Rise and Shine Expo, an informative expo to raise happy and healthy children, was held in Singapore last year. There were more than 100 seminars, workshops and trial classes, conducted by renowned experts around the world, including Dr Bill Sears who gave a workshop on ‘The successful child: What Parents can do to help kids turn out well’.
Dr. Bill Sears, one of America’s most renowned pediatricians, is the father of eight children, and author of over 40 books on childcare. He is the Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Dr Sears Lean has a series on this blog, covering many aspects of raising healthy kids.
Last week, we covered many of Dr Sears’ tips on baby health issues, today we will cover more on parenting.
Dr Sears mentioned that the number 1 reason that children grow up to be criminal is the lack of capacity to care and lack of empathy. Success is defined differently by every parent but emphasis ought to be on the character.
Dr Sears’ Ten tools for Success
- Empathy and Compassion – Start in infancy with attachment parenting which lead to childhood Cs, with a lower likelihood that the child will turn out to be the school bully. Ask empathy questions like “How would you feel if…?”, raise siblings who care (role playing) and engage in empathy games.
- Ability to make wise choices – This refers to the ability to think through what you’re about to do, and knowing that choices have consequences. Children can be engaged in ‘replay’ scenarios, pretend choices and parents be aware of teachable moments. A career is a major decision in life, and Dr Sears believe that instead of influencing children’s career choices, it ought to be emphasized ‘whatever you do, do it well’.
- Good communicate skills – Teach the child to speak eye-to-eye, touch the child as you talk, speak naturally to the child and parents should pay attention to their body language and listening to the child. Always remember that the parent is the child’s cheer counsellor. On speech development, a child needs to learn to speak comfortably before speaking correctly, therefore the parent should not unduly correct the language but can speak back the correct way.
- Sense of responsibility – Children who depend most in the first two years turned out to be independent adults, teach responsible attitude like ‘I did it, I’ll fix it’. Children can be given jobs, responsibilities to gain that sense of responsibility.
- Sense of moral reasoning – Children should be taught to think before they act, and raising a successful child include working on their character, kindness and manners.
- Health attitude about sexuality – Always be the first resource children turn to by letting them know they can turn to you early in their life, for instance let the child know ‘if you tell me, I won’t get angry’.
- A love of learning– Parents who value learning, create harmonious homes, have family meals, stretch NOT stress kids, involved in school can help children to adore learning!
- Confidence – Encourage your child, frame the child positively, play and observe the child to discover the talent/intelligence they have which can go beyond reading or logic, into areas like music, dance and drawing.
- Joyful attitude – To raise a joyful child, encourage him, help him relax, introduce music, help him/her to feel positive about own self and most importantly, let children know that they cannot control circumstances but can always control their reaction.
- Healthy LEAN habits – Health Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, Nutrition go a long way to helping to raise happy, healthy children, see here for the first of DrSearsLean series on this blog.
Dr Sears on Sibling Rivalry
Dr Sears suggested to have the siblings do a task together, or to help one another.
Tantrums are common for children under two, as they have yet to be able to verbalize; however, this should be differentiated from manipulative tantrum which parents should not be pulled into. Discipline is based on right relationship than the right techniques.
I didn’t get to have Dr Sears vet through this post before publishing, any and all mistakes mine. It was a lovely day listening to Dr Sears during the Rise and Shine Expo.