Naturally, most parents, if not all, are always there to protect their children from harm, failure, and disappointments. But doing so, in an excessive or intense manner, could often lead to what psychologists call as enmeshed parenting. In case you have no idea what enmeshed parenting is all about, it is a style of parenting that, with a parent’s attempt to only make and do the best for his child, interferes in a negative way or causes problems in the child’s successful development of his own personality, ethics, and values.
An enmeshed parent is one who is usually perfectionist and he wants to extend such a sense of perfectionism to his sons and daughters. For him, the good or difficult behavior that his children are showing, as well as their successful or unsuccessful achievements can only define his worth.
He might be, in one way or another, very invasive, with his entire focus is on taking care of his children alone that he forgets to also take care of his own self, and feeling such a strong need to know everything about what his children are thinking and doing.
Children who grew up with enmeshed parents developed such a feeling of being responsible for the feelings of other people while simply ignoring responsibility for their own. For these children, taking care of their own selves is selfishness and this can lead to their being compliant and disconnected from their very own selves. In addition to that, they would most likely be having problems in their adult relationships, whether in work or personal, because they are struggling with such a feeling of being lost or empty inside resulting from not having learned well how to be responsible for their own feelings.
When you live in a world that applauds perfection and wherever children may look, it seems like someone is whispering into their ears that perfection is the goal, little did these perfectionist parents know that they’re making their children become prisoners of their own expectations. They become excessively driven, more than anything else, about having such a fear of making mistakes. Once this drive for excellence and being the best turns into what is a compulsive drive for perfection, trouble follows.
Letting children fail sometimes is perhaps one of the most critical of things a parent can do. Learning from mistakes, especially those when parents don’t bother to interfere at all, is an important skill. It helps children in building resilience as they come to mature into confident, successful, and happy adults.
Parents should be showing their kids how to cope with life’s challenges. Of course, to just sit back and let your kids make mistakes is not an easy thing. But you have to bear in mind and to make your children understand that personal imperfection and failure can help them realize and understand about other people, yes even adults, who make mistakes yet still go on to lead happy and productive lives.
For a two-year-old, the world around is a most exciting and interesting place. The way toddlers are mostly going to learn, at this particular stage of their lives, is through what they can and what they can’t do. Taking up extreme positions is one of their methods of dealing with life which can, of course, result to their being thoroughly unbalanced.
When a toddler can’t manage something, he frequently collapses. When he can’t open the door, he flings himself on the floor weeping. And when his father tries to open it for him, it won’t make at once things better, and that’s all because he wants to open the door himself. He could no longer bear the idea of being shut out and nor did he likes to think that Mom or Dad could do something he couldn’t.
He feels small, abject, and humiliated yet, on other occasions, he would be feeling quite different like being delighted, for example, when Mom or Dad comes to fetch his bike for him; he would feel like a thrilled little prince as he tries to scoot off. And yes, he can be really bossy and, at times, wants to impose his will on everyone and everything. This is a state of mind that can last until the third birthday, but it’s in the two-year-old that you can see it first.
Parents should not be immediately discouraged or frustrated seeing their toddler behaving that way. Instead, they must come to think about why their little child so often resorts to bossiness. Who knows it can be just a child’s defense mechanism against the feeling of being inferior or small and weak.
Toddlers are physically very small and part of their extreme view of the world is bound up with the reality of their ages and stages. Parents need only to think that they, including all the grown-up ones, can be around three times their height, to imagine what giants all the adults in the world must look. The adult and grown-up people your toddlers may come to know about must seem alarmingly powerful, filled with knowledge, and one that’s packed to the full with surprises.
A two-year-old is there to also begin finding the force of the word “no.” In a way this can be good as most parents don’t want their children growing up without being able to assert themselves or to refuse what could be bad for them. The problem, however, could be such that toddlers are at the very start of growing up and that they often quite literally never know what’s good for them.
Two-year-olds are, to use a metaphor, like people in charge of a big crude machine. They lack subtlety so that when something looks nasty they may refuse it with all their energy, never mind the fact that only last time, they were able to accept it with so much eagerness. Of course, they need adult minds in helping them extract order and sense from what might otherwise be the confusion of existence.
Sometimes a parent can do more harm than good to his child by expecting too much from him without knowing that by doing so he’s risking his child’s emotional and mental health in the process. Giving your child so much stimulation without time for relaxation can be likened to a baker who’s baking bread without giving it time to rise. To restrain such an impulse to push, suggest, shove, insist, and even punish for poor performance or lack of performance of a child by a parent would be requiring to take a good deal of energy.
