From the moment your child arrives, you’ll be looking out for them in a way that you never thought possible. The parental genetics kick in without warning, letting you see danger everywhere and giving you the insatiable urge to wrap that little bundle of joy in cotton wool at every turn. You’ll hear a lot of stories about the best things to do for your child, including the fact that science has proven beyond question that kids that are breast fed for longest are much more likely to succeed and achieve more at school. Of course, that’s a line pushed by many of the pro-earth-mother type parents, but when scientists everywhere agree, it’s probably worth listening!
What a lot of seasoned parents have realised, though, is that you have to let kids make their own mistakes, otherwise they’ll be completely lost by the time they reach school age, or worse still become that kid in the class that screams the place down if they don’t get their way.
Education isn’t all about books and formal teaching, it’s just as much about learning how the world works, interacting with others and developing the skills needed to integrate comfortably with society. If you think about the most successful people, they’re rarely the best educated in the schooling sense – they’re far more likely to be good at influencing others – what we typically refer to as being a people person.
Those skills are incredibly tough to gain as an adult as they virtually become part of our DNA, foundations for all of our perceptions of the world and beliefs. Helping your child to get those building blocks settled early in life in a way that helps them work with other children (and to a degree adults too) will be far more valuable than teaching them their alphabet and numbers – all that will happen at school or at home later on.
Learning to communicate effectively and with good influence is something that young children really enjoy too – rather than robbing them of the fun of childhood with an excessive focus on education.
Being a good parent means different things to every mum or dad you ask, so aside from the essentials of keeping them safe, it’s down to you to do your best, and help your babies grow into adults that fulfil their full potential.