|photo from health-family.net|
By Lynn Wariara, Author of How To Get The Best Out Of Your Nanny
As we share love in this special month, (Valentine’s Day was yesterday), it’s very important, as parents and caregivers to give love to the little one's that surround us. Love is a medicine like no other; it promotes good health, joy and confidence. Smother your little ones with lots of kind hugs and kisses, I have found out that it helps tremendously with their psychological growth. Not only that, studies have shown that children who are shown love in their lives tend to have a more positive outlook on life, lead healthier lives and have a more improved memory, characteristics that are vital for a child to grow into.
Encourage the child in your care daily, use kind words and avoid harsh responses towards the child. Positive words encourage the child to have a positive point of view in later in life. Its been proven that the first two years of any child 's life has a dramatic psychological effect on the decisions the child makes as an adult. Take time to praise and let them know you appreciate them. I often let the girl I care for know that I appreciate her for listening and praise her for it. Positive parenting/care taking produces positive behavior.
Learn to listen to their needs, children need to know that they are being and can be heard, don't treat a child like their opinion does not matter. When you allow the child to know that they can be heard, it then creates a safe place for them to express themselves. They will know that they can come to you without the fear of being rejected and they can feel free to express themselves without the fear of negative judgment.
Tell them you love them and why you love them. Point out special characteristics about them that make them unique and loved. Express that you care. Some older children tend to be aware of certain flaws about themselves, but your duty as the parent or guardian are charged to build up their self-esteem. For example, I once cared for a girl who was born with a black mark on her finger. As she grew older, she begun to be conscious of it and would talk about it in a negative manner. I told her it was a beauty mark and its because her hands were so pretty so it had to be marked as one of the prettiest finger in the world so that whoever was looking for the prettiest fingers could find it because it was marked. Her face glowed with self-confidence.
Never drop off a child at school upset without letting them know you love them. I know that school mornings can sometimes be stressful especially when you are trying to get everyone out of the house on time, but NEVER drop him or her off without showing them how much you still love and appreciate them. Life is short and tomorrow can never be promised.
So with all that said, practice love with your little one, I promise you, it will make a huge positive impact in their lives.