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neglect, abandonment, violence and abduction ... these tragic
realities are what many children in America live with. Sadly,
violence and neglect towards children is nothing new ...
it is deeply rooted in cultural and religious values.
We must nurture our children ...it is one of the important
things we can do. A parents' love and caring determines
how a child grows up and how a child will eventually parent.
Adults can nurture children's positive self-esteem by helping
them discover what they are good at doing. Part of a child's
self esteem comes from feeling competent and skilled at
something they enjoy. By creating opportunities for children
to explore different objects, activities, and people ...
and nurturing those interests, you can play a big role in
helping children to be successful and feel good about themselves.
The early years are when children show personality traits
and preferences for what they like and dislike. By planning
opportunities with children's unique personality styles
in mind, you nurture their positive feelings about themselves.
Nurturing children, building a loving and caring relationship
is not always easy. With patience and love – you can
• Treat each child according to their needs.
• Every child needs parents who can notice and appreciate
their special qualities. When siblings are involved,
trying to treat each equally usually backfires
and undermines children's individuality.
• Focus attention whenever possible, avoiding distractions.
If children want to interact at a time when you cannot be
fully attentive, let them know and schedule a time for conversation
and/or play when you can focus entirely on them. Children
usually know when adults are only half-listening and can
feel frustrated, unheard, and at times even unloved when
this happens. Listening to children with your full attention
helps strengthen their sense of importance and gives the
message that you really want to hear what they are thinking
• Listen sensitively, avoid (too much) questioning,
and describe the situation.
• Children will usually shut down emotionally when
parents bombard them with questions. They feel
on the spot and pressured when adults probe and inquire
too much about their day. Describing the situation is a
neutral and non-intrusive approach that leaves
room for children to respond in their own way.
• Use "I" messages and try to avoid blaming
and accusations. This will allow you to express
your feelings about a particular behavior without attacking
your child's character or self-esteem.
• Set limits that are appropriate to children's age,
temperament and stage of development.
When parents have limited time with their children, they
may tend to let things go and not set reasonable and necessary
limits. Children need to know that you – their parent
or caregiver have the interest, energy and authority to
set appropriate standards for behavior and the skills to
Start traditions that feel comfortable and fit your parenting
style and financial resources. Traditions provide children
with an important sense of belonging. They don't have to
be elaborate in order to be fun or memorable. The most important
thing you can do to start a new tradition (or continue an
old one) is whatever feels comfortable and enjoyable for
both the parents and children. Traditions are also important
for teaching children about--and centering them in their
Take care of yourself so that you have energy and enthusiasm
available for your children. It can be hard to find a balance
between meeting your children's needs and making time for
yourselves. It is important for you to find appropriate
outlets for your feelings of stress, responsibilities, etc.,
and you need some 'down' time to pursue your own interests
or just to unwind. Most parents find that even a short break
from children can make a positive difference in the way
Parents need to fulfill themselves as parents, in their
parenting roles, and also as individuals with interests
outside the family. They need to go places on their own,
and to do some things just for themselves. Then parents
return to their children refreshed.
When you're stressed:
• Try to resolve situations before they escalate.
• Take time out.
• Call someone and express how you're feeling. Ask
them to come over and stay with the kids for
• Count to 10 and think, "What do I really want
to accomplish here?
• Hit a pillow to release your frustrations
• Play music
• Remember how much you love your child and think
about the best way to show that to your child.
Keep your children safe, no matter what!
The best way to keep children safe is to keep them from
getting hurt in the first place. Many parents who do cause
harm to their children don't mean to do it. If a parent
was neglected or abused as a child, it may be that much
harder to change to a more constructive behavior with their
own kids. There is an abundance of support and information
available to help parents accomplish raising healthy and
safe children. There are many ways to successfully manage
a child's behavior. When adults learn to rely on constructive,
non-hurtful parenting, both parent and child feel better
about themselves. Positive parenting approaches help the
whole family to thrive. These approaches can be seen in
other aspects of their lives as well. Parents even do better
at work and their children are more successful in school.
There are two types of childhood experiences:
• Positive experiences that build strong character
and a sense of self-worth and that model a nurturing
• Negative experiences that engulf children in parenting
models of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and
The best parenting comes from parents who create an environment
that produces experiences that affect the growth of the
individual child. The nurturing parent uses a nurturing
touch, empathy, empowerment, and unconditional love to ensure
the overall health of their child.
Abusive parents who use hitting, belittling, neglecting
basic needs, and other actions that lower an individual's
sense of self-worth ...or worse, have a negative impact
on the health of their child.
Child abuse has a detrimental impact on a child's self-image,
giving them feelings of low self-esteem, which impacts how
they will treat others. Children who value themselves and
treat themselves with respect show the same behavior toward
others. The connection between self-worth and the worth
of others is critical in child abuse prevention. Nurturing
has been proven to be a positive influence on a child's
self-image and self-worth.
Child abuse is the result of poorly trained adults who as
parents and caregivers, try to instill discipline and educate
children with the same violence that they themselves experienced
as children ...because that's all they know.
Parenting is learned in childhood and repeated when children
become parents. The experiences children have while growing
up, have a significant impact on the attitudes, skills,
and parenting practices they will use with their own children.
What is learned can be unlearned and anyone and everyone
can learn good parenting skills. Even parents who are overwhelmed,
or alone. The first three years of your child's life are
crucial. Those are the years that your child will develop
significant intellectual, emotional and social abilities.
That's when they learn to give and accept love. They learn
confidence, security, and empathy ... they learn to be curious
and persistent ... everything your child needs to learn
to relate well to others, and lead a happy and productive
life. The first three years are the doorway to forever!
Nurturing children is about the way we love them ...the
way we bring them up. A parent's love is our children’s
destiny. It's the legacy we give them.
Love Our Children for the way we live today.
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