As parents, one of our biggest goals is for our children to grow up confident with an amazing sense of self-worth. When the going becomes tough, we know persistence and tenacity are important traits for our kids to have. When they are born, children are a blank slate. Although it’s a scary thought, children may well become what adults tell them they are in the early years. A child who is nurtured to believe in themselves encouraged to take risks, and is continually reinforced for their efforts with positive affirmations will most likely develop a strong belief in him or herself and their capabilities.
Here are a few tips to empower kids so they can grow into confident, happy, respectful, and resilient teenagers and adults.
Allow your child to make decisions
From a young age, encourage your child to make decisions that directly relate to them by giving your child choices. For example, allow your child to choose between cereal or a bagel for breakfast. Even allowing them to make decisions for simple things such as picking out the color of their toothbrush can have a big impact. Choice and voice go together. Giving your child the opportunity to make their own decisions gives them a voice in what directly relates to them and their daily life.
Teach your child responsibility
Being responsible is the key to your child’s success both in school and in the larger world when they grow up. Whether big or small, it’s never too early to start giving your children responsibilities. Start with simple tasks such as assigning chores. Not only will chores teach your kids many life skills, but they will also help them become more self-reliant. Your child will take pride knowing that they are able to complete essential tasks on their own without the help of an adult.
As your children grow older, you can start to give them bigger responsibilities such as teaching them the value of money and giving them a set budget for things. As you shop, encourage your kids to compare prices before making a purchase. A great way to teach your child the value of money and get more bang for your buck is to encourage them to shop secondhand. Thrifting is becoming a popular shopping method with many thrift stores now carrying items from top brands. Your child may even be surprised at some of the stylish pieces they can score while thrifting. An online consignment shop, thredUP, is a great secondhand resource to share with your children. They carry clothing from popular brands like Lularoe for more affordable prices. Lularoe is great for teens and even young adults because their diverse selection of clothing allows you to easily mix and match resulting in multiple looks with fewer pieces! Take this opportunity to show your kids the difference in the cost of purchasing all new items versus secondhand items.
Encourage your child to follow their interests
Your child’s interests are their passions that bring meaning, joy, and energy into their life. What makes your kids light up inside may not always be what interests you, but if they are drawn to a particular activity it’s important to be as supporting and encouraging as you can. When encouraging your children to follow their interests, allow them to explore without pressure. This is important because finding out that we have an interest in something can cause us to feel vulnerable or even unsure at first. Allowing your child to go through this process naturally gives them the opportunity to identify what they like and what brings them joy. This is the time to observe. If you notice your child lights up as they plant their first garden or asks for follow-up guitar lessons, create more opportunities for them to do what they are gravitating towards.
Take your children volunteering
There are many positive benefits of volunteering including learning empathy, developing a sense of self-efficacy, the opportunity to develop and learn new skills, giving back, and making a difference in other people’s lives. It’s also a great way for your child to stand up for something that they believe in. VolunteerMatch is a great resource to help you find volunteer opportunities in your area. Set aside time with your child to browse through the different organizations and opportunities to find the best match for your family!
What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments below. I really would love to know.
Until next time, shine amongst the stars!
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