve sleep, but also improve language development, positive family function, and behavioral regulation.

The love hormones- Oxytocin

Hugging and lots of hugging and cuddling releases the hormone oxytocin which not only bonds the parents and children but also helps in stress reduction and showing them how much they are loved.

Boundaries and Routines

Routines can help even the most strong-willed kids to feel more grounded and relaxed because they have something to expect and look forward to. Having fixed meal times and bedtimes can give kids a sense of relief and peace during the day. Boundaries give children a sense of limit. Kids feel insecure when they don't have clear limits.When parents do not provide clear boundaries, or allow their kids to have control over what gets decided in their home, the balance of power shifts toward the child, which is harmful to both parents and kids. For example, if a child feels like she can usually convince her parents to do whatever she wants, she will feel like she's more powerful than her parents, and whether she realizes it or not, that uncertainty and sense of being able to dominate people who are supposed to be in charge will make her feel anxious and insecure. The bottom line: In a power struggle, the parent has to be a clear winner.

Slow Days

It’s okay to be bored. It’s okay not to have an action packed day, every day when you take a day or two just to relax, catch up with yourself and spend time with yourself. Most parents are used to being busy every moment of the day and have the tendency to put this same burden on their children. Taking a day or two out of the week to really slow down and allow your child to simply explore, relax, and live, can have lasting positive effects.

Books and Music

I cannot stress the importance of books in a child’s life enough. From the time they are toddlers the habit once inculcated helps them create an alternate world for themselves. Books help extend vocabulary, stimulate conversation, promote brain development, and improve attention and teach your child about language and emotions, and strengthen your relationship.

Music is a universal language and helps them relate, relax. Studies have shown that children who learn to play music have increased cognitive abilities.

Lesser screen time and more outdoor time

Soil is good; getting them on you skin is good as it releases endorphins, helps the child build immunity and frankly gets them in tune with nature away from the world of iPad and mobiles. Too much screen time overstimulates them and makes them couch potatoes. Limit screen time and surveillance of what they watch is very important, most kids these days are prone to cyberbullying. Keep tabs on their online activity. Turn the devices off and take them on a hike or swim which helps they grow stronger.

Empathy

Being able to put yourself in another person’s shoes is extremely powerful. Showing empathy for your children can help promote kindness, moral courage, and acceptance toward others. It may very well be the most important lesson your child learns in his life. Parenting doesn’t come with manual, we must each device a way to follow these guidelines while respecting their wishes and establishing authority and letting them have a happy childhood. Create safe refuge for them to grow, to speak and to be heard, to look back and smile at the memories while forming wonderful habits and lessons that remain with them throughout life.