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Giving Your Kids The Best Possible Start

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When your baby is born and you’re filled with all the love in the world, you can’t help but picture how their lives are going to pan out. You can’t wait to see what your little minion will become, and just how happy they’ll be along the way. As soon as we know we’re going to be parents, our own lives are put on hold for almost eternity and their priorities become our sole objectives. We want nothing but the best for them, and we won’t rest until they get it.

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It’s not a complete cakewalk, though. We can’t just expect our kids to enter the world and soak up information as soon as it’s presented to them. Perhaps there are some super geniuses out there that can do so, but we aren’t all like that, unfortunately. They need to be guided in life, even at a tender age, if they’re to grow up and hit fabulous heights. Let’s go through some ways you can give your child the best start in life.

ENCOURAGEMENT

When you complete a task or if you’re struggling to complete one, how do you prefer your hard work to be received? A positive reaction would be great, huh? Being yelled at or told a bunch of negative stuff when all you did was try your hardest can really knock you down. When they’re working away at something – anything – try to dish out some positive reinforcement so that they can build some confidence.

LOOKING AFTER THEIR HEALTH

Whenever they complain about their health, it’s easy just to check their temperature, tell them to go and rest, and to give them a glass of water before sending them away. Children often cry wolf a lot, after all. However, not paying attention to their complaints could be pivotal. It could be a small complaint about their ears: taking them to get a hearing exam could save a lot of issues further down the line. You’re obviously not a neglectful parent, but it’s very easy to take shortcuts when you’re fairly rundown.

SETTING AN EXAMPLE

They look up to you as the greatest human in the world – well, maybe superheroes and stuff like that are number one, but you get the point. They will almost mimic your every move as they’ll want to be just like you. They think what you do is correct one-hundred percent of the time. Make sure you’re behaving yourself when you’re around them.

LETTING THEM EXPRESS THEMSELVES

All too often, we are seeing kids being told to follow the status quo and not be themselves. There are a lot of parents that want to keep children in a traditional role to be as ‘normal’ as possible. If your children are a bit unorthodox or different, let them be their authentic selves. Stifling their personalities will make them lose their self-confidence and esteem as they grow.

HELPING WITH SCHOOL

Finally, and this is another simple suggestion: making sure they’re tended to in terms of their learning. Whether they’re super smart or if they don’t really care one way or another about school, they must learn something new every day. Make sure you stay on top of their studies as they’ll be too interested in other distractions and there are plenty of distractions!

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Successful Black Parenting is proud to announce that we are bringing our readers more researched-based content written by the members of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) RESilience Initiative, which provides resources to parents and caregivers for promoting the strength, health, and well-being of children and youth of color. We will also feature their members who have contributed articles to Successful Black Parenting on our BackTalk podcast. Learn more about the RESilience Initiative at www.apa.org/res.

THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION'S (APA) RESilience Initiative