Sally is the mother of Kokou who has just started school. When Sally is in a good mood she will play with Kokou, but when she is in a bad mood she won’t and often ignores him. Kokou becomes anxious, as he doesn’t know how to make his mum happy. When he grows up he finds it hard making good friendships. Sally knows Kokou hasn’t learnt lots of words at school yet. She uses only simple language with him, as she doesn’t want to say things that he can’t understand. Sally already knows what Kokou is learning in school so when Kokou tries to talk to Sally about it she is not interested. Kokou gets fewer opportunities to learn at home and so gets behind his classmates at school. He starts to think school is not important and doesn’t want to go.
YOUR ACTIONS AND BEHAVIOUR AS A PARENT IMPACT YOUR CHILD
Although Sally wanted to do what was best for her son, the way she acted had some negative effects on him. Over the years, people have discovered just how important positive parenting is for the development of children. The way that you act towards your child affects how your child will behave later on. Parenting continues to be important when your children go to school. It can be very difficult and tiring but there are a few simple things that can have huge positive effects on your child.
YOUR CHILD’S CONNECTION TO YOU TEACHES IT ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
Early on, children form a strong bond with you because they depend on you for everything. But even when they are older and start school they need to feel they have someone to rely on. Children use their connection with you to learn about how relationships work. So if it is strong then this means their future relationships, to friends and husbands or wives, are likely to be stronger and better.
Having a positive relationship is about being loving, and this means lots of contact and cuddles. But it is also important to behave in the same way towards your child, no matter if you are happy, sad, grumpy or just tired. Kokou didn’t know how to make his mum happy because she acted differently all the time, children need to feel safe and this comes from knowing how their parents will act. Even if this is simply knowing what makes their mum angry!
THE IMPORTANCE OF SHOWING INTEREST AND HELPING YOUR CHILD LEARN
When children go to school this doesn’t mean they stop learning things from their parents. It’s so important that you support their learning at home too. This can be as simple as talking to your child all the time. Even when they don’t understand everything you say, the more words they hear the faster they will learn them. Sally didn’t do this, because she didn’t realise that every time Kokou heard a word he didn’t understand it was a new opportunity for him to learn. Having a positive attitude to their education makes all the difference.
As children have a strong bond with you, they look to you to learn what is good or bad. So if your child sees you are interested in what they are doing at school they will think that school is important. The more you value school, the more they will too! And if they value their education then they will try harder and so they are likely to do better at school.
There is no one perfect way to be a parent, but there are things that parents can do to support their children to grow up healthily. So if you can: try to always act in the same way towards your child, speak to them as much as possible and show you are interested in their education.