The early years of a child’s life are some of the most critical in shaping who that child will become and what kind of life that child will enjoy. In essence, the first years of anyone’s life are the foundation for everything else. Just like a house is built upon a foundation, so a child grows and blossoms on the foundation of their earliest years.

Regardless of what life looks like for a young child, a foundation is being built. It can be a poor foundation that leads to hardship and pain later, or it can be a solid foundation that leads to success and happiness.

If you are parenting a young child, there are many things you can and should be doing to create the best possible foundation for your child. It might sound too obvious, but the most important thing that parents can do for their children is to love them well. Loving your child can mean many things. One way every parent can love their child is by putting the needs of your child above your own needs and sacrificing things you care about or love to do in order to create a solid foundation for your child. Being a parent means that you may not get to enjoy a night out with friends every week or that you may have to spend your free time doing something other than your favorite hobby.

Providing a great foundation for your child and loving them well also means spending time with them. There is no way to substitute time spent enjoying your child and teaching them new things. Even the best daycare situation in the world cannot replace parent-child time. Rearrange your schedule if you have to and commit yourself to prioritize your child in your schedule. These early years are the foundation not only for your child’s life but also for your parent-child relationship. Nothing could be more important than focusing on that.

Parents love their children well when they show interest in the growth and learning of their children. Take the time to teach your child new things. Be the one that helps them learn to walk or potty-train or say their first word. Build a foundation and trust with your child where they know that you care about them more than anyone else does. Commit to helping your child learn to read. Make time for storytime before your child goes to bed.

Building a strong foundation for your child is not rocket science. It is simply choosing to be unselfish and to do all you can to make your child’s life full of fun, safety, and love. Do not forget that these early years are the foundation for everything else that will happen in your child’s life. Do your part every day to ensure that your child’s foundation is better than okay.