Most parents feel that each of their children is unique. It should come as no surprise then, that there has been growing recognition among researchers that children with different temperaments and interests respond better to different parenting styles. A more individualised approach to child-raising is thus required.
Try out some of these unique parenting tips aimed at fostering a more collaborative, responsive relationship with your child and caters to your child’s individual needs and interests.
Learn a New Skill with Your Child
Explore an activity that is new to both of you and experience the joy of learning a new skill together. Take baking classes together, carry out simple science experiments, have a weekly museum day, or go on regular walks around your neighbourhood, the beach or the park. Doing an activity together, especially one that allows both of you to learn something new, helps strengthen the emotional bonds between parent and child. For busy parents juggling work and child-raising, setting aside an hour or two a week exclusively for time with your child helps ensure that you spend adequate time with your child each week.
Collaborate on Something Creative
American artist Mica Angela Hendricks found a fun, creative way to introduce her child to her professional work. She draws faces in her sketchbook, allows her daughter to complete the drawing and then adds the finishing touches. The result is a collaborative work of art that both parent and child can be proud of.
Even if you are no artist, play to your own talents and interests, and find a way to help your child get to know more about you while learning a new skill. If you play the guitar, form a family “band”, and write a song with your child. Let your child choose a theme, write the lyrics together, set the song to music, and perform the song together for the whole family.
Build their confidence while introducing them to your life – they might just follow in your footsteps.
Let Your Child Plan a Day Out
If your child wants to go to the zoo, encourage your child to plan the whole outing. You can help by sharing information such as how far the zoo is, providing links to brochures and internet resources as well as days and times when you can accompany them. Let your child take charge and plan the outing. Encourage your child by asking them questions such as: “Which animals would you want to see first? Where should we stop for lunch? What shows and special exhibits should we plan to see?” Giving your child some responsibility shows that you trust them, while simultaneously helping them develop critical life skills such as planning and organisation.
Parenting styles should be unique to each child’s temperament and interest.
Modern parenting has a more collaborative approach; one set of rules does not fit all.
Parents can try out parent-child activities that give children a more active, decisive role.
Adapted from an article first published on the National Family Council Website.