Parenting requires mastering the art of paying attention. This may not be an easy task, but it surely is one that brings out the best behavior in a child. Parenting requires time and focused attention so that you will know and understand what is wrong when things go awry. How else will you know how to make things right for your child if you have no idea what is going on in his life?
Be literally close to your child With very young kids, proximity is imperative. The younger the child is, the closer he or she should be to you. However, it’s not enough to just be there with idle hands. Paying attention means more than being physically present. It means learning how to talk with your kids, listen to what they’re saying, and respond appropriately to their actions and misbehavior.
Anticipate problems before they arise When you are close enough, you will have a better chance to sort out misunderstanding among your kids or extinguish impending tantrums. Mediating in a sibling conflict is much easier if you know the words they use and the terms they understand more. Pay attention to what’s going on with your child and it will be much easier to prevent a lot of discipline problems.
Sources: • Rowena Matti, program director, Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, Inc. • Editha Buluran, early childhood educator and owner, Kinder Garten’s Learning Center, Malolos, Bulacan • Infant and Toddler Development, by Kay Albrecht and Linda Miller