Elements of a healthy childhood

by Rod Smith

Parents can build an environment that is conducive to a healthy childhood by providing a tone and an experience for the child that is warm, encouraging, and accepting.

This context will include:

1. Validation for the child. A place where the child is heard, respected, and encouraged. The child also learns, of course, to validate and respect others.
2. Fun and laughter, fantasy and intrigue, at the expense of no one. (A joke is not funny unless everyone thinks it is.)
3. A set of standards and norms already in operation before the child needs them. We don’t make up the rules as we go along.
4. An atmosphere conducive to telling the child anything in an age-appropriate manner.
5. Age-appropriate responsibilities to help the home to function.
6. An atmosphere where the natural and reasonable consequences of a child’s behavior are allowed to develop.
7. An atmosphere where the child is increasingly aware that he is the major participant in his own success.
8. An atmosphere where the child is expected to be no more and no less than his age.
9. Healthy adults (warm, understanding, and non-possessive people) other than parents, with whom the child spends time.

One Comment to “Elements of a healthy childhood”

  1. Wow Rod, a challenge for anyone. Shows how important it is to have these values in place before deciding to have children, and not rush into parenthood when we’re sadly, badly, needy ourselves.
    But so many parents manage it well – hats off to them.

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