The process of pregnancy and giving birth is miraculous, but it’s not always easy to explain it to a child. With so many negative influences out there, particularly on the internet, it’s important to have healthy discussions at home. Fortunately, there are many positive parenting solutions you can employ to instill good values in your children. One of the best resources is Krystle Joy DeGraide’s pro-life children’s book.
You can use The Story of You to get the conversation going and help your child to develop an interest in the wonder of their young bodies. The lessons taught in the book should be supported by the use of positive and age-appropriate stories, real-life examples and experiences, and active tasks. Let’s explore how you can help your little ones to develop a respect for life and build up a strong moral foundation that will serve them for life.
8 Positive Parenting Solutions for Instilling a Sense of Respect for Life in a Child
1. Always Use Positive Language
In today’s world, it can be very hard for both girls and boys to develop a respect for life and a positive relationship with their bodies. Social media and celebrities are influencing more people at very young ages, and often their message is not as healthy as is desirable. For this reason, it’s crucial that parents always use positive and encouraging language when speaking to their children about themselves and their lives.
As early as three to four, your child will start to develop a picture of him- or herself. The younger you start to foster a positive relationship with the natural process of development and growth, the more likely that this self-image will be positive. By speaking to your child in a healthy way, you can help them to avoid having negative thoughts as they grow up, which lays that key, foundational message: human life is worth something!
2. Make Use of a Pro-Life Children’s Book
Sometimes, it can be hard to know exactly what to say, and there aren’t many resources out there that help you to explain the circle of life to your children. The Story of You by Krystle Joy DeGraide is a unique depiction of a baby’s journey in the womb. Using colorful images and an age-appropriate storyline, the book takes your child through the first stages of development and instills a sense of wonder about the process.
Aside from fostering a young person’s natural curiosity and interest in life, The Story of You also helps you to instill good values and morals in your child. It is created by a mother who has first-hand experience with raising young children and is also on the Board of Directors for a Pro-Life organization.
3. Use Examples from Your Life
Most educators and developmental specialists agree that a combination of formal information and first-hand experience produces the greatest results when it comes to educating children. Reading The Story of You is the first step. The book teaches children about themselves and allows them to develop a sense of respect for life. However, it works best when it’s supported with real-life examples from the child’s surroundings.
If you’re currently pregnant, you can involve your older children in the process and use the book to speak to them about the precious life growing in your womb. If not, there might be women in your social circle who are expecting or have recently given birth. Take your child to see a baby, so they can experience first-hand what the book talks about. That way, the lesson will be reinforced, and you will have started some important conversations.
4. Work with Pictures and Stories
You might have noticed how vivid your child’s imagination is and how well they respond to stories. One of the main ways we learn about our surroundings is by listening to stories with positive messages and morals. For this reason, any list of positive parenting solutions has to include speaking to your child by using fictional worlds. You could involve your child’s favorite characters in the conversation and thereby frame the information in a way they can process.
Sometimes, your child might like to develop the storyline further and create his or her own stories. When looking at your pro-life children’s book with your little ones, allow enough time for discussion of the images. Ask them plenty of questions, such as “What’s happening here?” and “What’s this?”, so they can become more involved in the learning process and think more actively about the topic at hand.
5. Answer Questions Honestly but Tactfully
When you’re discussing pregnancy and birth with your children, there will inevitably be a lot of questions. It’s important that you are honest and upfront with your children and that you take them seriously. This doesn’t mean stating facts they might not yet be able to process but simply sharing the truth in a child-friendly way. It might help to think about or read up on the questions that are likely to come up and figure out how you will answer them.
If you’re stuck, you could ask some of your friends who have slightly older children or get in touch with a professional, such as Krystle Joy DeGraide. She will be able to help you and suggest some tips about how you can best use her book to start a positive, dynamic conversation. You can also sign up for her newsletter to receive regular content about this topic.
6. Keep Your Child’s Developmental Stage in Mind
While all children develop at slightly different rates, there are some commonalities, and the way children think and pick up information alters drastically as they grow up. It pays off to keep your child’s current developmental stage in mind when speaking about important topics like life and birth. Between the ages of 2-7, children go through a phase called the preoperational stage, and a lot happens in their brain.
By the time your little one is 7, he or she can use symbolic thinking and communicate feelings and simple concepts clearly. However, children don’t develop abstract thought until they are much older, and they might not understand time, space, and quantity until a later phase. Always think about how you can best speak to your child so that the information reaches them at their level.
7. Share Your Own Experience
Children are almost always intensely interested in their own situation and how they relate to the world. Use this to your advantage and frame your conversation around your own child. Using The Story of You, you’ll be able to explore how your child came to be and what the journey in the womb was like. As a part of this, questions about your experience are bound to come up.
Before starting the conversation, think about what details about your pregnancy you’d like to share with your children. Did you have any funny cravings that would lighten the mood and add humor to the conversation? Did you know whether your baby was a girl or a boy, and if so, did you have a baby shower during which you found out? Use images and objects around the house to make your story come alive.
8. Include Active Tasks
While you should start the conversation with a book, images, and stories, this doesn’t have to be the end, and you can keep instilling positive values in your children by involving them in some activities that further explore the topic. The more active you can make the learning process, the more involved they will become. You can tailor this part of the process exactly to your children’s personal needs and developmental stage.
For example, you can create drawing or finger painting tasks if your child is artistic, or you can build a model if he or she prefers to work with wood or cardboard. Some children might also like to own a baby doll to take care of, so they can actively implement what they learned. Painting, cutting, gluing, and other active tasks can all reinforce the message you are sharing with your little ones, and they can also help your children to further develop their life skills.
There are many positive parenting solutions that can help you to start a conversation about pregnancy and birth with your children. In addition to using a high-quality pro-life children’s book, you can also use real examples in your surroundings, share your own pregnancy stories, and present your children with active tasks they will enjoy. Remember to use only positive language and keep your child’s developmental stage in mind.
The best way to get started today is by buying The Story of You and reading it to your children. Get in touch with Krystle Joy DeGraide if you need more information. She will be more than happy to speak to you and share her own parenting experiences. You can also sign up for her newsletter for regular information about pro-life topics related to young children.