A Quick Guide to Understanding Your Child

Understanding your child is the most important topic that you should learn as a parent. It is very helpful in becoming active in guiding and nurturing your children, as they grow and mature. Why? Your child has unique personality traits that remain consistent throughout life.

One way you can understand your child is by observing them as they sleep, eat, or play. Look for the consistent traits such as

  • shyness versus being outgoing
  • focused versus distracted
  • cheerful versus stressed
  • playful versus observant
  • fussy versus more accepting

OR

  1. Which activities do they like best?
  2. How do they negotiate change?
  3. Do they adapt easily to new situations?
  4. Do they need time to explore new environments or activities?

These average characteristics of a child demonstrate particular interests, choices, and behaviors according to his or her inborn temperament. This is the key to understanding your child.

Create space and time in your busy day to talk, but also listen, to your kids as this is crucial to gaining information about how they think and what they understand. In the case of young children, they require less verbal language and more facial expression and body language to understand their thoughts and feelings. Asking them questions will allow them to share their feelings and identify emotional patterns.

For example, ask them what they built with their blocks today rather than asking them what they did in school. What game did they play with a friend? Learn how they used their imagination to create and enjoy.What was their favorite part of the day?

Another way of understanding your child is by looking at their environment to learn about certain behaviors that you have observed. Special people play crucial roles in your child’s life–family members, grandparents, child care providers, friends, and teachers. Of course, the home environment is the primary influence and can play a crucial role in your child’s behavior. For example, does your child show aggressiveness towards other kids at school? Find out all the triggers for their aggressive behavior.

Possibilities include their association with another child who is aggressive as well. The environment at home is another possible source for such conduct. Have there been conflicts and arguments at home lately? What about in the community? These are some angles to consider when trying to find the reason behind your child’s aggressive behavior.

Also, you can learn about your child by observing other children belonging to the similar age group. You can check out books, browse the Internet and take an online class or two. Watching your child grow up may bring back your memories of going through the same growth stages. However, through each stage, the speed of development is a personal thing.

By understanding your child’s development, you will be able to provide them with learning opportunities to support their development and prepare them for the next growth stage. At the same time, you as a parent would be able to set expectations and limits that are acceptable to your child.

Being a conscious Heartwise® parent is hard especially in this day and age when demands of work, financial commitments, and family tug on every parent. Quality time is hard to get when you are trying to juggle your time between corporate life and parenthood. Understanding your child’s temperament and traits are effective ways of becoming successful in the art of parenting.

Parenting the Whole Child

Parenting the whole child implies that we honor our children’s wholeness while we dissect and discuss the parts of the whole—physical body, mind, emotions and spirit. It may indeed be paradoxical, but it’s our way of understanding how the parts contribute to the whole and our job if we work with parents, families, and children.

We consider our children’s wholeness when we:

  • Bear in mind the emotional and mental factors that contribute to strep throat.
  • Look to a biochemical problem associated with a child’s temper
  • Consider the negative self-talk and thoughts that can float around in the head of a depressed teen.
  • Regard childhood patterns from a holistic perspective. These can include a child who falls down all the time, one who has allergies, one who is shy and sensitive, one who doesn’t want to be touched, and so on. We want to help, but do we help their biochemistry, their behavior or their spirit?
  • Think about how children spend their time, and if their activities are balanced between stimulation and quiet.

Bundles of Energy

The foundation of whole-child parenting is understanding that our children are bundles of energy in the form of thoughts, physical activity, emotional expression and spirit. Rather than thinking about managing our children, think about managing their energy.

The energy of the body needs food, touch, air and water. The energy of the emotions needs positive input like optimism, smiles and support. The energy of thought needs inspiration and imagination, or it gets bored. The energy of the spirit needs connection, faith, compassion and quiet. It needs calm moments of awareness.

Most of us know these things and have our own intuitive ways of mothering and fathering our children. In fact, the joy of parenting the whole child is discovering how much you already know and do. The ease of whole-child parenting is that when one avenue doesn’t work, there is always another way. For example, because we know that the nature of emotional energy can be chaotic, we can find several ways to structure and channel positive emotional energy with our child. We might follow schedules, share meals, read books or see a heart-warming movie.

A Soul Living in a Child’s Body

 Thinking of a child as an “energy bundle” helps us take our parenting less personally when a child screams, “I hate you.” What we want to take to heart is that this soul is living with us in a child’s body. We are responsible for helping this child to develop in the best, most fulfilling way possible.

Parenting is really about educating the mind and body so our children are happy, successful and healthy in body and soul. Working with the mind-body connection is the foundation for parenting the whole child.

If you read this post till the end, you probably are kind of person who wants to help folks live to their maximum potential. Your hunger for having an influence on people forced you to read this article and much more that you already read. It’s just the right time to take a step further and become a certified parent coach and give your purpose a meaning. Have a look at our coaching certification and decide which one suits your talents best..

See also Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child 1 and  Coaching Whole-Parent and Whole Child 2

Parent-Family Coaching Programs