How can I nurture my child and make sure that he or she feels loved? This is a great question, and the fact that you’re wondering about this, you know, tells me that you’re really concerned about your child’s emotional well being, which is important. The best way is to tell them and it’s just to let them know. And whether that’s with words or with non-verbal communication, like, appropriate touch or hug, would all be good ways to do that.
It’s also good to have boundaries, children actually often thrive with boundaries. Instead of having no limits, to have some healthy limits, that they know that Mom or Dad’s got this, they’ve got it covered. Trying to keep grown-up problems between grown-ups is a good thing as well so that the children aren’t made anxious by problems that they really can’t control and don’t really have any input in to.
So tell them, talk to them, and keep things on their level. Ask them questions about their life, “What do you think about this? How do you feel about that?” These sorts of questions will get them talking and get them engaged, and will be a good way to build good, long-term relationships.
Children need a lot of encouragement and support, and it can be done in ways that are really constructive. The important thing to focus on with kids for encouragement is to think about the process instead of the result. What I mean by that is, you know, if your child’s playing sports, talk about how they played. “Did you play well?” you know, “Did you have a good game?” You know, as opposed to the outcome, “Did you win or lose?”
You know, focus more on the process, you know, “Did you have fun? Did you enjoy it?” You know, “Did you play well?” you know, “Was your team working well together?” Focus on the process because that will show them that the…you know, it helps you learn because sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You know, everybody loses a game, and to help them learn to accept that and roll with it, and focus on the process, you know, even if they won, “Did you play well?” They may not have played well. Their team may have made, you know, some mistakes that can be corrected.
So, you know, you can always focus on the process and learn lessons from that, and that’s true not just in sports, but in school as well. You know, “Did you get a good grade or not?” Well, you know, we’re not all good at all classes, some classes are really just hard for some kids and they’re hard for some adults even later.
So…you know, but to focus on the effort and to focus on the attitude, you know, “Was it done in the right way?” Because if that’s in place, the results will come, and, you know, this is not to say that every kid gets a participation ribbon. But, you know, to say that, you know, to really focus on process over results would be a way to help your child to learn how to be resilient when faced with challenge or with, you know, the inevitable failures that come along in life.