24 August 2017
Raising kids is an ‘all-round’ matter, which involves ensuring the development of your child in every aspect. Today we focus on how you can educate your child holistically, in terms of four dimensions:
- Money and saving
seatbelts on …
Money and saving: the making of a financially independent child
It’s never too early to teach your kids the value of money and the importance of saving. In our Ghanaian context, you could try the ever-famous ‘susu box’, or in other terms a piggy bank. You could make this very attractive for your kids by giving them piggy banks that have attractive colours and that are of course difficult to open. This has a way of making your kids excited whenever they see coins or little notes (or what we call spare change) as it’s a great opportunity for them to fill up their piggy banks.
You could also add a creative twist to teaching your kids how to save, by letting them understand that whenever they want something new, they will have to save for it.
For example, if your daughter wants a new bow to tie her hair, you could encourage them to save towards it, even if it’s at least 20% of the cost, and you will help with the rest of the cost. This has a way of making your child responsible and also teaching them the value of working for what they want. Plus, they eventually become independent-minded in the process.
You could also teach them how to budget, by simply starting with a piece of paper and pen. Let’s say your child is going to school and has some pocket money for a few expenses such as snacks, stationery, and payment for an excursion. This is a great opportunity to teach them a lesson or two on spending wisely, as you can guide them in splitting the money appropriately amongst the various expenses. Doing this more than once helps your child to be more conscious about how he or she spends.
These days, there are many kids savings packages offered by banks, and you could explore the option of opening one for your kids whilst teaching them the value of saving at home.
Most importantly, you need to show your kids the way. Do you as a parent have good spending habits? What do you channel your finances to and what value do you place on money?
Chances are your kids will imitate your spending habits.
Responsibility: the making of a strong leader
Imagine your child broke a chair and blamed another kid for it. Such an attitude means the child does not yet know the importance of being responsible and taking responsibility for his or her actions. This is one important role parents need to play in their kids’ lives; teaching them how to be responsible.
You could start by letting your kids know what you expect from them right from scratch. This serves as a guideline for them and helps them to know the difference between right and wrong. You can then go a step further to encourage them whenever they fulfil these expectations and correct them in love when they don’t.
One of the best ways of nurturing your kids to be responsible is to give them chores they can help you with. Responsibilities have a way of making kids get more involved and become more organized too. Be it cleaning the dishes, washing Dad’s car or just helping to clean up. You could try splitting the chores amongst your kids, for example, Yaa does the dishes on Mondays, and Kofi does them on Tuesdays etc. You could make it more fun by using it as an opportunity to chat with your kids to find out how their day went.
Nothing teaches your children to be more responsible than your conduct as a parent. How do you treat your spouse? What is your attitude towards work? How do you encourage your kids when they do the right thing and correct them when they’re not really on their best behaviour?
Independence: the making of a hero
Nothing makes a parent more proud than to see his or her baby finally spread his wings and fly. There comes a time when you as a parent will have to let go of your child, to allow him or her to take some decisions on his or her own. But before that time arrives, what can you do to condition their minds to be independent?
The key lies in starting early. A typical example is in our Ghanaian context, where people love to carry kids even when they are of age. You could give your child a first-hand experience with independence by allowing them to occasionally walk on their own instead of being carried. And letting them do some activities on their own after some time, such as going to the bathroom.
Constantly look out for opportunities to let your kids do some stuff on their own. You never know how proactive your kids could be until you give them an opportunity to.
In teaching your kids to be independent, do not set unrealistic targets that make your kids feel like they can never get anything right. Be willing to talk with them to let them understand the importance of being independent. And when they do err sometimes (they certainly will), you simply need to help them get back on their feet as a parent.
Behavior: the true definition of a world leader
Charity, they say, begins at home. How a child behaves more often than not tells the kind of home he or she is coming from.
Actions speak louder than words, and children usually pick up certain behavioural traits from their parents. Let’s say, for example, a child is not used to seeing his parents give each other hugs or say kind words to each other. The child may most probably become unexpressive himself.
The key to influencing your child’s behaviour positively is by exhibiting the traits you would like to see in him or her, such as kindness, truthfulness, discipline, hard work etc.
Always encourage your kids with positive words, so they constantly feel good about themselves but don’t hesitate to correct them as well when the need arises. Kids need to clearly understand the consequences of their actions so that their behaviour is appropriately shaped to be the best they can be. Of course, kids will always be kids and mess up once in a while, but they certainly do not forget the indelible prints of love their parents leave in raising them to be well-behaved.
Whew! Parenting is all fun huh? Don’t worry, kidzcottage is here to guide you and we know you’re definitely going to be rewarded for your effort. Keep being the special parent you are!
What tactics and tips do you use in raising your kids? share with us in the comment section.