Getting the balance right as a parent is never easy. You want your child to grow up to be as smart, strong and happy as they could possibly be, as every parent does, but you’ve no idea how to best go about achieving that. Sometimes it can seem that being the fun parent who encourages creativity and messing around is the best route to take, but then you worry about whether your little one will make it in the brutal, real world. However, sometimes you consider being a strict parent who encourages intense learning and removes distractions, but then you worry about your child being unhappy and unfulfilled in life.
The key to good parenting is to teach and not preach. Much like everything in life, moderation is the answer, and you shouldn’t be forcing your child to go out and have fun or stay in and work hard; you should be teaching them about the merits of both elements of life. You should be guiding your child towards answers for themselves because the most important lesson we can teach the next generation is how to independently think. If you’re not sure how to get the balance between fun and seriousness, here are some tips for teaching your kids without preaching your word as if it was the law.
Find out what they love.
Instead of forcing what you think is the best route on your child, you should be harnessing their existing talents. Find out your kid’s passions because it’s far easier to help guide your child towards a secure and happy future when it’s a future they want. They might be young and their skill might not be fully formed yet, whether they’re talented at drawing or simply remembering historical facts, but if it’s something they deeply care about, then they’ll want to further themselves and improve their skillset.
This is where you should be stepping in to help teach them as the parent. You shouldn’t be preaching about the things you think they should be focusing on, as you might send your child down a path that doesn’t suit them and draw their focus away from the thing in which they actually had talent and potential. Don’t worry if they’re not displaying a genius level of talent right now. It’s okay for them to make mistakes, as long as they’re improving. Support your child’s passions, as you never know what they might blossom into.
Make learning and growing fun.
Telling a child to learn about something is always going to earn you a frustrated expression, but guiding your child towards education through something fun and relaxing is a great way to help them grow naturally. This doesn’t always mean dragging them to a museum or making them write a novel. For example, looking into ride on toys for kids might help you find a fun bike or even a battery-powered mini car to teach your little one necessary motor skills whilst they still have fun. Education comes in many forms, and it doesn’t always have to be school-based academia. You could set your child the task of budgeting the food you eat for the week, and see how they get on with adding everything up.
Teach them how to treat others.
This is another important one, as children follow by example. If you demonstrate kindness and affection to other people, your child will understand that this is the way people should be treated and learn to do so within their own interactions. Again, it’s not about preaching, but showing. Actions often speak louder than words, and your child will learn much more from seeing how you treat others than how you tell them they should treat others.