Wednesday, October 8, 2008

8 Simple Rules for Raising My Daughter

1. Always greet her with a great big smile.
There's nothing that boosts a child's confidence more than seeing her parents really happy to see her.

2. Always keep my promises.
Whether it's playing with her blocks after dinner, or finger painting when I come home from work, I always make sure I do what I told her I would do, no matter how tired. This also makes it easier to negotiate down the road, because she knows I will always keep my end of the bargain. Angel is very good at reminding me of the things I promised anyway:)

3. Never apologise for her.
You remember when you were little and if you hide behind your mommy's skirt in front of strangers, the usual apology crops up: "Oh I'm sorry, she's like that with new people." or "Sorry, she's shy. She's not usually like this." Did that make you feel this small and even more withdrawn? By doing that, you're making the child feel inadequate, like something is wrong with her for being afraid (naturally) of strange people and unfamiliar situations. This is what I say when Angel retreats into her shell: "Give her some time. She'll warm up." A friend's little girl whom Angel socialises with sometimes is a bit more outgoing, and every time they see each other, she'll come and hold Angel's hands, which is nice. But Angel takes some time to warm up. So I'll say to the little girl: "Angel is not ready yet. Let her come to you ok?" And after a while, they'll be happily holding hands and playing together.

This also prevents Angel from feeling obligated to be nice to everyone just because they are older, or mommy's friends, or just because. An important safety precaution.

4. Always answer her questions no matter how many times she asks the same thing.

5. Always apologise if I do something wrong.

6. No sweet stuff at night.

7. Always send mommy off to work in the morning with a kiss.

8. Always greet her with a great big smile:)

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