Where parents work together to raise, rebuild, and restore the next generation on purpose.
Empower Children to be Self-Reliant
January 21, 2015
When we empower our children, they develop the skills they need to have power over their own lives. In the short term, empowerment plants the seeds for developing an “I can do it” attitude. In the long term, empowerment helps children become capable and develop high self-esteem in their teen and adult lives. Teaching life skills empowers your kids and helps them develop that priceless internal dialogue of “Yes I Can!”
Increase self-awareness: By verbalizing and helping the child understand feelings. Ask questions such as “how did that make you feel?”, “what do you think you should try to do?” For young children, you can help give names to feelings by giving a running commentary, “it hurt your feelings when he took the toy.” Focus on solutions together: For older kids with good verbal skills, ask questions to encourage them to explore their own solutions to problems. Then encourage them to choose a solution and follow through. Offer support along the way. For younger children, gently coaching with suggestions sets the groundwork, “perhaps he’ll give you the toy if you offer him another one?”
Have faith in children: Simply telling them you have faith they’ll resolve the problem, learn the new skill or reach their goal, etc. goes a very long way. Just having parents’ faith in them empowers kids to keep trying.
Let go: It is much easier to jump in and do things for your kids, to pick them up when they can walk to finish their sentences, to tie their shoes and carry their bags even though they are very capable of doing it for themselves. Avoid the temptation to do this. It is not worth the time savings when a parent jumps in and solves the problem for the child. In these instances, children are learning they can’t do it or can’t do it well enough to please parents, and therefore, aren’t good enough. The bed they made might look bad, the clothes may not match, you might be 10 minutes late waiting for those shoes to go on, but the end result is your child did it HIMSELF and that is priceless.