Dealing with the fact that I was going to have a child was a nerve-wracking experience for me. I am barely managing to be an adult. How will I take responsibility for another human being! I don’t know anything about parenting. 9 months passed. Baby arrived. Guess what happened then?
I learnt my way. We all do – don’t we!
The bad news is, Children, do not come with manuals.
Good news is, Parenthood brings parental instincts.
We instinctively know, what to do.
Nature is spectacular. No?
Being a parent twice over. Doesn’t make me an expert but it does give me the experience to say that if you felt infants are tough to deal with. Wait till they turn into toddlers. You have to be mindful of every word coming out of your mouth. Every gesture you make.
Science has a theory on why this is important
Starting from the age of 2 till 11 are the most impressionable years of a human being. Their amazing mind is making meanings out of incidents happening around them. AND YOU SHOULDN’T TAKE LIGHTLY.
You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.
How you talk to your child at this age becomes their inner voice. It is easier to mould young children than mending damaged adults.
Positive talk improves self-esteem, inspires them to reach their potential. Improve mental and physical health. Teachers and parents play a huge role in helping kids develop positive self-talk.
Why positive talk only at bedtime?
When I am already struggling to make them sleep. Won’t it delay the process?
Science has proven. Positive talk at bedtime can change your brain structure. Meaning the way you respond to the world comes from the place of confidence and leadership.
7 Things You Should Tell Your Children before they Sleep
1. Tell them the good parts of your day
This is my personal favourite. To get my children into the mind frame of gratitude. I started telling them my gratitude list. I started with 2 things that I was grateful for(the idea is not to make it long and boring for them). Each of us shared 2 things we were grateful for. And now our lists go on and on.
Ask them what are they looking forward to: Gives them (and us) the excitement to wake up next morning in a positive state of mind.
2. Tell them You’re Sorry
You had a bad parenting moment. And you did something (I yell at my kids when they are running late for bedtime) that you regret instantly. They are the pieces of your heart after all. Apologise. This will not make you a good parent but it will make you a real one.
It will do 2 things:
Your children won’t see you as a flawless, never-makes-a-mistake human being. Because it’s an unrealistic and unhealthy mindset to grow up with.
They will learn to be more forgiving of themselves.
3. Say “I Love You” to them EVERY NIGHT
Isn’t it obvious that we love our children? We do not need to say it. Our schedules, jobs, menus, workouts revolve around their timings. If this doesn’t say I love my child then what does?
A comforting, warm hug every night, does.
A goodnight kiss and an I love you does.
The impact this has will trump everything that you “do” for your children.
Try it to believe it.
4. Acknowledge their feelings
Their young mind is a meaning-making machine. They are perceiving as per their capabilities. Children do not know how to process, understand and express themselves fully. Lay down with them and understand what they are trying to say.
A tantrum is a symptom, not a cause.
5. Lend them your ear
This will show them that their words are important to you.
6. Make them see the bright side
BECAUSE THERE ALWAYS IS! Sometimes we need help seeing it.
7. Tell them you are grateful to have them
No,” I love you” doesn’t cover it. Especially after the scream-fest, you had with them over their never-ending gadget time. Say it out loud. Make them feel wanted. That’s what they need to hear.
We all wish for our children to be happy. We want them to have strong relationships and successful careers. All this is possible if you start young.
Instead of shuttling them from one piano class to another soccer match (guilty as charged). And re-living our lost childhood through them. We should make them aware of their best qualities and how to nurture them.
Instil positive mental attitude in them. And watch them bloom and make you proud.
Click here to read more blogs on mental health for children.