We all want our children to grow up happy and healthy, ready to take on whatever the world throws at them. Every good parent strives to create an environment where their children can explore and discover and thrive. They try to be the positive example and great role model that their kids need.
One of the most impactful ways that parents can start to instill resilience, curiosity, and confidence in their children is to expose them to different experiences. These experiences can help them learn new skills, begin to navigate the world, and manage emotions of all kinds. Many of these experiences can develop into hobbies and passions that will be the basis for creating a healthy life.
Positive and safe environments that allow children to explore the world around them and learn new things can have an outsized role in the positive development of a child. Ultimately, this can set them up for success in a million different small ways. There’s no limit on the future opportunities that could be unlocked through positive experiences and the development of a positive attitude at a young age.
Build Confidence and a Sense of Achievement
For all people, learning begins on day one. Newborn babies are quick to learn their mother’s voice and recognize her love and affection. By three months, babies can distinguish different phonetic sounds used in conversation. Thus, it’s never too early to start engaging with your child and giving them positive affirmations for their behavior.
As babies become toddlers, the number of opportunities to give them positive experiences and encourage them to try something new expands exponentially. Something as simple as cheering on your child as they take their first barefoot steps on green grass can instill a sense of accomplishment, build confidence, and incite a positive association with grass and nature. Experiences such as going down their first slide, going to a petting zoo, and picking out their own outfits can have a similar impact.
Positive experiences can also help communicate your values to your child and plant the seed for them to hold similar ones. For instance, teaching your child to reuse and recycle items can be the first step in creating sustainable habits. Likewise, other tasks such as having them help plant a garden can teach kids environmental awareness, instill a sense of wonder of the natural world, and leave your child with a sense of accomplishment associated with producing food everyone can enjoy.
Develop Social Skills and Emotion Management
Engaging your child in positive experiences can also help them develop better social and emotion-management skills. Playdates, daycare, and trips to the park to play with other children are all learning experiences that will ultimately set your child up for success. Playing with others is a key component of learning to share and manage interpersonal relationships — critical skills in the working world.
Of course, not every social interaction your child has is going to go perfectly. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, though. In fact, that experience can become one of the most important if handled well. Teaching children to manage negative emotions and feelings is invaluable and can be the start to teaching them positive thinking and how to develop affirmations about themselves and others.
This concept will likely begin to come into play more as your child enters daycare or school settings. Take the time to talk with your child about their social relationships and how they are getting along with their peers. Letting them talk through both problems and fun adventures can teach them how to manage relationships and make them feel valued. Every social interaction, whether positive or negative at the start, can have a positive and rewarding outcome.
Teach Responsibility and the Value of Work
A number of the positive experiences you choose for your child could evolve into something more. As children discover new things and experiences, they are bound to find some activity they truly enjoy. Helping your child discover and develop hobbies can be a profoundly rewarding experience for a parent.
As your child pursues their hobby, there are a few additional skills they will ultimately have the opportunity to learn. Extracurricular activities involve more adult skills — such as time management, responsibility, and the values of work. Any hobby, such as participating on a sports team, learning an instrument, or even becoming an expert in dinosaurs, requires some of these skills.
For example, a hobby such as horseback riding can help children learn certain values that they may not learn otherwise. They may participate in caring for animals, managing their time to attend riding lessons, or even learning how to budget their horse-riding money and make long-term commitments. All of these skills are huge life benefits and all come from a positive experience your kid will want to have again and again.
Children are constantly learning new things. Positive experiences may lead to all sorts of positive outcomes such as greater confidence, better social skills, or an understanding of responsibility. Giving your child many of these experiences can be a huge benefit that ultimately leads them to future success in life.