Know what interests your child
When your child seems to pay rapt attention to an activity and carefully participates in it while enjoying it, then your child is interested in it. The long vacation is a good time for parents to find out what these interests may be.
A growing child at some point in his or her life shows interest in one activity or the other, which might produce a positive or negative reaction in the future, says Parenting enthusiast Nkem Adeniran-Adedokun and founder, First Time Mums Academy.
“Most children would want to show interest in what their parents or friends love so that they can be accepted or seen to be in the right path especially when they are not given the opportunity to express themselves.
If you make attempts to suppress it because it is not the prefect path you want for your child, that can lead the child to becoming withdrawn or stricken by with low self-esteem and lack of confidence in his or her abilities.”
Adeniran-Adedokun, who doubles as the Creative Head for Ninekay Maternity, said that it is very important as a parent or guardian to understand and intentionally observe those things your child or children would naturally want to do at all times.
That activity of interest is usually repeated at every given opportunity the child gets.
As a parent, you should start observing when he or she is a toddler because very active movements and behavioural patterns are established at this stage.
“For instance you notice that your child is very creative, wanting to put things together, fix things with little or no assistance or perhaps, loves to dance.
You might think it is what children do and you may be correct, but if that action occurs significantly often, then it should be encouraged positively.
As toddlers, let them play with puzzles, play materials they can assemble or redesign as the case may be, any activity to boost their interests and ability to reason.
“Allow them to explore but under supervision. As they grow older, buy books appropriate for their age(s).
Some children love to read but I think we should encourage all children to read.
Enroll them in dance classes, football academies, swimming lessons and the like.
This will help them develop life skills and take their attention away from anti-social tendencies.
“On the other hand, if these interests are negative as in being violent, having bullish traits or showing signs of covetousness which might develop to stealing, then you must step in and discourage those traits with explanations of the dangers that they bear.”
She noted that a child would naturally want to know why he or she shouldn’t be allowed to do certain things. They are very inquisitive and gullible.
It is your duty to let them know why they should not and all the possible outcomes of going ahead to do such things without your knowledge.
Don’t ever leave them wondering why because they end up receiving wrong counsel from peers or mischievous adults.
“Although some of these interests might change as they grow older, never let your child feel it has been a waste of time. Encourage the newfound positive interest and nurture it.
It is better they made an attempt which enables them learn from their mistakes and make amends. All your child needs to excel is to know that you are his or her greatest cheerleader.
Be sincere about it because they can sense the difference.
Intentionally go the extra mile to see that this interest turns into a fulfilled dream.
“Finally, in all that you do, encourage your child to also have a sound educational background.
Let them know the importance of going to school, why education is important and how it is can further enhance their skills and interests,” Adeniran-Adedokun added.
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