New parents, veteran parents, confident parents, insecure parents–calling ALL parents with kids of all ages—this post is parenting 101. No matter how long you’ve been parenting, there’s never a better time to lay the foundations in your children than NOW.
If your child is still in diapers, start laying the foundations.
If your child is in elementary school, start laying the foundations with much more intentionality.
If your child is in high school, and you’ve not been laying these foundations, the task may be harder, but it’s better that you start now than say it’s too late and give up altogether.
What exactly do I mean when I say “foundations”?
Foundations are the basis or the groundwork of anything. These are the things you want your child to know first and foremost. If your child is grounded in these four areas, they will have the strong foundation they need to make decisions in life when you are not around to guide them.
Your child needs to know
They are loved unconditionally.
This may be a no-brainer to most parents, but what often happens is that parents who deeply love their children are not necessarily filling their kids’ love tanks because they are not speaking their child’s love language. Do you know what your child’s love language is? If not, I would strongly encourage you to read the book on the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
Knowing how to speak your child’s love language can literally change the dynamic in your home as your child’s love tank is filled.
If you’d like to know more about my introductory coaching program on learning your child’s love language, schedule a free call here.
They have a compass.
What will guide your child’s choices when you are not around to help them make decisions? What will be the inner voice guiding them?
Every child needs a compass. A truth north. That compass may be the family core values that you establish in your home. It may be a faith that you teach them. It may be boundaries that you set up as a family.
You decide what that compass needs to be and then you teach and guide your children to use that compass.
When they are faced with tough decisions that could literally change the direction of their lives, they will know where to turn to guide their choices.
They know how to communicate.
I don’t believe I never met a family where people struggled to talk, but I’ve met lots of families where they were failing to truly communicate.
Communication is not just about talking. It involves active listening, paying full attention, asking questions that show interest, asking questions that encourage kids to share their thoughts and perspectives, and it often involves NOT saying the first thing that comes to your mind.
Teaching your child to communicate is really not very hard. You simply have to practice it for them to learn it.
What is your child learning from watching you communicate?
If you would like to improve your family communication, learn more about my introductory coaching program aimed at improving your family’s ability to communicate. Schedule a free call here.
They know how to love others.
Expressing love to your child so that they know they are loved is one side to the coin; the other side of the coin is teaching your children how to love others. Kids who don’t feel loved have a harder time sharing
Raising compassionate kids is not rocket science. If you are practicing what you want them to learn, they will pick it up.
If your child knows how to love others, they will know how to respect others, how to share, how to work with others, and how to care for others.
How Strong are Your Child’s Foundations?
Building foundations in children takes intentionality. I’ve never seen a house being built where workers winged it and accidentally ended up with a beautiful home. They followed detailed plans and so must you if you want to raise successful children.
I recently read that Kim Kardashian’s secret to parenting was this: You just have to wing it.
I’m sorry, Kim, but I will have to disagree with your strategy. Flexibility is important, yes, but winging it as a parenting game plan does not usually have the best results.
If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time. What are you aiming for in your parenting?