How will you know if you have been a successful parent? What kind of people are you nurturing for the next generation? I have thought about these questions for some time now and when I strip my answers down to the core, I always come back to the same answer. I want my children to be fearless! Fearless in every sense of the word (except me of course, they need to fear me)! 🙂 I want my sons to be critical thinkers, challenge authority and status quo, be confident in their decisions and not be afraid to ask questions or to be different. Wow, that was a mouthful! I think many parents have some of the same goals for their children, so how do we accomplish this? It really comes down to their self -esteem. For children to grow into adults equipped with these traits, we have to build their self -esteem.
- Love– Children need unconditional love.They have to feel secure in your love for them, and know that nothing they do will change how much you love them. You may be disappointed in a particular behaviour, but that doesn’t make you love them any less. Frequent hugs and kisses and special time together also goes a long way in showing your love.
- Provide opportunities for success-Allow children to “put themselves out there”. Encourage them to get involved in school, church, extracurricular activities. Have them sign up /try-out for leading roles and/or responsible positions New Balance 993 Outlet. Taking a swing at something new, meeting new people, making new friends, basically stepping outside of their comfort zone, develops a “can-do-anything” mentality.
- Failure is OK-The flipside of putting yourself out there, is the possibility of failure. You won’t be successful or win at everything you try. A huge lesson for children, and adults for that matter, is the fact that failure is OK. We learn much more from our experiences failing that we do when we succeed. Children need to experience failure to prepare for the real world. Failure gets us back to the drawing board to find a better solution, to come back better the next time around. Our older son is a swimmer, and at one of his swim meets he didn’t win and came to us at the end crying. He was upset that he didn’t win jordans on sale cheap. I felt so badly for him, and was coddling and consoling and started the argument that “winning isn’t everything”, “it is about just doing your best” etc. Then his father looked around and asked what he was crying for? He told him because he didn’t win. His Dad just matter-of- factly told him, “Look, stop the crying, if you want to win you just have to swim faster! You need to practice more and swim faster. There is no reason to cry!” At the time I thought that was a little harsh for my little 7 year old “baby”, but honestly this was some good advice. That in a nutshell is life! (My husband surprises me sometimes:))
- Be present-This is a work in progress for me, but so important. Starting a new business and social media and trying to keep up with all the information that comes from all angles, it is so hard to disconnect. You know it is bad when my1.5 year old cries when I sit down in front of my laptop, and my 8 year old says Mummy you are always working on your computer!!! That gets you right in the gut. He asked me, “Mummy, who you do like more, the computer or me?” I have really had to set some limits for my working hours and give my children the time they deserve and just unplug.
- Empower them to make choices– I learned this from a session on Positive parenting with Amy McCready. Children feel that they have no power. We decide their food, their clothes, bed time etc. so give them back a little power. Explain your expectations and then let them know the consequences. The outcome is totally their decision. Or they have a choice between two options (that you are ok with). Let them decide which route to take. Along with helping with decision making, it also allows for discussions on consequences for every action.
Fear is just so limiting. Your world is such a small place when you are fearful. We have to raise children who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone and conquer new horizons. How do you encourage fearless children and build their self-esteem? Share your comments below.