• Rich or Poor, You Can Raise a Spoiled Child: 10 Ways to Bring Up a Well-Adjusted One

    We all love our children and want them to grow into the best adult they can be.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
Rich or Poor, You Can Raise a Spoiled Child: 10 Ways to Bring Up a Well-Adjusted One
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  • Raising a child is a daunting task and there will always be doubts if you’re doing the right thing. In fact, it can be so overwhelming that you get paralyzed and at a loss at what to do at times. If you’re ever in doubt (and you feel you need a guide), keep the following in mind and remember, in your child's eyes, you’re doing great.

    1. Rely on regular routines
    Children thrive on routine and need it to feel safe. With a consistent routine, they know what to expect. “Your child needs some consistency to her day, a predictable sequence that lets her explore the world without worry,” child and family therapist Victoria Manion Fleming, Ph.D.tells Parents

    Routines are a sequence of things-to-do. Every day when it’s almost time to sleep, for example, your child first brushes his teeth, then he gets in bed to read a storybook with mom or dad, and finally, he’s given a hug and goodnight kiss.  

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    2. Establish and enforce rules
    Well-defined boundaries and rules will shape your child’s behavior now and until he becomes a grown-up. “Toddlers need limits, and they look to us to be the authority and to let them know when to stop,” says child psychologist and author Dr. Tovah P. Klein in her book How Toddler's Thrive. Set hard-and-fast rules, like how climbing on furniture is not allowed. Being the authoritative figure also entails not being afraid to enforce the limits even if it causes your child to be upset with you. 

    3. Be affectionate
    Children need to feel loved, and there is a lot of research backing up the importance of showing warmth and affection towards kids. “Hugging is a gesture of affirmation, appreciation, and acknowledgment,” Letitia Ho, Ph.D., a developmental pediatrician told SmartParenting.com.ph. “A child who is hugged often acquires a positive self-concept, whereas a child who is hug-starved or doesn’t receive any other form of affirmation at home will start asking ‘Am I loved here?’” 

    4. Respond to your child
    Don’t react — respond. Say your child is having a tantrum at a playdate because you’ve just told him it’s time to go home. Avoid going for your gut reaction which can be to get angry and yell or yank your child out of the room.  Instead, respond to the situation and what he’s feeling. A simple phrase like, “I understand how you're feeling. I would be sad about it, too” along with a hug is sometimes all your child needs to feel better.  

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    5. Be her playmate 
    The biggest toy store may be your child's happy place, but she is happiest playing with you. “There is nothing that sparks a child's interest more, and that promotes learning and development in all domains, more than being with a parent,” developmental pediatrician Dr. Victoria Dominique Ang told SmartParenting.com.ph

    6. Read books with your child regularly
    A love of books and learning will benefit your child all her life. Not only that, reading aloud with young children supports healthy brain development and fosters a strong emotional bond between parent and child. See a pediatrician and a reading advocate's guide how to reach and choose books for children ages 6 months to 5 years old here.   

    7. Assign chores
    All parents want to raise kids who grow up to be capable adults. Chores at a young age foster independence, a sense of responsibility, empathy, self-reliance and makes your little one feel part of the family. The skills he learns will also be carried into his adult life when he has a home to run on his own. Even tots 2 to 3 years old can start doing simple tasks at home! Find a list of chores for kids age 2 to 7 here.  

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    8. Limit screen-time
    Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend a maximum of one hour screen time a day for kids ages 2 to 5 years old.  Babies below 18 months should avoid it altogether. Remember, gadgets are not yayas. They should not be given to children for extended periods of time with the sole purpose of keeping them sitting quietly. Children need to explore and interact with the world around them. There’s so much more they could be doing! 

    9. To other people, be kind and respectful 
    What children see from their parents, they copy. If you want to instill values such as kindness and respect, you have to practice these yourself. They learn from seeing how we live our lives and interact with other people. Keep your temper in check and be as patient as you can — towards your child and those around you.  

    10. Practice self-care
    Self-care isn't indulgence — it's necessary. When parents ignore the physical needs of their body and the emotional needs of their soul, it invariably leads to chronic stress, burnout, depression. “If it is important to us to be able to take care of others, then we must pay attention to our own well-being,” said Dr. Monique Tello, a physician and contributing editor to Harvard Health Publishing. Listen to your own needs, mom, and relax. 

    Don’t worry — you got this.  

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