We as parents want our children to grow up confident and fearless, and it is up to us to help them on their journey. In this modern world where we are bombarded with opinions and judged at every corner it can at times be quite hard to maintain one’s sense of worth, but it is crucial that we install in our kids the defense mechanism that will help them navigate through the judgments and belittling and reach their desired goals.
This can at times be difficult, as we can get blinded by our desire to protect them from the big bad world, so here are five tips that will help you empower your child without taking away their ability to fight for themselves.
1. Let their voice be heard
This is one of the key things we, as parents can do to help our children build self-esteem. Take the time to listen to what they have to say, don’t shush them or tell them that what they are saying is stupid. Explain to them the reasons why you think their opinion is not the correct one and let them draw their own conclusions.
Make sure that you also hear that which isn’t being said. Watch how they behave, make them feel that they can tell you anything without being judged or interrogated. This will provide them with a safety net that is vital for their personal growth.
2. Don’t encourage them to back down
There will be times in your child’s life when they will want to quit or they will feel too afraid to even try. If there is no legitimate reasons for them to do so, except fear itself, you’ll need to stand firmly and not let them give up. The ability to move forward even if something is hard or scary is very empowering and it is important that your child learns this from a very young age. In addition, enabling them to quit without a fight will only make their life harder when they grow up.
So no matter how emotionally hard it might be, stand your grounds and don’t let your child be a quitter.
3. Let them choose their own path
In order for your kid to feel truly empowered it is crucial that they get to choose their own interests and paths. You are welcome to put your two cents in, but do not push them in the direction you want them to go. Often parents discourage their kids from pursuing their dreams due to the lack of funds, luckily nowadays there are great people and renowned education foundation scholarships that are bound to help your child get the funds needed to achieve their academic goal.
So don’t let the finances be the reason you kid had to give up on their dreams. As always, when there’s a will there’s a way.
4. Make gender stereotyping a thing of the past
We live in a world of freedoms, and one of them is the freedom to choose who we want to be. There are no more divisions between male and female sports or jobs, it only matters how good you are. This is something you need to teach your kid. Of course, you should tell them to expect a certain amount of bigotry and gender stereotyping, but it is your job to teach them how to navigate through that and not let it affect them.
If you want to succeed in this world you need to go in with eyes wide open, and it is our job as parents to make sure our kids know this, instead of expecting rainbows and unicorns wherever they go.
5. What you say matters
I still remember my mother saying, how Lucy is a nice girl and why couldn’t I be as nice. She didn’t know how hurtful it was at the time to hear this. What we say to our kids stays with them and follows them for the rest of their life.
This is why it is imperative that we avoid saying the same things that used to hurt us as kids. Make sure you encourage your child instead of making them feel bad, help them realize that they can do anything. Tell them you love them just as they are, and no, this is never implied. And finally, make sure not to transfer your worries and fears onto them.
So there you have it, five ways you can empower your kids and help them achieve their full potential, free of fear and social constraints.