Why it Helps to Think of Parenting as a Three-Wheeler: Part 4
Wheel #3: The Parent as Supporter.
In a young child’s world, his parents’ attention is what keeps him alive.
If they would forget about him, he would not survive the week. So, when parents are rarely able to pay undivided attention to their children when they are with them, the little ones feel disconnected and they become anxious on a deep survival level.
As a result, some of them withdraw, many become overly picky, a few become defiant and aggressive, while the majority can be described as being whiny and clingy.
This explains why children are happier, more relaxed, confident and easy to parent when they feel supported and connected to their parents.
In an effort to save you time, we’ve put together a list of things that will undoubtedly help you to relieve feelings of disconnect and anxiety in your child when they pop up.
In short, young children feel loved and supported when their parents:
(1) genuinely enjoy paying attention to them, at least some of the time;
(2) make sure they feel safe and protected at all times;
(3) go out of their way to help them with certain things;
(4) take the time to set reasonable boundaries;
(5) spend special time with them during which they focus exclusively on the children;
(6) say things that build them up;
(7) give them thoughtful little gifts;
(8) attend to their needs, thoughts and feelings without getting upset;
(9) encourage them to learn new things and become independent as they grow, and
(10) hug them often.
Most importantly, ask this question: “If somebody would ask my child whether he thinks that I am glad that he was born, will he respond positively without hesitating?”
The purpose of the three-wheeler metaphor was to give you direction and hope.
This is the last post in a series about the three wheels of effective parenting. If you’ve missed the post on “The Parent as Organizer”, go here. And, go here to read more about “The Parent as Teacher”.
We’re saying: “You’re probably doing great as a parent, but if you feel like doing something more, we suggest that you use this framework as a starting point to make sure that you’ll be investing your energy wisely.”
Parents who know better, do better.