Parents and caregivers provide love, shelter and nutrition
It may seem a given, but your child’s basic needs must be met for them to experience successful growth and development. Without life’s necessities – protection from harm and the elements, a healthy and nutritious diet – children cannot focus energy on their emotional, social, intellectual and physical development.
But love, and the sense of security it provides, underpins all of this. Children who feel loved by their parents and caregivers are more confident and resilient in their decision-making and life choices. They are free to grow and to learn because they know that, no matter if they fall or fail, they will always have you.
Parents and caregivers are role models
Children soak up a dizzying amount of new information every day, and they look to adults as authority figures for examples of how to be. Children will watch how you eat, talk, drink and act, and they will model their behaviour on the choices you make.
While children may not be able to copy some of these choices yet, they will learn what is acceptable based on what you demonstrate. This can make it easier for them to make the same choices – both good and bad – when the opportunities present themselves.
Parents and caregivers are mediators
Life, and the world we live in, is a big, noisy and sometimes frightening place. Toddlers and young children look to adults to help them make sense of their experiences.
Parents and caregivers can help children understand and unpack some of the challenges that life throws them. Whether these challenges are daunting, frightening, mundane or extraordinary, adults can impart their own reason and experience to children to help them navigate their way through.
Parents and caregivers support and encourage
Children love to try new things. But often they can only explore and discover if you empower them to do so. Whether you take your children to music lessons, Sunday sports or on day trips, your involvement with your child’s learning and discovery will encourage them to seek out new experiences and to follow their dreams.