There is nothing more fascinating to a parent than watching their children grow and develop, for every stage of their lives is like another milestone in their wonderful journey of life. Although each child develops at his or her own pace, there are things that characterize most children and teens, so parents need to pay attention to a few exceptions.
In most cases, we play the role of mere observers, but there are also a few cases in which we have to be involved. In order to reach their hearts, we must build foundations based on affection and love so that our children feel more open and want to share their lives with us. In the next article, you’ll find out how to communicate with your children in the right way and language that will help you understand them and bring them up as well as possible, and strengthen the bond between you.
1. Many parents seem to think that as long as they aren’t giving up on their kids and only yelling at them when they’re doing something wrong, that they aren’t causing any harm. However, a study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh found that harsh words spoken to teenage children and adolescents have the potential to have as much negative emotional impact as physical punishment, and that parents shouting about childish behavior only spurs them onward and not only does it not reduce bad behavior, it actually does the opposite. In order to solve behavioral problems, one must be authoritative and a little forceful, but not aggressive.
2. Remember the time when your sweet and innocent child didn’t argue with you and did everything you asked him or her to do? This is the age most parents of teenagers want to go back to given the opportunity, but in a recent study, children who argue with their parents may turn out to be more successful and determined than those who do not.
The reason: Young people who know how to disagree with their parents verbally and say "no" will probably have more courage to stand up to their friends or other people and refuse them when they are offered drugs, to have sex at a young age or any other activity that may be dangerous, illegal or unsuitable for their age. It’s true that one should not give up in advance and not try to discipline, but one must know how to address the child and turn arguments into conversations before going into a yelling rage.
3. Have you ever experienced asking your child to do something, only to realize later they didn’t do what you asked, leading to a frenzied conversation about it not being ok, and this is not how they should behave? It is reasonable to assume that you’re nodding your head yes, is there actually a parent out there that this hasn’t happened to?
In a study conducted in conjunction with several universities in the United States, it was found that children and adolescents have areas of the brain that "close up" when criticized by their parents. In an experiment involving 32 young people who were connected to a brain scanner and were played recordings of their mothers', it was discovered that once the mother began to bother and "dig at them," the brain stopped responding and absorbing. So if you have something to say to your adolescent children, do it with simple, quick instructions and without unnecessary details.
4. Some parents say, "I’ll let my kid have and do everything I wasn’t given and allowed to do,” But as nice as it is that now we can give our children more than we had, this approach is problematic and may affect their future. Permissive parenting tends to make children less happy and less self-controlled, and studies show that these kids will probably have problems accepting authority and will experience difficulties at school because it is harder for them to follow rules, as they were never given any.
5. In the past, experts believed that kids who watched educational television or listened to educational CD’s would be smarter and more developed, but it turns out that this claim is fundamentally wrong and in fact the opposite is true. Studies over the years have shown that children need an immediate and logical response, and even the best CD or the most educational program doesn’t compare to one hour of active play with your children.
6. Girls who regularly eat together with their families in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere are at a lower risk of developing eating disorders and obesity than those who do not. So even if it's a bit difficult, make a family effort and share at least one meal a day with the whole family.
7. Did you know that by the age of 18 months or so a toddler’s vocabulary increases every hour or two that they are awake and that by the age of 6 they already understand about 13,000 words? Another finding is that babies whose parents talk to them on a regular basis often know more than 300 additional words by the age of two than those whose parents did not speak to them frequently.
8. Bullying can have a negative impact on the development of our children that may continue until middle age. It turns out that children who suffer from bullying often have a higher risk of depression, anxiety and even suicide later in life. Also, children who experience more frequent bullying in their lives are at risk for a wide range of health-related problems that may affect their economic situation in the future. It is therefore very important to pay attention to strange behaviors or signs, such as bruising or isolation, and to speak to them without judgment or pressure, but gently, and in cases of lack of cooperation on their part seek help from professionals.
9. Have you noticed how long it takes you to write a text message on a mobile phone compared to kids? It's not that you're slow, it's just that they type faster. Today, teens are more attached to their cell phones, and it turns out that about 42% of them can type with their eyes closed. According to data from telecommunication companies around the world, more than a billion messages are sent every day, most of which are sent by teenagers and young people, so it's no surprise that they’ve developed such abilities.
10. Have you ever thought about why girls invest so much time in skin care and beauty routines? Researchers have found that more than 70 percent of girls aged 15 to 17 refrain from normal daily activities such as attending events, ceremonies and even school activities when they feel bad about how they look. Spending time in front of the mirror increases their level of self-confidence and self-esteem in regards to others. So next time your daughter stands in front of the mirror and puts herself together, give her the space and time to feel good about herself.
11. Every parent remembers the “why” stage in which children ask non-stop questions which we don’t always have the time or energy to answer. It turns out that at the age of 4 the average child will ask about 437 questions each day, and most of them are simply "why?" - "Mom, why is the sky blue?" "Dad, why does this do that?" And so forth. Be patient and give them practical answers even if they ask the same question 100 times. They’re just curious and aren’t intentionally trying to be annoying - they really just want to know why.
12. Just as each person has their own learning pace, each child has their own developmental pace. It is true that doctors argue that there are milestones in the stages of development that should be met by all children, and these pediatricians write down which milestones have been reached to see where the child stands on the corresponding percentile.
However, you should know that there are many variables in children’s development. For example: If your friend’s child, who’s a little older than your child, started speaking before they started walking and your child started walking before they started speaking, it doesn’t mean your child is slower or faster than that child. It just means that your child is working on their physical development first and your friend’s child is progressing in their verbal development first, that's all.
13. Parents who respond quickly to the needs of their children, raise children who are healthier psychologically. Children who grow up in a family that functions in this way are more attached to their parents, and in the long run they become more sensitive to others, are more mature, independent, and have higher self-esteem.