Written by Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia
“I wish I grew up in a house where I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, or where I could approach my parents without fear of being judged or disgraced.”
How many times have you heard those words? Or how many times have you said those words? Growing up in a good family is such a blessing for us. It can also be said as a privilege. Some of us have it, and others don’t.
Family is the most fundamental element of our society. It can be said that life begins in the family, for example, we learn how to write, to speak, or to behave. It has been proven that children acquire a variety of experiences in varied family situations by participating in various activities and are constantly exposed to a range of influence and expectations from the people with whom they live. Therefore, it is really important to realize that we, as someone who will build a family or have children, need to create a good environment for the sake of their development.
A good environment in this context is a “safe” place for children to grow. They learn and explore their potential. They feel safe to ask and to experience something without any pressure. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget about this and blame the outside environment for the bad influences which happen to children. So, at this moment, I want to share about what we can do as an adult in the family.
What can we do?
Let’s start by choosing our words wisely. The voice we use to talk to our children will be the voice they take with them for the rest of their lives. What we say and feel about them forms the foundation of their self-esteem. We need to reflect with our family, “Is this family a positive place for them to thrive in or a family that is full of hurtful words and actions?”. A voice of encouragement, love, and patience, support, and acceptance. This is the voice we should instill in our children. No other person will have as much of an impact on our child as we who live with them in one home.
Next, don’t forget to give our child praise and proper encouragement. For example, when we help children to learn about mathematics. They usually feel pressured because we insist them to count it right. If they make a mistake, we get annoyed and snap at them. Children will feel defeated and afraid to try. However, if we try to support their way in learning by giving them feedback when they make mistakes and praise their efforts, children want to keep trying because they get our encouragement. When we encourage children through compliments, constructive praise, and feedback, they connect with you. When we critique their abilities without commending them for their hard work, effort, and a job well done, they shut down.
The other thing, Show your affection for the children. When children are hurt and have done something wrong or broken rules, it is critical to show them affection. This demonstrates to them that even when things go wrong, we love them unconditionally regardless of the situation.
Last but not least, spending quality time with children is the best and most efficient strategy to develop them and teach them that their home is a safe and loving environment. We can do basic things like share family dinners or go for a walk around the neighborhood and talk. It’s about spending time with them without electronics or distractions and letting them know how special they are. Simple things like taking a walk together or grabbing a cup of ice cream to just sit down and talk is all you need.
We can build a child-friendly environment that will prepare them for the future by providing them with access to relevant information, community treatment, and the realization of their goals. What we need to remember is that no house is perfect, and no day is perfect. There will be hard times in the family, but we have to make it as the stepping-stone for a child-friendly environment.
The Pragmatic Parent. Set the Tone for a Happy Home: Create a Positive Home for your Kids. (2015, August 3). The Pragmatic Parent. https://www.thepragmaticparent.com/positivehome/