We can help our children along successful life paths by encouraging their achievement from a sense of purpose rather than a sense of obligation or a fear of disappointment. We can emphasize their unique talents and promise. Ideally, we want them to feel good about their authentic selves as they discover the type of a person they are and want to become.
Demanding or imposing our desires or goals onto our children not only often backfires but denies our children the opportunity to be who they are meant to be. Consider observing and listening to your child, engaging in meaningful dialogue to gain a better understanding of how they are feeling, and what they want out of their own lives. As we listen, we can better gauge how we can guide and inspire them as they understand their own views of the world and we can model how to handle pleasant and unpleasant experiences. We can help them expand their horizons and discover their own inner strengths. With practice, our kids can find out who they are, become independent, and lay the groundwork for dealing with disappointments and hardships in ways that are both mentally and physically healthy.
Here are a few tips to practice:
Be Honest – Talk honestly. Ask questions that allow kids to share who and what they are. Validate their feelings, as this helps them believe they are heard as well as understood and accepted. This helps to give them strength and desire to know they are okay and that they can find ways to adapt when necessary. It also demonstrates that we care.
Refer to The Kindness Advantage as a resource.