There is a growing body of evidence that authenticates the necessity of raising children in a positive home environment, but there are many parents who don’t realize exactly what this means. While we may feel like we are doing the right thing, there are times when we are operating under multigenerational family habits, which are hard to break. You remember your parents doing this, and so you do it with good intentions. After all, you turned out okay, didn’t you? Perhaps you did, and perhaps not.
1. What Went Wrong?
Do you ever feel as though you are not up to tasks you are given at work or find yourself feeling terrified of the prospect of failing? If so, chances are you were not raised in a positive home environment that encouraged you to become all that you can be. It may sound like a commercial for the U.S. Army, but in reality, every child deserves a right to do and be all that they can. Don’t make the same mistakes so many parents before you made. You really can learn to create a positive (and healthy!) home environment in which your kids can thrive.
2. Take Time to Spend Time with Your Kids
While you are trying your best to put food on the table, keep the house clean and organized and do all the things a parent should do, sometimes, you let those duties overtake what is really important to your children. A healthy, positive home environment should always be one in which you take time out to spend with the kids. Do something that is fun. Teach them a craft. Tell a joke now and then and when life is getting you down and you can’t think of anything to say, check out some funny picture quotes about life to share with your older kids.
3. Model Good Behavior
Some adults simply re-enact the behaviors of their parents and their parents before them. If you find yourself falling into some of the same traps as you noticed your parents being snared by, step back and look at what good behavior is in a parent. Instead of condemning your child for failing a math or science test, ask them what went wrong. It could be something you can help with, but also teach them how to fail graciously. Kids need to learn at a very young age that you win some and you lose some, so don’t expect perfection. This can quickly backfire on everyone involved!
4. Learning from Failure
Although you are doing your best to model good behavior, sometimes, failing can lead to a tremendous learning experience. Teach your kids that failing is an opportunity to grow. You can’t beat yourself over the head for making mistakes and it is okay to cry over spilled milk. However, it’s also important to pick yourself up and evaluate what went wrong. Some kids grow into adults with huge issues if they continue, even in adulthood, to seek perfection for fear of what their parents will think of them.
5. In the End – Give Them Unconditional Love
No, you can’t enable your children to do and say what they want in the name of unconditional love, but you can teach them that you will always be there for them. Find that balance between unconditional love and enabling. Let your kids learn from mistakes (and they will make more than a few!) but give them strength and encouragement to seek their own solutions. If they are not made to feel lacking in some way and that mom and dad will love them no matter what, chances are you will raise emotionally healthy adults.
A positive parent can be disappointed in their children without making them feel like failures. In the end, seek ways to foster a positive approach to life. You are, after all, their role model, so please be a living testimony they need to flourish.