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Giving Your Child a Head Start in Life

Updated on July 8, 2011

Your child is your step into the future.

Raising a child is a full time job. It is a commitment that should take priority over all other goals in life. Your child is your step into the future. For these reasons, it is so important to be sure you provide your child with everything necessary to face the future bravely and make dreams come true. Aside from being sure your child is well fed and nourished and gets plenty of exercise, education and rest, you can add value to each moment of each and every day.

Help your child develop her creativity!

Title: I Heart My Pizza! ~  Attribution License: ~ Photographer: woodleywonderworks:
Title: I Heart My Pizza! ~ Attribution License: ~ Photographer: woodleywonderworks:

Here's how!

Use your child's name often and lovingly - never as an epithet. Greet your child whenever he comes around. Call him by name and show a genuine interest is what he is doing and what he is asking you. Stop what you are doing, make eye contact, and pay attention to what your child has to say. Give thoughtful, considered responses. Respect your child's ideas and viewpoint. Never belittle his thoughts.

Help your child to develop her own imagination and her own entertainment. Provide her with toys that don't play for her, interesting traditional books, and plenty of creative fodder like cardboard boxes, dress-up clothes, art supplies and a variety of plastic containers. Be sure to also provide the freedom and space to play! Teach your child that you don't have to spend a fortune or use up batteries and electricity to have fun!

Teach your child to be able to pay attention and learn. Provide a vast array of interesting information in the form of books, books on tape, educational coloring books, traditional toys from other countries and whatever else your imagination can conjure. Limit television and other commercial style entertainment. Teach your child early on to think independently.

Read with and to your child. This is so important! It builds such a strong bond between parent and child as well as a lifelong love of reading. A person who can read well can learn about anything. Make reading a big part of your child's education at home. Be familiar with your child's school work and help her to understand how to find information - even without the internet!

Play with your child. Go for bike rides, run in the sprinklers, play a free-for-all ball game on the lawn or in the park. Be willing to be silly and have fun!

Act right! If you don't want to see your child doing something or don't want to hear your child saying something, don't do and say those things yourself. If you want your child to have a happy, positive outlook, cultivate one in yourself. If you want your child to make good food choices, make them yourself. If you don’t want your child to grow up with addictions, eliminate your own.

Consult with your child regarding house rules, punishments, and so on. After all, these things do affect your child. Have occasional family meetings to review actions and consequences, and other matters that are important to your household. Again, give your child's opinions respectful consideration. This teaches your child how he should expect to be received as an adult. If he expects to be taken seriously and treated respectfully, it will help him avoid being hurt and taken advantage of later on.

Teach your child how to run a household. Provide appropriate chores at all ages. Be present to model, guide and instruct such tasks as cleaning, doing laundry, yard care and cooking. Always show genuine appreciation for your child's help in maintaining your home. When your child is ready to leave the nest, she will do so confident of her ability to care for herself.

The nice thing about doing all these things is that, as you do them for your child, you will also be doing them for yourself. If you treat your child with love and respect and make sure he has a happy, stimulating, nourishing environment, you will enjoy that environment too. Additionally, you are far more likely to find that your child returns the concern and respect you set forth.

Copyright: SuzanneBennett:June 20, 2009


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  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Many thanks! Good ideas! :)

  • HennieN profile image

    HennieN 6 years ago from South Africa

    Great hub. I would like to respond with some valuable lessons I learned through reading great articles like yours.

    Kids spell LOVE T-I-M-E. As long as we spend time with kids, no matter the activity, it will be adding value to the child and our parent-child relationship.

    The biggest skill we as parents can have is patience. The keyword here is WAIT. Allow kids to explore and don't just jump in and sort out their problems. Give them time and space to solve these problems for themselves.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks, "mom" ;D

  • profile image

    mom 6 years ago

    yes, it is nice article and many busy moms can give a think, i have my own experience. I am doing manythings noted here and enjoying the joy of having a wonderful doughter.

    She is really neat girl in house work and they way she is doing amazing. and she loves reading, painting singing and dancing. beauty of her creativity is, all songs are converted to her own and singing.. I started reading and sining for her, when i was pregnant. everything postive, her memory, and common sense is great

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    :) Thanks!

  • dahoglund profile image

    Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

    We are past that period of life but you give sound advice. Some of it we did but not all.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Many thanks! :)

  • StarCreate profile image

    StarCreate 6 years ago from Spain

    Lovely article, timely reminders for all parents, who get stressed and tired in the real world and can easily lose sight of these important facts

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    I'm glad I could help! Thank you! :)

  • mariasial profile image

    maria sial 6 years ago from united kingdom

    You are so right suzanne... i am a mother of i year old daughter and this will really help me

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    I'm glad you liked it! Thanks! :)

  • visionandfocus profile image

    visionandfocus 6 years ago from North York, Canada

    What a beautiful hub! And to think I resented my parents all those years ago for making me do those chores. lol

    I also like the point about consulting with the kids re rules and punishment. Very democratic and shows respect should be mutual.

    Will link to this from my hub on parenting. Thanks for sharing!