Parenting is a journey filled with challenges and triumphs. In this wonderful yet demanding role, it's crucial to cultivate a positive mindset to effectively nurture our children's growth. Here are seven principles encapsulated in the acronym NURTURE that can serve as a guiding light to help you to respond rather than react.
These 7 fundamental truths will serve as a framework for a system of beliefs and reminders for you to adopt/adapt to help NURTURE your children’s growth to build a strong foundation so they are happy from the inside out.
The acronym NURTURE will help you to remember the 7 truths:
N - Notice
U - Unconditional Love
R - Responsibility
T - Teach
U - Understand
R - Respect
E - Enjoy
I will expand on each one.
The Power of Perception: The first step towards fostering a positive mindset in parenting is to be conscious of your own thoughts about your child. Approach each day with the belief that your child embodies unlimited potential.
Notice your own thoughts about your child.
But ask yourself - Is your own mindset limiting your belief in your child’s potential?
Start each day with the mindset that your child comes with unlimited potential.
Remember, more than anything your child needs to be (and feel) loved.
Hold that mental image and the energy that gives you with you always.
You will notice a change in your child when you start to do this!
Unconditional love - The heart of your connection with your child is unconditional love. It is obvious that we love our children...right? Love is what your child needs to feel alive...by being connected to us...when they feel connected and understood by us they will want to please their parents and behave.
Conditional love means that you are willing to pull away from your connection with your child under certain circumstances. Unconditional love means that no matter what you do, I’m going to pursue the goal of connection with you.
The best way to help your child feel loved unconditionally is to:
Next time you are faced with a parenting challenge - Remember: The words you use around your children become their self-talk and their inner guidance system. Remember that negative behaviour can specifically be your child telling you they don’t feel loved.
Negative behaviour is your child telling you that you have lost the connection.
So make sure you use positive language! And give unconditional love.
Respect - It is important to foster positive self-respect within yourself to teach your child the importance of respecting themselves and others. Lead by example, demonstrating the behaviours you wish to instil in your child, fostering a culture of mutual respect within the family.
E.g. If you want your child to share - then let them see you sharing. If you want them to communicate well with their siblings or friends - then speak to them in kind soft voice and not shout if they make a mistake.
The way you model self-respect will teach your child about respecting themselves and other people now and in the future.
Disclaimer: If you are triggered by your children or have your own emotional issues, please do ensure you get professional help so you can break the cycle.
Teach and coach your children. Guiding through understanding and recognising that children are in a continuous state of learning is important. As a parent, your role is to teach and coach them through life's challenges rather than expect them to know things.
Once you realise that children need to be taught, you can focus on modelling good behaviours.
Children need to be taught and loved, again and again. Don’t expect them to know everything after telling them once - they need to be shown over and over again depending on where they are in their development stages.
Understand - that children grow in developmental stages and reach certain milestones - they develop emotionally at their own pace not solely according to their chronological age.
It is important to understand that children at different ages and stages of development are facing different challenges in their learning.
Because of this, they need a different way of communicating.
Why not do some research on the different developmental stages of your child?
Responsibility and kindness results in happiness. Research suggests that a loving environment during childhood contributes significantly to a happier and healthier adult life. Model the behaviours you wish to see in your child, including taking responsibility for your own actions.
Children who have affectionate parents and who feel loved, tend to have higher self-esteem and feel more confident and social as adults.
The best way to help your child be happy is to be happy yourself.
Model behaviours you’d like to see in your child - and that includes being responsible for your own actions.
Enjoy and have fun with your child.
In our busy lives these days it can be very easy for the days to pass without really ‘seeing’ your children.
Creating lasting memories in the midst of life's busy schedule, make it a priority to truly see and hear your child. Invest your undivided attention, and create precious moments filled with laughter and joy. Cherish the time spent together, as these moments will shape the beautiful memories that last a lifetime.
By incorporating these seven principles into your parenting journey, you can cultivate a positive and nurturing environment for your child's holistic growth. Let these principles guide you as you embark on the beautiful yet challenging adventure of raising a happy and confident individual.
Every journey is different and there is no “one size fits all” path to transformation. I want everyone to feel acknowledged and validated, so I always invest the time to understand your unique situation, to build trust and create a safe space for us to successfully work together.
Together we will build a trusting relationship and create a safe space for your child to make sense of sad, angry, painful, and confusing feelings and thoughts towards more agreed positive outcomes.
Asking for help is not a weakness! We all encounter difficult times at some point in our lives due to societal norms, our culture, upbringing, and our own expectations. Talking to a trained professional will make a huge difference to your health, happiness, and productivity. I offer psychotherapy treatment for people of all ages, gender, and backgrounds.
When someone in the family has a mental health problem or illness, it affects the entire family’s dynamics and behaviours and sometimes parents and other family members don’t really know how to support them…or themselves. Can you relate? A happy and connected family is possible and I can help you to bridge the gap from frustration to fun.
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