The most important element in the parenting of a child is an ideal home environment, where your child can nourish and flourish. Children’s home or the place they grow up in have drastic effects on their mental health as well as their outlook on life in the years to come. A bad home environment, hence, surely means the pulling down of a child’s personality and health.
Almost one in 10 children over the age of eight are unhappy, according to a landmark survey by the Children’s Society.
If you are looking for ways to have an ideal home environment for your children; well, here are just the tips and factors that contribute into setting the tone for a positive home!
Reflect on your own childhood
Have you ever wondered “Oh man, I wish I grew up in a house where I wasn’t so neglected, or where I wasn’t insulted for my mistakes, or where I wasn’t brought down?”
Well, think about your own childhood and ask yourself about the things that made you feel like your home had a bad environment. Think about all those negative effects and avoid them in your home, to be a better parent.
Be emotionally available for your child
Being ‘present’ and being ‘emotionally available’ are two very different things. You may be feeding your child well or taking them out and you could still be emotionally unavailable.
To be emotionally available, you have to have empathy and an understanding of your child’s feelings. Communication is the vital key to understanding them. A bad environment means a place where you cannot express your sentiments honestly.
NEVER fight in front of your children
Fighting and screaming in front of your children is never okay. All parents have their disputes, but they must be settled in private like adults. Fighting in front of your children can lead to their:
- Emotional distress
- Failure in relationships
- Health Problems
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of concentration in studies
Never insult them
You may not be able to control what and how peers talk to and treat your children when they’re at school or on the soccer field, but you will always have control over the type of environment you create for your family.
Words like ‘dumb, ugly, fat, retard, stupid’ should be left on the doorstep of your home, to avoid a bad home environment. Your child’s own self-image and self-esteem are linked together.
The voice you use when you speak to your children, will be the voice they carry with them always. What you say and feel towards them is the basis of what children believe of themselves.
A voice of encouragement, love, patience, support and acceptance is the voice you should instill on your child.
Always encourage them and appreciate their good deeds
It’s up to parents how they choose to shape their child’s self-esteem and confidence. It ultimately determines how our children choose to stand up to pressures that can negatively impact them.
When you are teaching your child any skill, which scenario do you think would help them learn that skill and feel confident trying on their own?
- You get excited when they complete a step and learn a part. You cheer for their accomplishment and support them when they struggle to learn a concept, remaining positive until they get the hang of it.
- Your child is throwing a fit because they’re scared that you will be mad, you are annoyed and snap at them not following directions and say that they aren’t trying hard enough. Your voice is sharp and unkind.
The answer is clear – The first scenario of rewarding behavior with excitement and warmth. The positive words of praise you use work and they want to keep trying because of your encouragement.
Never control them
Being vigilant and careful regarding your children is okay, but controlling them is not. There is a fine line between both concepts.
One of the most common things that pops up in the mind of children when they hear the word ‘a bad environment’ is ‘controlling behavior’. Invading your children’s privacy, manipulating the decision that they are supposed to take on their own, makes a home environment far from an ideal environment.
Believe them to prevent bad home environment
Validate their feelings. Listen to them. And most importantly, let them know that you trust them. It is one of the most important things.
When children know that you believe them and that you won’t judge them for feeling a certain way, they will come to you to talk about your feelings and be honest with you.
This is one of the biggest problems that children face these days. They are not trusted, their feelings are invalidated, hence the secrecy from their parents who are actually supposed to be their guardians, resulting in a bad home environment.
Make them feel special
“My baby is the cutest baby in the world!”
“You are so talented!”
“My special child deserves all the love of this world!”
These may sound very cheesy but are very important. Regardless of the wording, telling your children that they are special and deserve the love is essential to an ideal home environment.
Our world is built around imagery and language that can be hurtful and detrimental. To avoid a bad environment outside your door, you can’t just have another bad environment in the safe space of your home. It’s your job to equip your children with the tools to overcome those obstacles and not fall in the pit of self-hatred.
Body-confidence is just as important as self-confidence. Teach your kid that body-shaming is not okay. Do you want them to believe they are anything less than the beautiful and incredible little human beings they are? Nope!
Also Read: How To Be a Good Mom?
Don’t lie to your kids
As an adult, you may justify lying to your kids by thinking:
“Oh, I just lied to avoid my home turning into a bad environment”
“I lied to protect them”
“Lying is okay because they’re kids and they don’t understand, I know more.”
But it is not okay. Your children are human beings too just like you. And just like others, they don’t deserve to be lied to either. Being honest with them will in turn lead them to be honest with you too.
Also Read: Best Toys For 6 Month Old Babies
Never make your children feel like a burden for being born
This is one of the biggest misconceptions that parents have. It wasn’t your children’s fault that they came to this world. Hence, never blame them or make them feel super privileged for giving them the basic necessities of life. Or it will lead them to have a very bad outlook about life.
The ultimate goal!
“I may have been raised in a bad home environment, but feeling the damage of this, I choose everyday to conscientiously parent my own children in a positive and sensible manner.” This should be your ultimate goal.
Knowing all these things, you are ready to be a good parent and can strive for an ideal home environment!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to survive in a bad home environment?
A bad home environment can be very suffocating for individuals. Financially dependent members of such homes, like children, often find it very difficult to escape the torment they face.
If you are physically, mentally, or even sexually endangered at your home, you should definitely contact authorities and explain your situation to them. Special organizations have been built to protect individuals from domestic abuse. Know that this type of torture seldom goes away on its own; without you having done anything. Therefore, never hesitate in reaching out and seeking help.
If such an act involves way too big a risk, there are things you can do while staying in that bad home environment. You need to maintain distance with your abuser. Avoid their vicinity. Do everyday activities such as studying at a friend’s house, or even a library.
In case both of those options are not available to you, find yourself a friend or guider who could listen to what you may be going through. Having a safe outlet for all that pent-up frustration and stress is extremely important in these cases.
Lastly, you must hold on. Being helpless in the face of abuse and malice can be tiring and even depressing. Be patient until you are financially able to look after your needs and shift to another place. Save up as much as you can and speed up this process by any means.
What is a bad home environment?
A bad home environment is one where one or multiple members of the home are harmed in many possible ways. Toxic home environments usually involve constant disagreements between the members, unbalance in each member’s role and significance, and even violence.
If you feel unsafe at your own home, belittled, ridiculed, undervalued and underappreciated, chances are your home’s environment is toxic
How do you move out of a bad home environment when you have low income?
Surely not everyone can afford the expenses that come with residential independence. If you have a low-paying job but immediately have to move out for the sake of your well-being, here are some things that you can do:
- Seek financial assistance such as a loan or aid
- Look for another, higher paying job
- Look for additional work in your free hours for extra earnings
- Split the rent/mortgage by finding a trustable roommate