How to Treat Your Child as an Equal

We can’t help but see them as our precious little babies and that’s exactly what they’ll be to us at any age. But children are capable of much more than many parents think, so don’t make the mistake of underestimating them. Plus, they grow and learn fast, which means they grow more competent by the day. 

The best thing to do for your child is treat them as an equal. But this may not be as simple as it sounds. Grown-ups tend to see children as funny and adorable, but they rarely take them seriously. Here’s how you can be a more supportive and egalitarian parent.

  • Have real conversations

No matter how cute it may be, forget about baby talk. Talk to them seriously and matter-of-factly, and you’ll be amazed by how much they can understand. Encourage them to express their opinions and consider them carefully. If you dismiss them as childish, they won’t be eager to share them again. Also, be careful not to talk down to them. They should feel comfortable asking you about anything. Show them that their opinions, interests, and concerns are valid and important. This way, you’ll raise a happy and self-assured person who’s not afraid to speak their mind!

  • Offer them choices

You’ll show your trust in them and give them an opportunity to act independently if you let them make small choices.  Allow them to have a say in what they’ll wear to school, what game you’ll play together, and make other small decisions. They should be allowed to have their own tastes and wishes. To make sure they only make positive, healthy choices, offer them multiple options that are equally good. For example, they can’t choose to have nothing but chocolate for lunch, but they can pick between several balanced dishes.

  • Provide explanations

If you expect your child to do things just because you say so, you’ll probably be disappointed. Raising your voice and losing your temper is even less desirable. Authoritarian orders and harsh punishment make children fearful and stifle their personal growth. Instead, explain the rules you want them to follow and do it clearly, in an age-appropriate way. Be patient and explain as many times as it’s necessary for them to understand. Knowing why things are done the way they are reduces frustration and helps cognitive growth.

  • Try to put yourself in their shoes

Treat your little one the way you like to be treated by others. A toddler’s problems may seem silly and insignificant compared to adult problems, but it’s important to realize that they matter to them. Even though they’re very young, they deserve to be approached as unique individuals and have their feelings acknowledged. Ask them how they feel and try to see the world from their perspective. The gift of understanding and compassion is one of the best you can give them. Not only will they feel more valued, but this will also teach them to be respectful of other people. 

  • Spend quality time together

Getting enough quality time together is a staple of every great parent-child relationship. If you’re super busy and can’t be with your children as much as you’d like, make sure that your time together counts. Do the things that excite them and provide them with invaluable learning experiences. It can be something as simple as going over the ninja course at a fun kids’ gym as long as they love it. Make memories you’ll both cherish for years to come. This will strengthen your bond and make it unbreakable.