How were we nurtured as children..? What are our fondest memories of being nurtured by our parents? How do you Nurture your children?
Research is clear that Warmth, Responsiveness, Consistency, and Acceptance are all important factors in promoting positive development for children’s adjustment to life’s natural stressors. How do we express and model these nurturing behaviors to our children? Are we consciously nurturing, does it come to us naturally, or is it something we need to cultivate in our practice of parenting? How we were nurtured as children can tell us a lot about our own parenting style and nurturing techniques.
Here are a few guidelines to consider when nurturing your child’s emotional health.
First, Have an understanding of your child’s stage of development so you can have realistic expectations of their emotional behavior.
Next, encourage your child to express their emotions, help them identify different emotions, acknowledge them and let the broad spectrum of emotions all be okay. Let them know that feelings of frustration, anger, or disappointment are all normal and reasonable to experience in life, just as joy and contentment are as well. Offer positive ways to redirect their emotions with calm reassuring support.
Then, reflect on our own coping skills and model opportunities to self soothe by example to help your children learn emotional regulation and redirection. Provide physical comforting contact by asking if they would like a hug, to hold hands, or some snuggles to assist them feeling more safe and secure in their valid emotions. Remind them that you love them and reassure you are there for them even when they are upset.
Reinforce your child’s confidence by expressing loving, supportive, reassuring words to bolster their self-worth, value, and esteem. Tell them that you believe in them, and you know they can overcome any challenges life brings with some positive thinking and persistence towards a goal. Offer help if they ask but let them build independence by reapproaching challenges with fresh perspective. Congratulate their successes with Positive Affirmations and help them understand that some failures are a part of learning how to succeed.
We all know that life can be difficult. It is even more challenging for our children growing up and navigating in an ever-changing world from our own childhood. Kids need nurturing loving consistent support to grow in to self-confident and loving individuals. As Parents we are their primary examples of how to develop these traits. A nurtured child has a profoundly better chance at developing positive emotional well being when they are given the opportunity by loving parents. We offer numerous Parenting Classes at parentaid.org and all of them seek to nurture first.