Being a parent comes with a multitude of responsibilities and duties. Of course, you want your children to grow up to be healthy, happy and exceptional adults, but for that to happen your children need to be properly cared for, guided, loved, disciplined, taught and encouraged along the way.
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Your Child's Health
From the moment your child is born, it's your responsibility to care for him and keep him healthy. You have to take your child to the pediatrician for scheduled well child check-ups, where the staff track his height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and body temperature, and the doctor addresses any concerns you may have and administers immunizations when it's time for them, according to Kids Health (See Ref 2). In addition, need to take your child for regular dentist visits, normally every 6 months, and an eye exam annually. You'll make sure your child is getting the proper amount of sleep for his age, suggests the National Sleep Foundation (See Ref 4), so that's he's well rested and energized. It's your duty to ensure your child is eating a healthy, balanced diet, filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy, suggests HealthyChildren.org (See Ref 1). You'll also need to make sure your child stays active, through playtime outside, sports and other activities.
Create a happy home life for your child by providing a safe, stable home for him. Spend quality time together with your child when you're at home, whether by playing together, preparing meals with him or reading together each night. Work with your spouse and child to create a schedule for your family. Include mealtimes together, bath times, free time and regular bedtimes. While it's important to spend time together with your child, it's also important to give him space and time alone.
Your Child's Education
It's your duty to ensure your child receives a good education and has access to the resources necessary to make that happen. Research schools to determine which school suits your child and your family best and stay involved with your child's education, recommends Family Education. Get to know your child's teachers and school staff by attending school events and activities. Volunteer in your child's classroom and attend parent-teacher conferences. Show your child that you're invested in his education by talking to him about school and staying up-to-date on school happenings. Create an area at home specifically for homework, free of distractions, and work with your child on his homework and school projects.
Rules and Punishments
Establish rules, and consequences for breaking those rules. When you discipline your child, you're setting him up to succeed in life, according to AskDrSears.com. Decide what rules are beneficial and important for your family, such as being kind to one another, using manners, not yelling, not lying and respecting others' belongings. Set limits for watching television, using electronics and playing video games. Children should have no more than 2 hours total of screen time per day, according to HealthyChildren.org. Once you've set your house rules, decide on what the punishment will be for breaking a rule. Of course, this will vary depending on the age. If you use time-outs, you should give your child 1 minute of time-out for each year of age, according to HealthyChildren.org. Other punishments could include taking away privileges or using logical consequences, such as taking away toys if your child does not put them away when asked to do so.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- HealthyChildren.org: Childhood Nutrition
- KidsHealth: Your Child's Checkup, 9 Years
- Family Education: Top 10 Ways to Help Your Kids Get A's
- National Sleep Foundation: Children and Sleep
- HealthyChildren.org: Time-Outs 101
- HealthyChildren.org: Where We Stand: TV Viewing Time
- AskDrSears.com: What is Discipline?
- Psychology Today: 6 Benefits of Alone Time