Focus on the Family
to be a Good Parent
Child Fun Family
All About Kids
you believe it? You are a parent. You brought a child into this world and are
ultimately responsible for them. Their physical, educational, emotional and spiritual
needs. Wow! That is a lot of pressure. Every parent wants to raise his or her
- Physical needs. Of course you need to provide food, water, shelter, clothes
and medical attention for your children. Some parents forget that physical also
includes, exercise, playing, and touch. Exercise should be masked by fun…jumping,
hopping, running, swimming, throwing, batting, kicking, aiming, sliding, swinging,
climbing, bicycling and tumbling. Make up games that involve action. Get out with
your children, by exercising with them you are building memories and getting more
fit. Play with your kids. Laugh. Smile. Spend quality time doing what they want
to do. Touch is so important. When an infant comes into your home, you want to
hold, rock and cuddle all day long. As your child grows more independent, for
some reason the touch lessens too. They can hold their own bottle, crawl, walk,
reach something on their own. It seems that you have to choose to make a special
moment for meaningful touch. The best time I've found for this is right when they
wake up in the morning. It starts the day off on the right foot. When children
enter the grade school and teenage years, they might start withdrawing from touch
(especially in front of peers). It is crucial to continue to have that time of
touch, tickling their back, giving them a massage, wrestling, high fives, or noogies.
- Educational needs. Read, read, read. Pick a time everyday when you can stop
and sit down to read together. Take advantage of teachable moments with your children:
If you are eating goldfish crackers, throw in a little math. If you are grocery
shopping teach them about different foods, nutrition, prices, lbs and ounces.
As you are driving, read signs or talk about distance, direction and traffic rules.
As you are cooking, involve your children with the preparation. Teach them discipline
and responsibility by incorporating household chores and organizing personal items.
After your children get home from school, go over any homework issues and always
stay in good communication with teachers.
- Emotional needs. Security, Significance and Strength are essential emotional
needs. Security is a feeling that everything is OK. "The world around me is safe."
"I have friends." "My parents love each other and me." I will have my next meal.
Significance is "I am important", "I have purpose", "I am here for a reason".
As a parent, you need to show your child that they are significant to you, the
family and the world around them. Strength is knowing who you are and where you
stand. You need to raise your kids in such a way that they are strong individuals,
confident and true to themselves.
- Spiritual needs. Children are spiritual beings too. As a parent, it is vital
that you guide them to the truth. Provide experiences for them to grow in their
belief. Encourage them to talk to you about questions that they have. Motivate
them to continue in their spiritual journey through their life and to maintain
an eternal perspective on this earth.