Raising children has always been a bit fraught with changing ideas of best parental practice and what children need to grow up well. But recently, it seems that everyone and his dog has an opinion and you are doing it all wrong.
Aside from being a completely and utterly rude thing to say. Suggesting that there is a right way to parent and a wrong way is a bit misguided. All children are different and need different things from their parents; similarly, all parents are different and will have different expectations.
The key thing really is not how you parent, but the environment you create for your children. Instead of focusing on what you should be doing for them, let them know that they can come to you for the things they need and create a sharing and caring space for them to feel loved.
A Room of Their Own
Most children are now brought up with their own bedrooms but just having four walls isn’t enough. You should let them use their bedrooms to express their interests and characteristics as well as a space for learning.
Giving them space to be on their own with their things is a good way to let children discover their own interests and explore their independence. Learning how to occupy ourselves is a key lesson in life and one that is easiest learnt while young and surrounded with interesting things to do.
Expand Their Horizons
While the bedroom is great for self-exploration, it is still important that you help them expand their horizons. Lots of children love to do and learn new things and as a parent, one of the best things you can do is expose them to lots of different ideas. Museums are the obvious choice, as are art galleries but other activities like an escape room can flex their puzzle-solving muscles and give you a great family afternoon.
Though you don’t have to do something new every week, and you should also allow them to develop skills like sport or music over a long period of time, getting out of the house to do stuff together is always a good idea. Plus, what you do doesn’t necessarily have to be educational, play is also important. Dining out, seeing plays or musicals and going for walks all count too.
Be Willing to Answer Questions
Finally, if you want your children to know that they can always come to you, you should certainly encourage them to ask you questions. Whether you know the answer or not, you can spend time together discussing what they want to know and researching together. This is a great way of encouraging learning and will also bring you closer as a family.
There is no right way to bring up a child but if you give them an environment where they can thrive, they will be able to influence their upbringing too. When every child is different, listening to their needs is the best way to go and only your child can tell you what those needs are.