Deepika, Tournesol Kids volunteer
All parents want their child to grow up to be confident, amazing individuals. They want their children to be successful and happy. They want to teach their kids about resilience and persistence so that they can bravely face the world during the tough times and come out of those troubled waters with a smiling face. A parent wants the best for the child!
How do we accomplish that? As a child grows up, it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that they empower and nurture their child with the right qualities. Empowering a child is a process of guiding them to feel and believe that they are powerful and that they can achieve their dreams. Empowering a child means trusting them, loving them and encouraging them.
Here are few tips on how to empower children so they can grow into happy, confident and resilient adults:
- Connect and communicate: We lead busy lives filled with work, cleaning house, cooking meals, groceries and ensuring children get to school and their activities. In midst of all these activities, sometimes we forget to take the time to connect and communicate with our children. It is important to connect with your child. Parents should not only listen to what they say but also observe their moods. Spend time with your children, listening to them about their school, friends and anything else they wish to share with you. Encourage them to talk.
- Encourage choice: Encourage your children to make decisions. Slowly give them more power over their choices. Initially it can be choices about healthy breakfast or choosing their outfits. Don’t discourage the children over the choice. For example if they make they an unhealthy choice for breakfast, discuss with them about their choices and let them choose. With time as the child grows they will make rightful choices about important decisions.
- Encourage empathy: It is important to teach our children about empathy and helping others. You can start with something small like donating food to charities or helping in community clean-ups. Parents should participate along with their children in various activities, as the child learns & grows by mirroring.
- Encourage adventure and curiosity: It is important that as parents we encourage the curiosity of our children. It can be about learning more about planting or exploring the national park nearby or trying the big slide. As a parent we should encourage our children to explore and take risks (at an accepted level) so that it develops their self- confidence, their adventure and allows them to understand their environment.
- Encourage a positive and realistic self-image: It is easy to praise our child by telling them that they are the best in whatever they do. It is important to encourage but in a positive and realistic manner. We face tough situations in life and it is important that we build our resilience and be persistent towards our goal. As parents we are responsible for ensuring that our children develop this resilience and persistent. We can achieve this by ensuring that we encourage our child to keep trying until they succeed.