Little Lessons: 5 lessons from Why Your Children Love You

I attended a parenting seminar recently by Dr Eliza Lian-Ding and picked up a copy of her book Why Your Children Love You. Though I’m only halfway through the book,  I’ve picked out some insightful lessons to share with you.

1. The period when our kids need us most is short

“Developmentally, children want and need their parents’ physical presence for a short period of time. Then, as they approach adolescence, there is a greater need to separate from parents, as they explore their own values and identities. Our opportunity to make the deepest impact is time-limited.”

2. Their significance and value is found in us

“If we truly want to encourage our children to be life-long learners, then their efforts at learning should also matter, not just the final outcome…If your child gets the idea that his efforts count, then he will learn to accept himself and others. Children need to know that they are significant beings because they have been created with much love. It is a parent’s love that initially attributes worth to a child. He will later learn to value himself because of the way he sees himself being valued by his parents.”

3. Our actions and life weigh more than words

“You can instruct with words but your child can and will only be inspired by what he has seen in your own life.”

4. A child with a secure sense of self will have less need to give in to negative peer pressure

“… If a strong relationship has been established during the early childhood years, a child’s desire to please his parents will provide internal checks for his decisions. That is why it is vital for parents to be present in the early years. Persistent reinforcement of the values and boundaries that are necessary in life will help to leave a deep impression that will guide and guard the decisions of our children all through their lives.”

5. Performance-based acceptance can harm our children

Describing how she taught her daughter to cope with exam stress, Eliza writes,

“I wanted her to know that exams were merely for evaluating her understanding and knowledge. They did not define her self-worth. We need to move away from performance-based acceptance or our children’s self-esteem will be deeply affected.”

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  1. Mummy Wee says

    Totally agree with her. But sadly in Singapore, most parents don’t seem to be practising any of it.

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