A successful child is one who knows what he or she wants and how to get it. This can be easier said than done, especially if the child has not yet determined what it is that they want. In order for you to help your child discover what it is they wish to achieve or become, you must first get to know who your child is. Luckily, you get a head start.
Learning who your child is starts as soon as you bring him or her home. Psychologist and author Dr. Karen Khaleghi, PhD., believes this starts with identifying your child’s “hum,” or their emotional DNA.
“One of the things that is most essential from a parenting perspective is to be able to hear that hum within your child. What soothes them? What makes them smile? What makes them stop crying?” says Khaleghi, co-founder of Creative Care Malibu. Getting to know these basic, almost instinctual reactions that your baby has to certain treatment or situations will put you in tune with who your child will be as a person.
“Start to attend to what your child is responding to so you [can] begin to help them define what works in their world,” Khaleghi says.
By figuring out what upsets your child, you can then begin working out an effective set of responses that your child can take with them as they move forward in the world.
“We need to understand and meet them where they are– help them to understand when they have difficulties, and how they can move through those difficulties,” says Khaleghi. “They take that forward into their school life.” If your child begins to feel upset or anxious at school, for example, they will be able to respond with the methods you’ve decided together are effective.
“Do they need quiet time? Do they need to talk it through? Do they need to get out and play a little bit and get out and be able to come back? You begin to help them to define what works in their world,” Khaleghi explains. This, she says, is how they will meet with success.
What Khaleghi refers to as our “hum” is a part of our ingrained psychology, so responses triggered by this emotional center remain and transcend into adolescence and adulthood. Helping your child figure out who they are in the future will depend on the insight you gain from bonding with them while they are infants.
Learn more about Helping Your Daughter Discover Her Authentic Self.
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