Heather here from FamilyVolley.com, with more parenting tips for Idea Room Readers.
As parents, it is our job to help raise our children to be responsible and self sustaining adults who contribute to society. We want them to be self-reliant. So, what can we do to help our children develop the skills they need to rely on themselves? Here are 4 tips to developing self reliance in our children.
First, teach your children to brainstorm. It is usually easier to give our children the answers to their questions or struggles when they arise. all the answers. Most of the time, it is faster than encouraging them to figure out the answer by themselves. Instead of being so quick to solve their problems we need to encourage them to brainstorm. Here is how we can do that. (This can apply to situations when they forget their backpacks, or are having trouble with a friend at school.)
When a problem arises, ask…
“What’s bothering you”?
Let them explain and then assure them…
“I know you can figure this out.”
“How do you think you can fix the problem”?
If the solution won’t necessarily work, support it with positive words and encourage them to keep thinking.
This will teach our children to rely on their own ability to solve problems.
Second, encourage public speaking. Encourage your children to order at restaurants for themselves, to introduce themselves to other people and to say please and thank you. This will give them the courage to rely on themselves in social settings.
Third, allow negotiation. This is important. We need to talk about rules together, be open to our children’s suggestions and opinions, and hear them out if they feel the need to plead their case. Our children need to learn to stand up for their opinions and what they think is good for their lives also. We need to be open for listening. This doesn’t mean we always give in, or that our children are always right, but it does mean that we need to allow the time and space for them to negotiate.
Fourth, allow our children to fail. As parents, it is easy to expect perfection from our children. And then when they fail, we say and do things that make them feel like they aren’t good enough. Failure is a part of life, and it teaches us important lessons. It is just like riding a bike. We fall off our bike as we are learning. It is a natural part of the process. As parents, we don’t tell our kids to quit trying to learn, we pick them up off the ground, give them a hug, and assure them they can try again.
Keeping the end goal of self reliance for our children in the back of our minds will help us make smart parenting choices and prepare our children for the future.
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