How to Be a Supportive Parent
Parent-child relationships are one of the most crucial components of child development. The most important and the earliest relationship children have is with their parents, siblings, grandparents, and teachers.
Having a good relationship with your children will shape how they adapt to the world as they navigate childhood. As a parent, it is essential to instill these values early so your children can adapt to the different situations they will likely face as they get older.
A simple thing like spending dedicated time with your child and showing you care can make a big difference and create a special bond. This can give a child the support needed to develop emotionally and intellectually. Here, we’ll discuss why support systems and responsive parenting are so critical to child development.
Why Being Supportive Is So Important
For children to be successful in both at home and at school, a parent or preschool teacher’s focus on brain and social development is important. There are many ways to parent, and one of the social development-focused parenting styles is responsive parenting. Responsive parenting means taking on a position that gives children a solid base for cognitive and social development.
Responsive parenting recognizes that relationships affect all areas of a child’s development. Therefore, it is a recommended parenting philosophy for those who want to foster strong bonds with their children and adequately prepare them for life’s challenges. Building this type of relationship takes quite a bit of work, but small actions deliver big results.
Regularly engage your child and work to cultivate a home environment in which communication is safe and respected. There is no wrong or right way to parent, however, creating a healthy home environment will undoubtedly strengthen the relationship you have with your child. The relationships children and parents have not only play a role in children’s development and learning, but also in how they feel about themselves and other children, as well as how well they perform in school.
Dedicated Quality Time
When building a relationship with your children, the amount of quality time spent with them has a huge impact. Quality time is how parents establish a rapport with their children and facilitate trust.
Quality time can mean different things to different people, so it’s important to define what quality time means for your family. The beauty of a parent-child relationship is that it is unique to each family. This allows for special traditions and favorite activities to be formed. This, in turn, will bond your family even more.
Generally, quality time is an activity that has been dedicated specifically to your child. It can involve activities, conversations, or outings. Doing things like lounging in front of the television or being in the same room with the family while everyone is using an electronic device are counterproductive if you really want to improve quality time.
Making time for communication is not just beneficial to the parent. It also shows your children they matter to you and how they feel is important. An added benefit of spending time with your children is the opportunity to send affirmative messages like a kiss or basic eye contact when they are talking.
What Educators Can Do
Having a support system at home aids in a child’s development. Support is also important at the child care program. When preschool teachers take time to get to know the families of their students, it opens the door for educators to become involved with their students and opens communication between parents and educators. Many schools have organizations that enable instructors and families to form effective partnerships.
Letters and emails that are sent during the school day are a great example of staff and educators taking that step to truly partner with the parents during these early years of education. These documents, like LuvNotes, often include information about the child’s temperament, how they ate, monthly events to which parents are invited and in which they can get involved. While every parent won’t be able to participate, PTA boards often distribute contact information so parents know that volunteers and staff are always available for additional support or to answer questions.
How to Get Started with Supportive Parenting
If you are unsure how to start, setting aside time, when you can be alone with your child, is suggested. There aren’t any rules or expectations, and you can even tailor experiences to your child’s interests. Busier parents may not always have the ability to spend long stretches of time doing this, but little things like offering help with homework or inquiring about your child’s day can give that little bit of extra support that a child may need.
As a parent, being there when your children need you fosters confidence that is hard to develop without consistent support. When you take interest in what interests your child or are curious about subjects that fascinate them, it reassures your child that they can confide in you. Establishing this foundation opens up the relationship as your child grows.
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