Raising a Strong-Willed Child

Before you became a parent, you might have imagined many things about your future child. You likely knew that they would be smart, kind, and capable of achieving their dreams. Yet, you might not have bargained for a child whose will is so strong that they border on being defiant. While you can’t change your child’s reactions to the world, you can help them learn to manage their behavior. Parenting a strong-willed child is easier when you keep these strategies in mind.

Remember the Benefits of a Strong Will

If you take a moment to think about a few leaders that you know, you’ll likely notice that they have what people commonly consider to be a strong will. You simply can’t get to the top unless you have a serious passion and drive to get what you want. Your child’s strong will comes with valuable traits such as perseverance, confidence, and a desire to be independent. While this might not seem great when they can throw a tantrum for hours when they don’t get their way, it will one day work out for them to have a personality that makes them ideal for being a CEO.

Encourage a Flexible Mindset

Every activity that your child does at home and school provides them with a chance to practice their social skills. One way that you can help your child is to plan activities at home that require them to adjust to other people’s preferences. For instance, everyone could vote on where to go for a dinner out. Your child might have to learn to go with the flow if their choice is outnumbered. Being in a safe place lets your child work through their difficult emotions before they have to be in public.

Help Them Find Ways to Manage Stress

Children with strong wills often experience more stress than others who adapt quickly to changes. You can teach your child coping skills that they can turn to when they don’t get their way. Try showing your child how to practice deep breathing or briefly play with a soothing toy until they calm down. Make sure to practice these skills when your child is calm so that they can become automatic for them to use later when they are upset.

When you have a strong-willed child, it is important to remember that your mindset also influences your child’s behavior. Try to remember to take a break when you feel stressed, and encourage your child to do the same. Over time, your child will learn how to respond appropriately to changes in their environment and routine, and you can look forward to one day seeing the positive aspects of their strong personality helping them to become a leader in their school and community.

This article was originally published on BryanDunst.com

The Psychological Benefits of Physical Touch in Early Life

In the past, a newborn baby would be removed from his or her parents and taken directly to the nursery to be cleaned, weighed, monitored, poked, and prodded. As it turns out, advances in modern medicine are returning to a more natural approach for good reason. Doctors now recommend skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth. Not only does it regulate the baby’s breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate, it also triggers endorphins that are critical in a child’s social, moral, and psychological development for a lifetime.

Children who receive positive physical touch from caregivers, who are comforted with a hug when upset, held, and cuddled, tend to have more positive social interactions and moral regulation into adulthood while children who receive more negative touch, such as corporal punishment, or a lack of positive physical interaction in early life tend to have more negative outcomes overall. Additionally, children from both groups, tend to imitate the behaviors they see, which can impact their relationships in the future.

Physical touch releases oxytocin, an important neurologically communicative hormone that plays a key role in childbirth and breastfeeding. It is also integral in forming love bonds between children and caregivers. It affects the parts of the brain which control emotions and empathy as well as social skills and trust. When children learn to love, trust, and empathize with their caregivers from the beginning, they will project those important lessons upon their peers and in their relationships as adults and parents themselves.

A child’s brain development hinges on positive and appropriate stimulation from caregivers. Children from homes of extreme neglect tend to have smaller, less developed brains. Without intervention, they may pass negatively modeled behaviors and their own development on to future generations. Likewise, children who come from loving homes tend to have better brain development, higher academic achievement, less legal trouble, and an easier time forming relationships. They also enjoy longer lives than those who were neglected or abused as children as adverse childhood experiences are known to lead to a shorter lifespan.

To ensure a child has the best chance in life, avoids mental health issues later on, and achieves his or her full developmental potential, caregivers should practice gentle and loving interaction from the start.

This article was originally published on BryanDunst.com

Raising Your Kids to be Successful

Parenting isn’t easy. After all, there’s no manual to it. Luckily, vicarious learning can simplify it a great deal. Learning from other parents is a great way to avoid making certain mistakes. Scientists have studied different parental behaviors over time. And today, any parent out there has a cheat code to raising successful children. Here are some tips worth noting.

Teach Them to Fall in Love With Nature

The success of a child depends a lot on their cognitive development. Taking the child out to play from an early age helps nurture their cognitive development. It’s even better when the child can interact with green spaces. This leads to a more fulfilling life and a general sense of well-being as the child grows up. On top of this, time spent outdoors also helps children in their academics. Kids who spend time playing outside during recess tend to read better than those who don’t.

Be a Present Parent

This is usually tough for many parents who are trying to put food on the table. Juggling work and family can be difficult. But it’s critical to create time for the kids. Children need to feel supported, and present parents help them do that. Kids who’ve got a good relationship with present parents experience a lot of success. After all, success stems from children with self-esteem and a sense of self-efficacy.

Show Them How to Care for Others

Nurturing altruistic behavior in children is also a great way to ensure success. Making time to teach the kids virtues like kindness, empathy, and love leads to their success. Such success stems from the fact that they’ll have a less selfish way of looking at the world. An egocentric attitude often hampers one’s problem-solving abilities.

Be Someone They Can Look Up To

Children model behaviors of their caregivers. That means if you’d like them to turn out a certain way, you should act that out for them. That doesn’t mean being perfect. It means showing them how to act even when they do make mistakes.

While parenting isn’t easy, bringing up successful kids shouldn’t have to feel impossible. Thanks to all the research that’s out there, one only needs to apply the information.

This article was originally published on BryanDunst.com