Our weekly Positive Parenting column (Limerick Leader, Vale Star and Weekly Observer) shares information and tips on a range of parenting topics ranging from supporting the mental health of your baby, to helping your child prepare for school, to dealing with challenging behaviour across the age spectrum. As we embrace a New Year, below are some key messages to support you in positive parenting and building a strong, affectionate relationship with your child. We look forward to continuing this column in 2023, and, if you would like information on a particular topic or links to local support services, please visit us on www.loveparenting.ie, find us on Facebook or contact us on email@example.com.
Below, we have pulled together some of the key messages across our articles in 2022.
- The Parent-Child Relationship is Key.
A strong, loving relationship with a parent or carer is the most important thing for a child. It helps them to be healthy, happy and resilient. Remember it is never too early or late to start spending special time together.
- Buy well, Eat well, Be well
Healthy food is important for all the family and is especially important for children’s growth. Include them in planning the menu, shopping and cooking meals. Try to eat at least one meal as a family each day. This is a simple way for everyone to connect.
- A Positive Parenting Style Works
Give your child positive attention, lots of affection and specific praise. Set routines, rules and boundaries and try to be consistent—children thrive with a routine. Try to remain calm and model positive ways (deep breathing, taking a walk) of dealing with powerful emotions such as anger or frustration.
- Child Safety is Key
Toddler proofing your home, using car seats, teaching road safety, learning basic first aid, supervising young children and knowing where older children are and who they are with all helps in terms of reducing child injury and raising happier children.
- Baby see, Baby do
Be the role model your children deserve. Kids learn by watching their parents. Modelling appropriate, respectful behaviour works much better than telling them what to do.
- Name it and Tame It
Communicating with your child is so important at every age. Parents and children who can talk to each other, share problems and address challenges together will have strong, healthy relationships. This will help you to cope with any challenging behaviour or crisis in a positive way.
- Parents Need Good Social Networks
Parents need good social networks. Parenting is easier when you can talk with others or spend some time looking after yourself. If you are really struggling, talk to your GP, PHN or other trusted professional or friend to get some support.
These key messages were developed by Tusla, Child and Family Agency. For more information, please see www.parenting24seven.ie. Tusla is a member of Parenting Limerick, a network of parenting and family support organisations in Limerick. For more information on this and other topics go to www.loveparenting.ie.