Parents need to put in their minds that patience is something that could be much more motivating than to push or trying to force performance or maturity. Having patience with your children is one of the best things you can do for them as a parent. If you’re trying to look for early childhood programs that don’t push your kids, then these five things must be considered:
A WARM, LOVING, AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT
In choosing a preschool, kindergarten, or early elementary school for your child in which you’re considering to place your child, you must actually visit the place yourself first. You can’t just base your decision on someone else’s experience or your friend’s or neighbor’s opinion as to which program is best suited for your child. After your child has been enrolled for a few weeks, you may then try scheduling for a follow-up visit. As long as you see how well your child’s enjoying the program, showing progress in his learning, and comes to interact well with teachers and classmates, then that’s the best place for him.
A PLACE FOR FUN AND PLAY
Whether at school or home, your child needs plenty of time for play. For young children, play is learning; it aids a child’s growth. Playtime helps kids to embody a high degree of motivation and achievement.
When you’re giving your child enough time to play, you’re offering him the freedom of action by which to also include the elements of adventure. When your little child is playing, he’s into something that offers opportunities for him to make decisions and solve problems. It is unfortunate to see young children, even preschoolers and kindergarteners, to seem to have very little time for play nowadays and, instead, participate in competitive team sports at such a very young age.
A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN CAN LEARN THROUGH DIFFERENT AVENUES OF LEARNING
There must be opportunities for children to learn though exploration, experimentation, observation, building, dramatic play, and hands-on activities, instead of just pencil and paper activities such as worksheets.
A PLACE WHERE TEACHERS ARE MORE THAN WILLING TO UNDERSTAND AND GENUINELY ENJOY THE COMPANY OF CHILDREN
The school is considered by many as the child’s second home and teachers come to substitute the role of parents. It is important that teachers and preschoolers and kindergarteners build up good relationships with each other.
Just like real parents, teachers must as well see the importance of being patient in dealing with young children. Being patient is to respect the child’s individuality, immaturity, for what a child is now, as a preschooler, and not to hurry him to carry more responsibility or in producing more achievements than he is able.
A PLACE WHERE KIDS CAN FREELY LEARN AND DEVELOP AT THEIR OWN PACE
Young children learn by engaging their senses like seeing, hearing, or touching. They will eventually learn to reason out, cooperate with others, and solve problems. Sure, kids get busier and have to hurry more and more when they grow up. But putting them in a situation when they’re constantly in a time crunch, to rush here and there, is to actually impede learning and motivation. Taking them to have to spend a little downtime, on the other hand, is one best way to boost motivation.
Learning about the world is something not limited to what has been taught in schools. Children, regardless of age, race, nationality, gender, culture, and creed can be motivated to learn about the location of countries, oceans, continents, states, rivers, and capital cities if there’s a reason for them to do so. It may be because they have someone they know from another country like a friend or a relative, for example, because their family is showing interest in people and cultures in other parts of the world, or because they were able to read about other nationalities. In that sense, social studies or geography would cease to become just a bunch of meaningless, unconnected facts that they have to learn by rote.
As a parent, you should be giving your kids a variety of experiences. To show an interest in other nations and nationalities and keeping abreast of world events and international affairs, before your children, they will come to grow up with a wider knowledge of the world and a greater awareness and appreciation of different cultures. Below are ten things you can do to motivate your children to learn about the world:
Watch travel programs on TV with your kids and you may explain to them what you learn about the country that was being featured to the best of your ability.
Use thumbtacks to a map the name or picture of relatives or friends who are visiting, moving to, or living in different parts of the country or the world.
Try placing a large map on the wall in the family room, the play room, or your child’s bedroom. You can never discount the fact that maps are a valuable resource in geographic study.
Give your children the permission to browse the Internet resources to learn about the world. In other words, let them google it.
Try using laminated maps so you can write on them or plot the route of a trip with a washable marker which you can erase it later.
At least once in a while, take your children and your spouse to an ethnic restaurant, or treat your children to ethnic snacks at a folk festival. Try learning to cook different ethnic foods so your family will be introduced to the different tastes of other people.
If you can buy soft, stuffed globes in bright colors that your younger children can play with or use as pillows, the much better.
Try to be creative by equipping your child’s room with wooden and cardboard puzzles of the Philippines and other countries of the world. You can try manipulating a piece and to talk about the place it represents and the products coming from that area.
Encourage your kids to read magazines, books, and historical and illustrated story books. Publications like the World by the National Geographic and Discover by Family Media, Inc. are highly recommended.
Try thinking of games that can help children learn about the world. You may choose any of these popular games like World Traveler, Trip Around the World, Where in the World? and many more.
When you’re a parent, you have a choice about what you see, understand, and what you consider to be important for your child. But a parent’s true authority, however, is derived from the fact that his or her skill is helping his or her children navigate the passage of childhood toward adulthood. The essence of his children, therefore, and in the basic understanding of the matter, is entrusted to his care.
