9 tips to raise a tot with the right mindset

Put junior on the path to success when you raise him with the right mindset — here’s how…


As parents, we all want the best for our children. Some start bubba on phonics lessons from the time he’s able to sit up and many pile on enrichment classes as soon as junior starts preschool.

Not to worry, this month’s super-junior issue isn’t about adding even more activities to your kiddo’s already maxed-out schedule. Instead, we offer timely tips on raising a confident, well-rounded child who can make his own way in life and who will succeed in his own time.

1. Family matters

Provide a stable family background for your child and you'll be giving him the best start to becoming a well-rounded person. Junior’s immediate family members are his first social contacts — so the way he’s treated at home and the relationships he builds with his loved ones are the benchmark for all the relationships he’ll have later in life.

Psychiatrist Dr Alvin Liew states that a stable family is not only nurturing, happy and non-abusive, it accepts that children can fail along the way. “Having a stable family and a nurturing environment at home, school and in society cannot be over emphasised,”he says.

Alan Yip, founder of Mind Edge Learning Academy, notes that family support is crucial to building your child’s self-esteem. “They face challenges with courage, excitement and confidence because they know that whatever the outcome, whether they succeed or not, their parents will embrace them at the end of the day,” he explains. This sense of safety gives your child the freedom to explore ideas without fear.

2. Go outdoors

Take time to go outdoors with your brood. Whether it’s a walk to the neighbourhood park, scootering, cycling along the beach, or even going for a swim, it’s the perfect way to get your kids moving. They’ll be getting a dose of vitamin D and some exercise at the same time.

Besides increasing stamina and concentration, exercise stimulates your young ’un’s brains. And very often, physical activities can teach valuable life lessons, such as the value in working for goals and pushing himself.

3. Give praise

Our little ones are no strangers to being warned, corrected and reprimanded every now and then as toddler behaviour can be hard to deal with. To boost his self-esteem, try to “catch” junior exhibiting good behaviour. Whether it’s simply putting a toy away, or finishing up his meal without a fuss, let him know you’ve taken note.

Praise effort, rather than results. Research has shown that kids work harder and do better in school when their efforts are praised, rather than their intellect. So, if your kiddo scores well in a test, say “what a lot of work you must have put in to get such a great score,” instead of “what a clever boy!”

4. Get to know your child

Your child needs to have a strong sense of self, so you need to accept his temperament and help him discover who he is. “Focus on your child’s personality and character, not just on academic learning or performance,” says Vikas Malkani, creator and founder of SoulKids, a life skills academy for children.

Don’t compare him with others either, Yip stresses, as “this will only discourage him from performing to his true potential”.

5. Baby needs to sleep

Kids these days often have wall-to-wall schedules. But don’t forget that just like you, your munchkins need some “me time”, too, whether it’s doodling in their colouring books or playing with their toys.

Sleep is also crucial for brain development. Scientists at SRI International, an independent American research institute based in California, have found that the earlier a child goes to bed, the better he performs in school. A study of 8,000 4-year-olds found that those with less than the recommended 11 hours of sleep each night fell behind in their studies.

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