Becoming a keen observer of your child may go even further in fostering positive emotional development than self-help articles, parenting books, and parenting websites and blogs. As a writer of all of those, it may seem surprising for me make this suggestion, but you’re the one who spends the most time with your child, was there from the beginning, can track changes in moods, social encounters, learning curves, and interests in activities.
So, who can learn to be a better judge of your child’s emotional well-being than you?
All you need is a parenting survival kit that includes savvy observational skills to add to your already well-developed love and devotion.
Becoming a Parenting Expert: Four Observational Parenting Skills
1. Develop a Baseline of Your Child’s Typical Temperament or Disposition
You already have a baseline of your child’s temperament whether you are aware of it or not. You just need to bring it into your conscious awareness.
To determine your child’s general disposition, ask yourself if your child is carefree, curious, sensitive, self-centered, generous, empathic, wary, moody, easy-going, shy, outgoing, nervous, slow-moving, always in a hurry, careful, or risk-taking?
Your child is probably a combination of several of these attributes. Looking at photos and videos can help you get a sense of how they have appeared to you over time to check against your view of their basic characteristics.
2. Track Changes in Mood
Now that you have a general picture of your child, it’s important to notice major changes that will indicate a problem or new opportunity has come up that you may need to be involved in. Mood changes are recognized by body language and conversation or the lack of it.