9 April 2024

What do children need most from their parents?

What do children need most from their parents?

Parenting in 2024 is a daunting and difficult task to say the least. Parents are bombarded with information about “how to do it right” or at least “how to do it better.” You only need a quick check-in on Instagram for a flood of reels, pictures and opinions about why you’re getting it all wrong. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the information that is so easily available to us. This information has the ability to make or break our days, to make us feel guilty as a parent and under qualified as a teacher.

In the real world of parenting, there is no universal manual, no “one size fits all” guide. No one has the same set of circumstances as you do. And there is no textbook child. These are vital truths to remember as we navigate the tricky waters of bringing up the next generation.

However, there are some fundamental truths, timeless basics that can help us stay the course.

  • Let them know that they are loved unconditionally.
    At the heart of every child’s development, lies the profound need for unconditional love. Unconditional love for our children develops their sense of security and self-worth. It provides a sanctuary where children feel accepted, valued and cherished for who they are. This in turn fosters resilience and emotional well-being.

  • Give them the gift of your time.
    In our fast-paced world, which is filled with distractions, the gift of your undivided attention holds immeasurable value for your children. Children actually crave meaningful interactions with their parents, time that is uninterrupted by screens and devices. Spending quality time engaged in activities with your children created a bond that will stand the test of time. Make time to spend with them, doing things that are important to them. The investment of your time tells your children that they are your top priority. Something they need to know!

  • They might not like it, but children need boundaries.
    While love forms the foundations, boundaries and guidance shape the contours of a child’s character. Establishing clear expectations and limits instills a sense of safety and structure, which in turn fosters a sense of self-discipline and accountability. By providing boundaries and guidance, you are empowering your children to navigate the complexities of their world with confidence and resilience.

  • Build bridges through open communication.
    Open communication if the lifeblood of any relationship. Your relationship with your children is no different. Open communication with your children bridges the gaps between generations. As the adult in the home, you need to create and environment where open dialogue thrives, you need to lay the foundations for mutual respect and understanding. By actively listening to your children you are paving the way for meaningful conversations, which in turn allows your children to trust you with whatever is going on in their world.

  • Lead by example.
    There’s an age old saying which goes like this, “children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” Children learn more by watching our actions, than they ever will by listening to what we say. As the most important role models in your child’s life, you wield incredible power to shape their moral compass and character. By modelling characteristics like integrity, empathy, honesty and kindness, you inspire your children to embody these same virtues.

  • Teach them to work hard and persevere.
    More and more, young people today seem to have inborn expectations of success. As parents we need to actively teach our children the value of hard work. We know that in the real world, life isn’t handed to you on a silver platter. You have had to work hard to achieve what you have. Our children need to learn the same work ethic. By learning to appreciate their hard work as a part of the process, children can develop a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. They will learn to keep trying and never give up.

  • Your children are not your trophy!
    As parents we are constantly bombarded with social media posts telling us how wonderful other peoples children are. It starts from the day they are born. There appears to be an unwritten competition about who crawls first, who gets their teeth first, who speaks first. And as the children grow older, this competition becomes about who got into which school, who got academic colours, who made the golf championships, who became a prefect and so on. It’s madness! Children are children. They are not miniature trophies for us to show the world what good parents we are. Our children are not here so that we can achieve all that we missed out on in our own childhoods. Our children are a gift for us to love and nurture.

In the symphony of parenthood, there are no perfect performances, but there are many heartfelt efforts to nuture and support the next generation. While the world around us changes rapidly, the timeless essence of what children truly need from their parents remains unchanging. The embrace of unconditional love, the gift of presence, the guidance of boundaries, the warmth of open communication, the integrity of leading by example, and the encouragement to work hard and persevere that form the mosaic of a nurturing parent-child relationship. As we embrace these essential ingredients, we lay the groundwork for a future where every child thrives, empowered by the love and support of their parents.

About the Author: Tanya McCarthy

The Turning Point Education partners with families through their educational journeys. It is owned and managed by a qualified and experienced teacher who is passionate about children’s academic success. Our mission and vision is to provide the best educational support and to make a difference in every child we work with.

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