It is inevitable that your child will grow up to become somebody totally different from the way you anticipated. Hence, it may be difficult for new parents to cope with the growing changes in their children. Here are 7 tips for accepting your kids just the way they are and learning how to embrace them.
7 tips to accepting your kids the way they are
1 – Foster a sense of belonging for your children
Your child may look a lot like you, but that does not mean that their character and personality will be like yours too. Parents have to learn to accept their kids the way they are. Your extroverted personality may not understand why your toddler is crying at social gatherings. A rock climber will expose their child to rock climbing at a young age without considering other sports or interests. The thing is, our kids are not like us, they develop their own interests and build their character as they grow up. Parents’ role is to be accepting and inclusive of their child’s character. This way, you are fostering a sense of belonging for your children, allowing them to always feel like a part of the family.
2 – Accepting your kids and Nurturing their interests
Though your child’s interest may not be similar to yours, you will need to learn to find a way to nurture your child’s interest and let them feel safe to explore their passion. Not all children will have a typical interest and it can be difficult to grasp for adults too. Parents should avoid putting their child’s interests down by feeling embarrassed or attempting to correct their interests by redirecting them to other things. This will only may your child feel distant and unsafe to turn to you. Parents should instead, encourage their children and listen to and understand their child’s interests.
3- Take time to understand your children’s mindset and personality
Your child may have a quirky and unique personality as they grow up, maybe something you have never expected to happen. However, as parents, you have the responsibility to take care of your child’s well-being no matter how unique they are. It is crucial that parents establish a strong rapport with children to create a safe space for them to voice their opinions and thoughts. Parents should listen to their children, learn to ask them for opinions, and share their own struggles with their children. It can help your child to feel comforted that they are a part of your life as much as you are in theirs which will help you to understand their mindset and character more as you allow them to think and speak.
4 – Be realistic and let go of high expectations and dreams
It is important to know that your child is unique and expectations and dreams are not fixed. If you are aware that your child has difficulty in academics, setting unrealistic and high expectations for your child in school will only result in your disappointment and hurt their self-esteem and confidence. Both of which are not good for you and your child’s relationships. Instead, learn to set realistic expectations and goals according to your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise, let your child live their own lives, they will be able to eventually navigate their way into the world and their life, and sometimes all you need to do is be there for them.
5 – Listen to your child’s opinions and thoughts
Let your child speak their mind at home. When you allow your child to have a chance and a say in the household, your child will feel included and create a stronger bond with the family. You can also take the chance to understand the way your child thinks and feels. This is also a golden opportunity to let them know that their thoughts and feelings are validated and considered in the family. Parents need to listen to their children sometimes for them to grow and for parents to gain a deeper understanding of their children.
6 – Look for strengths behind your child’s weaknesses
Just like any one of us, children also have strengths and weaknesses and the ability to break through. As a parent, you must help guide your child to realize their strengths and potentially help them to break through.
Parents should learn to embrace their child’s weaknesses and help them to find strength in their weaknesses. For example, a parent may try their best to change their child who is stubborn, but an accepting parent will earn to realize that their stubbornness is not necessarily a red flag, as stubbornness can also be a great asset and be of the value to them throughout their life. What parents need to focus on is, controlling their stubbornness and persistence.
7 – Let go of your own fears
Our children are growing daily, and as much as we wish they would stay the same, they will one day grow up. Parents need to learn to let go of their fears and let their children take charge of their own as they grow up. One of the greatest gifts parents can give to their children as they grow up is acceptance. Accepting your kids the way they are and trusting that they can take care of themselves is one great gift for your kids. Your fears as a parent can hinder your child’s life and hurt your relationship. Hence, parents need to learn to take a step back and watch their children live the life they want.
Learn to decode your child’s behavioral signals
If you find that your child is acting up on little things, such as throwing a big tantrum at small matters or acting in a way they have never before, you may need to pay extra attention. There is always a chance that there is a deeper reason why your child threw such a big tantrum or was extremely aggressive. Chances are, these reasons for behavior do not go away when they get older, they only get more complex. Hence, parents need to address such issues when they are still young and find a solution as soon as possible.