Cherish their childhood. It only comes once.
I always say that parenting is a learning process. I’m raising my first child and at first you need all the help you can get from your parents or relatives. I’d like to share about positive ways to help nurture your preschooler. I’m no expert. There’s no standard recipe of good parenting. Love dictates us to do what’s right for our children. I live by the values my parents taught me growing up. It has helped me now that I’m a parent and I want to impart them to my daughter and my future kids.
- Nurture your child’s love of books.
Read to her whenever you can before bedtime or naptime. Take her to the bookstore or library. Growing up with two younger brothers, I can still recall how fun it was when my mother was telling or reading us stories. My mum would even make up her own stories. Oh, how I loved Hansel and Gretel! This time, I tell my Mikheila stories where she’s the main character or even part of the story. You can make believe. I let her choose the color she likes for the princess gown or the glass slipper. Encourage her to tell stories with you. When reading Cinderella to her, I mimic the voices of the characters. Reading out loud will help our kids learn new words and how to pronounce them.
Books! Books! Books!
- Let your child help with the household chores.
See how their faces brighten up when you ask them for help on small chores. Remember, safety should be a first priority. Whenever I make pancakes, she wants to help me mix the batter. I make sure that she’s not standing on a stool while mixing. Avoid accidents. She’s seated on a chair while she stirs away.
Kids love to take their toys out and play. Teach kids to clean after themselves. Make sure to ask them to keep their toys once they’re done playing. Next thing you know, you don’t have to remind them.
- Encourage your child to play with other children.
Teach them the value of sharing and friendship. Being around other kids will let them discover that to get around you have to build friendship even if it means sharing your favorite toy. At first, our only child was very assertive. Take note, not shy. Being an only child, she likes to be the center of attention. Show her that it’s okay to say hi or hello. That’s right. Let’s lead by example. Say good morning or simply say hi to your neighbours.
There were small fights and crying over toys. Now, she gets by with other children. Although at times, she still likes to be the leader. I take her to the Day Care and she spends 2 hours a day learning with other kids. Once or twice a week, I find opportunities for her to have some sun time and interact with the neighbours’ kids.
- Help your child develop good language skills.
Speaking to her in complete sentences and using “grown up” words will enhance their self expression and diction. Help her to use the correct words and phrases. Make sure to correct her right away when she happens to jumble her words or uses incorrect grammar.
Our household is multilingual. We speak 3 languages in the house. I come from the South so I have the ability to speak in Cebuano (spoken language in Cebu). My partner is from Cavite. His native tongue is Filipino or Tagalog (spoken language in Manila). What’s often used at home is the English language. Just lately, we talk to her in Tagalog. When she was younger, we fear that she might not learn to speak due language confusion. Her “default” language is English. When she started joining kids at a nearby day care center, she has to adjust since Tagalog is taught and used along with English.
Thanks to MDCC, she now learns to interact with other kids and improve her Tagalog.
- Let your child make a choice.
Let her decide what to wear, what to eat for snack, when to play, etc. Provide choices to your child. Letting her wear what she likes shows that you respect her opinion. Most 3 to 4-year olds are assertive and wants a grasp on control. It doesn’t have to be a daily struggle between you two. Let them decide on their own but with proper guidance. Teach them what’s appropriate and explain to them what’s healthy and good for them. Explain what you expect from them. Remember not to underestimate your child’s capacity to understand. Avoid saying No, Stop, Don’t, Bad, etc. You may use words like not good, and whenever you say no follow it up with what she should be doing instead. That way, she’s able to think for herself and make a choice.
She loves cupcakes!
She loves crayons!
Do you have tips or stories you’d like to share about parenting? We all have different ways of raising our kids. I’d love to hear yours. Post a comment below.