Nurture Kids – 13 Surefire Ways to Develop Your Child’s Life Skills

nurture kids

Nurture Kids?  How do I nurture my kids is a basic parenting question that nearly every parent asks.  Nurturing your kids involves ensuring their physical health, emotional health and also reassuring them of your affection and protection.  Additionally, It’s great way to help your kids hone their life skills.

It’s easy to overestimate or underestimate kid’s skills & abilities.  As such, you have to be careful how you nurture kids and your attempts to identify and develop their skills & skill level.  To help you get started, below are 13 tips on how to equip your kid with crucial life skills and keep your sanity in the process:

nurture kids1. Create a Schedule and Stick To It.
It’s not easy to work, nurture kids, care for a family, maintain a home, possibly hold down a full-time job and take care of yourself all at the same time.  However, it helps if you have a plan and a regular schedule.  The best way to manage all of this is to create a simple daily routine.  Start with simple things:  wake up, eat breakfast, and go to sleep as close to the same time every day as you can.   As your kids grow, devote regular times for playing and studying with them. Building and using this type of daily routine will help you manage more complex schedules and is the first step in teaching your kids about time & task management.

2. Let Your Child Make Mistakes and Correct Them As Needed.
Children, being the inexperienced human beings that they are, are bound to make mistakes … just like you did when you were a kid.  You don’t nurture kids by expecting them to be perfect and kids mistakescertainly not by holding their mistakes against them … or by making them feel stupid for making the mistake in the first place. You don’t nurture kids by trying to protect them from themselves, let them fail.

The thing to remember is that mistakes are a “teaching” opportunity.  If you handle this properly, your child will have an extremely healthy attitude about failure and how to learn from it.  They will “grow” from their mistakes and not feel diminished by them. After making a mistake, one of the best ways to nurture kids and apply this is to ask you kids a simple question when they make a mistake …. ask; “What Did You Learn?”   Then be quiet and let them speak.  You’ll be amazed.

3. Remember To Compliment Good Behavior
compliment kidsOne of the more common parenting mistakes is highlighting bad behavior and remain silent when observing good behavior.  Many parents are quick to speak out when they see a mistake. Remember  phrases like “How many times do I have to tell you”  does not nurture kids and likely does more harm that good.  We know it is not easy being a parent and teaching your child the “same lesson” many, many times.  But controlling your frustration is important.  Additionally, an overreaction on your part can cause your kids to lie a little, or a lot, as a way to avoid your anger.  The best way to nurture your kid’s good behavior is show it yourself. Aside from that, most importantly, recognize when your child does something good. Compliment that behavior.  This will bring balance to your parenting and let you kids know that you see and recognize the good things that they do.

4. Be Respectful To Everyone (including your child).

respectful-parent
Dad’s Little Princess

When you nurture kids, you shouldn’t just watch “their” actions and words … because they are constantly watching yours.  So you have to be wary of your own words and actions as well.

If you want your kids to be respectful, learn to treat your child with respect as well.  Ask your kid’s opinions on things and don’t interrupt your child as he or she speaks.

Show your respect to others and greet people properly. Express your gratitude as often as possible. Apologize when you have to.  You should teach your child about such things through a heart-to-heart talks and most importantly, your behavior.

5. Expose Your Child To Local Events & To Your Community.
It’s important for your kids to experience being part of a community and not see their family as an “isolated unit” with little exposure to the world around it.  You can nurture kids by hosting small gatherings in your home, bring your child to neighborhood “kiddie party” or having them periodically attend day care or summer camp.  Go on a local outing with other parents and their kids to the zoo or a local museum.  Let your child learn about people other than those in his or her age range. Together with your kid, head to the market, church and park.   You can also simply ride a bike around your neighborhood and greet your neighbors.

choices6. Offer Choices And Let Your Child Decide.
Kids have their own minds and hearts. Whether you like it or not, there’ll be a time when your kids will want to make decisions.  As early as possible, nurture kids by letting them make choices that affect their lives.  Do they like going to the petting zoo, reading time at the library, going to summer camp?   Let them make a choice.  It will start to show them that they have some control over their lives and experience the feeling of exercising, and more importantly …. you “honoring”, their control.  VERY IMPORTANT:  When you give them a choice, you MUST honor their choice.  Don’t try and talk them out of it.  They won’t trust you if you do not honor your words.  Doing this helps create situations to train your child to consider choices & consequences before making a decision.