For the parents to keep their children safe, guide them through rough waters, and help them flourish, is an act of preserving the connection with the cosmos which is the birthright of every child. Doing such requires that a parent should be creating an environment that serves three purposes: whether or not is it safe physically, or is it emotionally supportive of the child’s growth into a unique human being, and is it structured to include limits or boundaries. In addition, let me cite twenty things every good parent can do to his children:
ALLOWS HIS CHILD TO EXPRESS HIMSELF
Why this is very important is simple—it is one of the primary needs of every child. Every parent should own up to his or her own opinions and feelings as much as possible and to let his or her child have his or her as well. Parents must also find ways to encourage their children to express their own selves.
ALLOWS HIS CHILD TO QUESTION AUTHORITY AND VALUES
While this may be difficult for most parents, yet it is one way they can make their children to become independent thinkers who can make wise decisions that must sometimes go against a prevailing opinion.
USES HIS CHILD’S BEHAVIOR AS A WAY OR OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH RATHER THAN PUNISH
A good parent understands that his child’s misbehavior is almost certainly not an attempt to personally destroy or thwart him. He sees it as a signal that something needs attention which is an opportunity for both him and the child to learn. Punishing a child by a parent is to express his exasperation and anger at least as often as an attempt to teach.
To discipline a child is to understand first the meaning of the word itself. It comes from the Latin word “disciplina” which in English means to “instruct” or simply a “method.” When you discipline your child you should see to it that you’re teaching him something. There’s a huge difference between discipline and punishment. Punishment is purposed on making someone suffer while discipline is aimed at helping someone to discover the natural consequences of misbehavior and to set up circumstances in which he or she can make amends or redress wrongs.
PROVIDES CLEAR INSTRUCTION WHEN TEACHING NEW BEHAVIORS
It is not advisable for parents to assume that their child knows what they know and that their child can connect a lot more of the dots than is possible. It is important for a parent to give clear and specific instructions followed by asking the child to rephrase them for him just so he or she would know he or she has been understood.
PERSEVERES WHEN THINGS GET ROUGH AND TOUGH
To withdraw out of frustration or in anger is a clear sign that a parent has given up on his child in a difficult situation. A good parent wants to let his child know that she’s yet okay and that he will be available to her in working such a problem out for as long as it takes.
OFFERS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND SUPPORT
A good parent will not love his child more or less because he acts or performs in a particular way. The child must know and feel, in the first place, that his parents can love and support him not for how he’s acting, but for who he is.
STAYS IN THE PRESENT
A good parent is there to interact with his child from the perspective that he can grow and learn and that mistakes are valuable as teaching opportunities. It is necessary for parents to stay focused in the present and to avoid negative references to what is the past.
When you’re judging someone’s performance, then you may be a professional critic. A professional teacher, on the other hand, is someone who works to help a student in reaching his performance potential. A good parent is taking delight in his child’s high performance, but he’s not overly invested in it. He’s neither a critic nor a professional teacher but what’s most important to him, above all, is his child’s growth and self-esteem. When he has something critical to say to his child, he sees to it that the context of the discussion is one that is supportive and mutual.
ALWAYS PRESERVES A CHILD’S SENSE OF HIS OWN WORTH
A good parent doesn’t call attention to his child’s faults or mistakes in a public way. If a parent makes to practice such an act of shaming and devaluation, his child would feel condemned because of who he is, not just what he has done. And once the child feels he’s condemned as a person, he would be thinking about what’s the use of trying to learn to do things differently or to try to please a parent who has given up on him.
AVOIDS MAKING COMPARISONS TO OTHERS
Sometimes, all parents wish their children were different. But it is not a good idea for a parent to use comparisons as a way of manipulating his child. A good parent tries to engage his child in intentional dialogue for that matter, by which to also include a behavior-change request, and to let him know what changes he would like to be seeing.
LAUGHS DEEPLY AND OFTEN
It is advisable for parents not to take themselves too seriously. Parents should have broad shoulders, are good sports, and not easily offended by their children. A good parent has a good sense of humor, laughs deeply, and one who is more than capable to weather life’s many a storm.
SAYS YES AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE
Don’t make your child becomes convinced that you, as his parents, only know the word “no.” To say yes is a way for a parent to honor his child as well as to give him encouragement. Saying yes, most particularly when there is a positive connotation to it, is to allow your child to experience the power of making things happen and to glory in his parent’s express permission.
CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR FUN
The value of having fun together can never be underestimated. When you’re having fun, you’re maintaining and enhancing a sense of well-being. Family outings are important, as well as a trip to the zoo, picnic, beach, or watching movies.
