How Much Do Our Kids Really Need To Be Successful?

Contributed by Chelsea Wicks, MD

Many of us want to give our kids everything we can.  Perhaps we are trying to make sure they grow up with more than we had so they can have more opportunities.  However, I feel it is very easy for parents these days to strain themselves as well as their children trying to squeeze in too much. I recently read a great article and it got me thinking, what do our kids really need from us? I think it really starts at the beginning. 
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I think the best way to encourage an infant’s development is to simply sit on the floor with them and talk to them. As they grow, toddlers begin learning how to speak because they hear their parents speaking. They also thrive when they are talked to directly. In the childhood years, they go through so many changes and have so many questions. Typically, the first person they go to for answers – their parents. Because of this, we hope they will come to us as teenagers as well. 

Helping a child develop into a happy, confident adult seems to stem from learning along each step of the way from the adults closest to them and from feeling loved. I truly believe this is what they really need. They don’t need all the fancy light-up, musical toys. They don’t need soccer, piano, swimming and ballet all at once (don’t get me wrong, I think extra-curricular activities are a great way to help build confidence, but I think there’s a limit that needs to be set). 

They don’t need an ipod, iphone and ipad to be successful as teenagers. They need to know they have someone they can go to with questions, excitement and tears. They need to know they are loved.


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