7. Encourage Your Child To Observe And Describe.
observe-blurredOne of the best ways to nurture kids is to let them explore. Allow your kids to observe his or her surroundings. Afterwards, ask questions regarding the things around him or her.

Allow your child to describe things the way he or she perceives them.

Even before your child attends preschool, you can teach her about sizes, shapes, colors and numbers 0-10 and also describe “experiences.”  What did they like about day care or summer camp? That way, you can help him or her describe things in a more detailed way.

8. Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks To Your Child.
Nurture kids by giving them manageable tasks. Putting one’s toys in a box is a task that even a toddler can do.  Kids as young as seven years old can already help in the kitchen and dining table. They can also wipe counters and desks, make their beds, and pick up trash.  Doing such things helps your child develop the life skills of maintaining an organized living, keeping things clean and also experience the satisfaction of doing a job well.  They can learn that work is a part of life and can be a satisfying experience.

9. Keep Healthy Snacks Within Your Child’s Reach.
fruitsIn line with hint #8, nurture kids by asking them to help you pick out healthy snacks when you go to the grocery store or market.  Place them in the lower or middle shelf of your fridge so the kids can reach them on their own.  Keep the nuts on a container on the kitchen counter or the living room’s center table.

Finally, cooking with your kids is great fun and a way to show them how to save money and make healthy snacks.  Also, slice fruits and put them in small containers in your refrigerator so they are easily available.

10. A Place For Everything & Everything In Its Place.
organizedKids aren’t likely to be organized if they see you being disorganized and they’re frequently exposed to a cluttered home.  If they don’t see you keeping it organized and clean, they won’t see how you do it and they won’t think that it’s important.  It really helps nurture kids if you keep an organized home and let your kid feel how comforting that is.  With an active playful child at home, maintaining a clean home is tough.  Yet, you can minimize potential clutter by encouraging your kids to pick up things and return them where they are usually kept.  It helps a lot if you have a “place” for things … then you can tell your kids that toys are kept “here”, books are kept “here”, bikes are kept “here” … and when you are done playing with them they should be returned before you get the next toy. Such training will take time but it will make your life much easier and your home well-organized.

11.Bond By Reading Together.
reading-bedtimeRead to your kids on a daily basis before they can read is a great way to nurture kids.  I would always read to my daughters at bedtime.  It was a wonderful way to help then settle-down and get ready to go to sleep..  I also discovered that they would memorize the lines from their favorite books by hearing them.. As they got older, they would start to recognize words by following along as I read to them  I would hold up the book so they could see the words and pictures.  You should have started reading to nurture baby when he or she was still in the womb. If you haven’t done so, it’s never too late to start you can still begin today.  Finally, reading is an essential life skill and we have discovered a program that delivers stunning results.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

12. Introduce Different Perspectives.
perspectivesBeing open-minded is an important life skill.  You can nurture kids by helping them learn to appreciate different points of view.  You can help your child see things from varying viewpoints by asking questions starting with… “some people think” … then state the perspective/opinion … then ask them “what they think” about that.   For instance, when you’re reading, ask your kid what he or she might do if he or she were the main and supporting characters.  Or in the car when you hear breaking news, you can ask their opinion about the breaking news item.

13. Teach Them About Money: Spending & Saving.
spending-savingIn the future, your kids are likely to use credit & debit cards, Iphones & digital cash more often than real cash.

To help them get started saving, you can get a piggy bank for your youngster when it’s age-appropriate.

Encourage your kids to fill it using the money you give them every once in a while or the change they get from relatives … (remember tip #10)  Once it’s filled, let your kids decide how to use that money (rule #6).

Nurturing your children is enjoyable and challenging. Training your child & arming them with important life skills is a key part of that nurturing effort.   As a parent of two girls, I learned that as I was teaching them, they were teaching me about how I could become a more effective human being.

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