You might be wondering, “Can parenting truly have a heart?” The answer is yes—it does. Parenting possesses a core essence, a focal point, a realm of operation. Successfully nurturing a child to fulfill their destined potential becomes more achievable when we comprehend the foundation from which it operates. This heart of parenting is none other than understanding.
Parenting thrives when we grasp each stride we take toward our children. The truth is, understanding someone exemplifies the embodiment of love we hold for them. Most parents excel in loving their children, but translating this affection into practical understanding often poses challenges. As a parent, recognising that loving your children is an essential facet of your journey is significant. However, the pinnacle of fulfilment is reached when you truly comprehend your child. This insight empowers you to nurture their aspirations and capabilities, guiding you to provide the necessary resources for their future success.
Furthermore, it is evident that we are meant to love our children. Even the Bible advocates for mutual love and submission, encompassing our relationships with our children. However, love isn’t the initial step in parenting.
Certain parents are driven by their love for their children to ensure all their basic needs are met. However, the absence of a deeper connection mars their presence in their children’s lives. Here lies a fundamental truth—birthing a child is one thing, being a parent another. Have you ever questioned why contemporary society experiences increasing deviancy and diminishing peace? Mahatma Gandhi once proclaimed, “To reach real peace in the world, we will have to begin with the children.”
Neglecting children’s needs has seeded numerous global disadvantages, chief among them being the inability to comprehend them. Never forget that if you truly desire to lead a life as a parent, understanding your children is paramount. Some parents inadvertently turn to verbosity due to a lack of understanding. Others experience depression triggered by their inability to grasp their children’s complexities. There are even instances where parents utter curses driven solely by their lack of comprehension.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILDREN—THE KEY FOR PARENTS
Who is your child to you? What defines their temperament, likes, and dislikes? Are you equipped with answers to these crucial questions? Did you know some children cannot bear rebuke? For these children, rebuke stifles their developmental potential. Consequently, understanding alternative forms of correction that encourage growth becomes crucial. Rebuke or insults should never be relied upon as tools for correction.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILD:
- Observe: Familiarise yourself with your child’s world through attentive observation. Being present during their play, observing their reactions, interactions, and mannerisms provides invaluable insights into their personality.
- Be Your Child’s Confidant: Assure your child of your unwavering presence whenever they seek it. This foundation builds security, love, and a sense of belonging, encouraging them to confide in you.
- Invest Quality Time: Mere presence is insufficient; quality time matters. Engaging in shared activities such as playing games, cooking, and tidying spaces together strengthens your bond.
- Celebrate Accomplishments: Praise for achievements elevates self-esteem. Yet, excessive praise can foster arrogance.
- Listen: Active listening unveils layers of your child’s world. By embracing their stories, you reinforce your connection and forge a strong bond.
Embracing these practices and others will deepen your understanding of your children, fostering growth within you as a parent.
Remember that understanding your children requires recognising their source—God. Consult Him without hesitation when navigating your interactions with your children. Always bear in mind that within your family, you represent God to your children. As you integrate and apply these truths within your home, a transformative evolution awaits.
Written by Tonnie Baffoe (Ekroful District, Agona Swedru District