Building a positive relationship with your child will help you to understand what your child is experiencing and feeling. This will help them develop a healthy self-esteem, social skills and do well in school.
Tips for Positive Relationships
Your child’s biggest fear is to lose you. This is called separation anxiety, it is often worse at 2 years of age. Your child wants to explore but at the same time they may be afraid of being left on their own.
How to help your child feel secure
- Reassure and encourage them
- Don’t rush them and don’t say things to put them down
- Stay close by, hug them, make eye contact and let go gradually
- Don’t force them to do anything they aren’t ready to do
- Don’t sneak out or ignore their fear
- Ensure child safety as they learn to explore
Your toddler is now learning to recognize feelings, both their feelings and yours. You can support your child’s emotional development by helping your child learn to express their feelings.
When Your Child Is Mad, Sad or Hurt
Try to understand how your child feels and comfort them. Give your child words to describe their feelings, for example, “you are feeling sad”. This will help your child understand their emotions and make them feel supported and loved.
When Your Child Is Afraid
Talk about the feelings that are behind your child’s actions. For example, instead of saying “that’s a big dog” say “did that doggie scare you?”
Some children are shy, have low energy and are sensitive while some are outgoing, have lots of energy and are easy going. This is called temperament. You can’t change your child’s temperament, but you can help them make choices on how to behave.
It’s important to know your own temperament. You may have a very different temperament than your child which can be frustrating. Accept your child’s temperament and find ways to understand it.
- Give them time to warm up and adjust. Don’t push too fast
- Talk positively about new people and situations
- Provide them a lot of contact with you and others
- Make sure they get involved in social activities like play groups
- Allow them time to complete a task
- Be patient with their slower pace
- Set firm limits are as they are constantly exploring and may not always like limits
- Get extra help and breaks to keep up with their energy
- Introduce them to new people, toys and foods slowly
- Be patient as they may have sudden changes in mood and needs
- Offer choices and don’t force them
Fathering Makes a Difference
Being involved in the father role has many benefits.
Benefits for your child
- Do better at school
- Are happier
- Are less stressed
- Are less likely to get into trouble
Benefits for the mother role
- Reduce a mother’s chance of having postpartum depression and anxiety
- More likely to breastfeed as fathers are the biggest influence in a mother’s decision to breastfeed
- Feel more competent when support and encouragement are provided
Benefits for the father role
- Increased self-confidence
- Better understanding of their child’s development and more reasonable expectations of what their child can and should be doing
- Feel happier, less stressed and healthier