HONORS HIS CHILD’S COOPERATION
It is a natural for a child to eagerly please his parents. A good parent can use such an opportunity to capitalize on this impulse by celebrating with enthusiasm whatever he sees that pleases him. The parents should only be accentuating the positive, that is, if what they want for such a parenting to be within the context of pleasure and positive expectations.
HELPS HIS CHILD UNDERSTAND THAT DECISIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
A good parent makes sure his child learns by watching how he is going to respond to a situation that needs difficult decisions to make. It is important for a parent to pause and reflect before making decisions and by doing so he can as well teach his child the same approach.
A large part of your role as a parent is to provide for your children’s basic needs and this may range from food and clothing, shelter, to emotional and psychological necessities such as safety, love, and healthy environment. But such a very important role is not limited only to providing the basic needs. Another important role is that of being a teacher.
Parents can easily become effective teachers for their children because they are the ones who very well know of their children in the first place. How very often this other special role of a parent gets neglected or ignored in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The following are ten ways on how parents can become effective teachers as well:
Parents should be choosing their words in such a way that can lead to building up collaboration. Collaboration is important because it’s one of the key ingredients of families that run smoothly and with a high degree of cooperation. Each time your sons and daughters see or observe you collaborating with others, you were able to reinforce the importance of connection.
Parents should learn how to integrate principles and ideas into conversations with their kids in a natural way. This can be achieved through paying close attention to the way your kids are hearing you. Learning to switch channels is also one of the requirements.
Parents must be eager students themselves as well. Considered by many as one of the most important, one way to become the most effective and interesting teacher is to become an eager student. When you’re going to teach other people, you tend to learn what you’re teaching exceptionally well because you’re required to think through an idea carefully enough to be able to explain it.
Parents should be teaching the principles, when expecting their sons and daughters to act with conscience toward their community, underlying such social commitment early in their lives.
Parents should teach their children how to think. If you’re teaching your kids how to think in ways that build their self-confidence, you’re empowering them to meet the challenges of their growing up into adolescent and adult ones.
Parents need to consider making mistakes as teaching opportunities. Mistakes are a part of everyone’s life, but to turn these mistakes into teaching opportunities are something else.
Parents have to teach their children to be more socially aware, by which to also include the code of social communication; it is one way they can find opportunities in providing a positive example at family gatherings, special occasions, holidays, and so on and so forth. By the time parents demonstrate social interest as well as a social conscience, they reinforce an attitude toward others that can give their sons and daughters the best chance to be leaders.
Parents need to make their children know what it is that their families stand for. Every family needs a compass, and that’s the role of a family’s core values. How to apply your core values to skills like teaching, collaboration, and so on, requires that you need to think creatively.
Parents need to teach their kids how to give compliments. When your son or daughter is saying something nice to you, tell him or her how happy it makes you feel. You may then start asking him or her to also comment positively on other children he meets along the way, in the streets, or peers in the neighborhood.
Saying something nice to other people is one way to recognize something good about them. It is also one of the best of ways to promote camaraderie and friendship.
Teach your children the importance of perseverance. When parents persevere in teaching and encouraging their children to learn every positive aspect of what they’re trying to impart to them, it would be easier for these children to absorb their parents’ care and guidance.
As a parent, every action you’re going to show to your children may, in one way or another, motivate them to dig for more information on things that interest them and can inspire them to even try experimenting on things that intrigue them the most. It is true that words are important but actions speak louder than words, so to speak. Action is, in fact, character, so that while words are necessary it is a person’s behavior that says more about who he is.
Parents should be sending their most powerful messages through their actions. Kids are great imitators and you sure have already been catching them repeating your expressions or imitating your gestures. It is natural for a child to follow the leader, and for many years, you are the leader.
A child may find it easy learning what you demonstrate to him or her than what you may hope and thinks you teach. You can naturally demonstrate to your young child the importance of a particular thing by talking to him while doing something that involves what you are explaining all about a particular thing. Every parent must remember that a child’s brain is not easily fooled.
Children may have many inborn personality traits affecting their growth and development, but the daily example you set, as a parent, when faced with difficulties or problems will be speaking much more clearly to them than any lectures you might deliver. The fact is that your child’s perseverance tends to mirror that much of your own.
As you try to motivate your kids to develop their goals, there’s nothing better than exposing them to adults who have purpose in their lives, people who work in interesting professions, and pointing out stories about people who have overcome obstacles. You, as a parent, are a model, but so are other people like teachers, adult friends, priests, relatives, and so on and so forth. You can look to your extended family, community, and church for good role models for your children.
A parent’s role modeling is a powerful motivator because the number one way children learn is by imitation. In that sense, one of your most powerful tools in guiding and motivating them is setting a good example. There may be times when you’re kind of not feeling qualified to be a role model with its implication of excellence or perfection, but your child is always watching what you do.