Ten Steps to Create a Vision for Building Your Child's Future (page 3)
In her book, Purposeful Parenting: Strategies for Raising Children Who Achieve, Dr. Rose T. Watson, or “Dr. Mom” provides her perspective and tips to help parents help their children reach their potential from a physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and spiritual perspective. One of the first steps in working towards a child’s potential is to create a vision for their future. What does it involve? Education, sports, the arts, humanitarian work? If you know your parenting vision – you will more easily be able to guide your children. Here is an excerpt from her book.
Early on, children need an environment that encourages exploration. This is important for the physical development of all ages. Children need a safe, clean environment and plenty of space for rolling, scooting and crawling. Play allows children to try out and practice new skills. Children need opportunities to develop both large and fine motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination. Good nutritious food is a must for healthy living.
It is also important to learn good habits that promote health. Fresh air and sunshine also enhance physical development. A high level of safety should be maintained in the home, on the playground and in general. Playgrounds should have soft surfaces (sand or rubber) to buffer falls. In terms of illnesses and infections, it is necessary that all immunizations are up to date. Children with a contagious illness should be kept at home. Children and adults should get into the habit of hand washing as the single most effective way to avoid spreading disease. Hands-on activities allow children to develop all their senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste.
Social and emotional skills deal with the child’s ability to interact with others, including helping themselves and self-control. Socio-emotional development requires a nurturing environment where the child has a sense of security and trust. Important also is that the child have appropriate guidance and discipline, an understanding of the feelings of self and others. Other milestones include:
• The ability to communicate emotions appropriately
• Social skills (initiating and maintaining relationships)
• Self-confidence and motivation
• Good social behavior
• Working/sharing together with others
• Handling anger, fear and insecurities
• Good sportsmanship
• Learning how to lose gracefully
• Becoming aware of aptitudes and interests
• Healthy family interaction.
Research shows that developing children’s social and emotional skills improves academic performance and prevents problem behaviors. Developing the above skills helps kids to communicate better, to become effective team members and to manage emotions such as anger and discouragement. They learn how to motivate themselves and cope with everyday difficulties. Kids with good social and emotional skills feel a strong attachment to school. They demonstrate a sense of belonging, perceive teachers as supportive, make good friends and feel engaged in their academic progress.
Author Dorothy Rich in her book, MegaSkills, summarizes social-emotional skills needed very well:
1. Confidence: feeling able to do it,
2. Motivation: wanting to do it,
3. Effort: being willing to work hard,
4. Responsibility: doing what’s right,
5. Initiative: moving into action,
6. Perseverance: completing what you start,
7. Caring: showing concern for others,
8. Teamwork: working with others,
9. Common Sense: using good judgment,
10. Problem Solving: putting what you know and what you can do into action.
Cognitive development deals with the child’s ability to learn and solve problems. Parents want children to succeed and be the best they can be. Research shows two factors influence how the child succeeds and grows: genes and environment, or nature and nurture. The environment can either improve or harm a child’s genetic blueprint. Listed below are some everyday activities parents can engage in with their children to improve their cognitive development:
• Provide a stimulating environment
• Provide access to developmentally appropriate learning opportunities, materials and activities
• Motivate your child to want to learn basic knowledge and concepts
• Give your children lots of love and attention. No matter the child’s age; giving affection and listening are important ways to show the child that s/he matters.
• Interact with your child by talking, singing, playing, eating, and reading with your child. Your child will grow up feeling special and important to you. You will also learn a lot about your child’s interests and skills.
• Read, read, read. Research has shown that children who are read to by their parents have a larger vocabulary than other children. Reading also provides children with new perspectives about the world we live in.
• Learn some simple parenting skills for helping your child to learn how to behave. Have consistent rules: reward positive behaviors you want to see your child do more of, and give consequences for unwanted negative behaviors.
• Limit TV, Internet and video time.
• Seek out and request help when needed. There is assistance out there!
A child’s cognitive development should include some understanding that part of education is to create wealth, prosperity and abundance, that wealth can be accrued and investments made to grow money and that using one’s networks effectively can greatly increase one’s personal net worth and value to society at large.
Here are Dr. Mom’s 10 tips on parenting visions for children.
Creating A Vision for Your Child – Dr. Mom’s 10 Tips on How to Help a Child Reach Their Potential
1. Vision is the process of looking ahead to a desirable outcome.
2. A vision clarifies what then must be done to realize it.
3. Vision provides direction and serves as a road map; it provides a specific plan for going in a particular direction, thus allowing for intentionality.
4. Intentionality is essential to parenting success.
5. A parent’s mission is to maximize his or her child’s potential.
6. When creating your vision be sure to incorporate:
a) Spiritual development
b) Physical development
c) Social-emotional development
d) Intellectual development
7. Think big—encourage your children to be all they can be.
8. Make sure the whole family believes in the vision.
9. The vision must be supported with resources.
10. To assure that the vision becomes reality, someone must put their neck on the line. Someone must champion the cause.
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