The first few years of life are extremely important to your child’s development and growth both emotionally as well as physically. There is a wide variety of literature to read regarding what to focus on, all of which can seem overwhelming but the main concepts from them remain the same and truly are simple. But they can only happen when you are really present to your child,
Set Boundaries – as they grow and need more, they will let you know by testing new boundaries and what not. Don’t give into their demands. Don’t reward them with the same things and if you have to reward them with things that are not catalysts for their development then change up what the rewards are. Avoid giving your child fatty, salty rewards as most American children are already predisposed to developing severe heart disease by age 2. No joke. Age 2. Also avoiding rewarding your child for everything little thing, simply give positive reinforcement when they do what they are supposed to do.
Read to them – at least 20 minutes a day. Choose a time that is appropriate and works for both you and your child. This will help them learn new things and learn that they can come to you when they don’t understand something or need further explanation in the future.
Feed Them Well – regardless of what your economic bracket is (since we have the two classes: wealthy and the dirt poor), do your best to give your child good food: Fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and so forth. Food nourishes the soul and will make your child healthy as well as happy.
Ready, Set, Go! – get out and get active. Whether or not you are an active person, you can break (or continue) the physical cycle with your child by playing ball, tag or whatever other activity gets them out and about every day.
Study Your Child – again, you can learn a lot from your children by interacting with them as regularly as possible. This will give you a stronger perspective whenever something may be wrong and they just do not know how to tell you. During their early years, it makes saving money easier. Most children do not really want all of the toys that they have. They do not need as many clothes as you. Even though most parents do the opposite, it’s better to take your child shopping with you. The more often that they go, they are less likely to throw fits because you have established yet another set of routines.
It does take a community to raise a child, but don’t forget that their foundation needs to be based in the nurturing that only comes from parents.
Since these are the basics that have been collated from several pieces of literature, I most definitely welcome comments that include additional simple ways in order to enrich the lives of our future leaders.