Creative Child

Parenting Tips from A to Z: J-R

by Rebecca Eanes

Positive parenting advice, tips and guidelines from A to Z! Read part 1 of this post here, featuring tips A-I.

J is for Joy

Remember the pure joy you felt snuggling your newborn baby, inhaling that wonderful baby smell, nuzzling a soft, fuzzy head against your neck? I think an unfortunate truth is that we can lose some of that joy if we begin to focus too much on behavior management as our children grow.

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One of the beautiful effects of positive parenting is that the close connection it builds brings back the joy, and that’s really why I’ve worked to spread this message for the past several years. May all of us remember to look for the beauty in our ordinary, crazy busy days. May we practice gratitude, meditate on our blessings, and capture many miracle moments.

K is for Kisses, Hugs, and Affection

Parental warmth and affection is good for emotional health. In a study published in The Journal of Epidemiology and Health in 2010, babies who received more maternal affection at 8 months were found to be more emotionally resilient as adults. Affection lowers anxiety and cortisol levels. Keeping in mind respect for the child’s preferences, affection in the form of kisses, hugs, message, and physical touch is essential for healthy development.

L is for Listen

I’m sure you’ve heard the advice that states something along the lines of “listen to the small things your children tell you when they’re young, and they’ll tell you the big things when they’re big.” Active listening is more than just hearing what our children say. It’s being present, aware, and focused as we listen to understand what our child is saying and feeling and to see things from their perspective.

Listen to their hopes, complaints, dreams, and disagreements. Don’t be quick to brush them off or to put your foot down and say “because I said so, that’s why!” Listening shows respect, and that’s a great thing to model because there will be many times when you really need them to listen to you.

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