Based on the amount of feedback I received from last week’s parenting article, it’s clear that creative parenting and grand-parenting is an important subject for many of my readers. So based on the feedback from last week’s nugget I am offering three more important ways to support a “can do” attitude in children.
Three Important Things To Teach Children
First: Always affirm their real achievements and goals. Gold stars need to affirm exceptional achievements, not average achievements. Children know the difference.
It’s important to remember that self-esteem and self-confidence are critical. Children tend to succeed in life to the level they believe they can achieve. Affirm their real accomplishments.
Second: Teach them always to take responsibility for the choices they make. Help them connect the choices they make with the outcomes that result from those choices. The message should not be a judgment as-to-whether the choice was good or bad. They know that without being told! Just matter of factly assume they will take full responsibility for the outcomes of their choices…….and most importantly, never get in the way of the consequence. That’s how they will learn!
Teaching self-responsibility sounds simple, but more than any other life skill, it will empower children to create a more successful and happy life for themselves! Stated simply, never get in the way or protect them, from dealing with the consequences of choices they’ve made.
When children can connect the consequences that result from the choices they’ve made, it will help them develop the inner wisdom that their dreams won’t happen just because they want them to happen. They will learn that their dreams will come true only when they are willing to spend the time and energy necessary to develop the skills and knowledge they will need to make their dreams come true. Without this insight, they will grow up with the tendency to blame others or the world, for the unhappy lives and lack of success they created through the choices they made!
Third: Teach children that perfection is an illusion found only in the human mind. Nothing in the universe is perfect! But everything in the universe is evolving, changing, growing, and “becoming”! Teach them that the important goal in life is always to give it your best shot. Keep improving. Keep learning. Keep “becoming” the person you dream about “becoming”.
Encourage them to do the best they can, but help them recognize that whenever the goal is perfection, they are putting their self-esteem at risk by chasing an impossible illusion! Warn them that judgmental criticism from others will only encourage perfectionist thinking and the illusion that they should be perfect! When the perfection they seek as a result of criticism and judgment fails to materialize, their self-esteem and self-confidence will suffer. Remind them they will always encounter those who judge and criticize. Encourage them to always stay true to their dreams.
These are three important things to teach children and grandchildren to ensure they live happy and successful lives. We could probably benefit from them as well.<