Being a parent is hard enough without any influences from the side, but when you realize that the environment your little ones are growing in has a strong effect on their development, it’s your job to learn what those environmental influences on your youngsters are and what you, as their parent, can do to control them.
The parent-child relationship
Before your children experience the rest of the world, they will base their development on what they see, hear and feel at home. The way you treat your kids and bond with them will help determine who they become and shape their personalities. Through your behavior, they learn about expressing their own emotions, the positive and the negative ones, as well as how to communicate with people who surround them. If you make your relationship with them a stable and loving one, where you encourage your children to be the best versions of themselves, they will have more self-esteem and feel safe, valued and appreciated. Aside from telling them you love them often enough, show it through kisses, hugs and being there to listen to them and answer all of their questions whenever they need it.
Photo by Caroline Hernandez
Your relationship with your partner
Even when what you do and say isn’t directed to your children, if they see and hear it, it affects them. That is why the relationship between you and your partner is an important aspect of their emotional and intellectual growth. You and your partner are the first people your infants get to know, and probably the people who will spend the most time with your moppets throughout their childhood and adolescence. The way you behave around each other and treat each other and the respect and love you show each other will likely define how your kids value and regard the people in their lives. Through watching you, they will learn how to connect with others. Avoid having heated arguments in front of children, but rather show one another affection when they’re around you. Your kids will perceive your positive body language and tender gestures like hugging or holding hands as a normal way of showing love.
The financial situation
Where you stand financially will greatly influence many of your children’s experiences as they grow. It will determine where you live, the daycare and schools your children attend, as well as the people you socialize with. Providing your children with the best possible education is essential, so if your finances don’t cover the expenses of the desired schools, check if there is some form of financial help you can get in your area. For example, if you’re Australian, there are valuable girls’ scholarships that can give your kids the advantage they need for a successful education. If your children start noticing the difference between their financial status and that of their friends and develop the feeling of self-consciousness, talk to them and explain to them that money isn’t the most important thing in the world. Their kindness and empathy will always be more precious than anything that can be bought.
Photo by tam wai
Where you live
Another thing that influences your kids’ development and behavior is your home environment and the contact with their neighbors. Living in a household that’s noisy and overcrowded might limit the time you can devote to your little ones, which can lead to them finding other, not so positive ways of entertaining themselves. They can distance themselves from you emotionally, and even become introverted if they start shutting down against the noise that surrounds them. Take all the time your children need to be with them. If you can’t achieve this at home, think of a regular activity you can do together elsewhere. Also, make sure your child has somewhere where they can study without being interrupted. It’s important that they have a place they can relax and concentrate on their school projects and homework.
So, if the environment your cubs are growing up in isn’t ideal, do what you can to improve it. Keep the atmosphere at home a positive and loving one and be a good example for your young ones.
Cover Photo by Annie Spratt
About the author Claire Adams