The world children grow up in today is vastly different than the one many of us remember from our own childhoods.
As parents, we want more for our children than just academic and career success; we want them to believe in themselves, lead positive, purposeful, rewarding lives, and grow to become the best possible version of themselves. However, with their schedules jam packed with extracurricular activities, technology at their fingertips, and a whole new breed of school bullying, it is easy for a child to feel powerless in their own life.
It’s now more important than ever to empower children by giving them the tools they need to develop their own identity and the personal strength to achieve their goals and become their own role models for positive living.
1. Teach Your Child That Their Uniqueness Is Their Power
Starting from a young age, it is important to ingrain in your child that the things that make them different from others are their greatest assets. Encourage them to take pride in their individuality and continue to reinforce this idea as they get older, so they learn to celebrate the unique qualities in themselves and others, instead of losing self-esteem.
Positively reinforce the behaviors they display that demonstrate them being true to their authentic being. Discuss topics like authenticity and being truthful to who you are to create awareness and language around those topics early on, so they can truly embrace their authentic power as they get older and bullying will affect them less or may dispel it altogether.
2. Create a Drama Free Zone
Children learn what is and is not acceptable in society by observing the behaviors, actions, and reactions of others.
Set an example for your child by surrounding yourself with positive people and engaging in activities that give you energy, while avoiding people, activities, and foods that drain your energy or negatively upset the balance in your life. Teaching your child the difference between positive and negative behavior early on creates an advantage by helping them identify positive and negative influences in their lives as they get older. This allows the child to develop awareness and creatively establish boundaries that keep positive energy and intention in their life and keep drama out, so they can reach their greatest potential.
3. Talk About Online Safety
Technology can be a powerful learning tool for your child; however, it can also be a window for bullies and predators to enter their lives. As a parent, to protect your child, you must be aware of all the ways your child is engaging with technology and monitor their communication with others on an ongoing and daily basis. Discuss safety issues and proper uses of technology to encourage more productive experiences.
Most parents are vigilant at first, but they often get too comfortable with their child’s use of technology as time goes on, leaving their child vulnerable. While your child may not be causing any issues themselves, others may be infiltrating their online space. By teaching your child why they should not share photos of themselves online or why they should keep their location services turned off, you will not only protect your child, but also empower them to use technology safely to explore the possibilities of the digital world.
4. Address Overbooked Schedules
Make sure your kid has time to just be a kid. Respect your child’s need for down time in between or after a jam-packed day of activities by building it into their daily routine. Encourage activities that allow your child to decompress—whether it’s free play, yoga, meditation, or just taking a break from technology. This will teach your child to set aside that same type of time for themselves when they start to manage their own schedule and will better equip them to handle stress as they get older.
Also, discuss the importance of quality sleep for energy, passion, and mental clarity to achieve their goals.
5. Teach with Positive Reinforcement
Focusing on your child’s positive behaviors and achievements and rewarding them with praise often breeds more positive behaviors and empowers them to make better choices while building their self-esteem.
Reprimanding your child for negative behaviors may reduce negative behaviors; however, it does not increase positive behaviors and can be damaging to the child’s developing sense of inner confidence and strength.
Serving as a mirror to reflect your child’s positive actions, abilities, and qualities helps them to see themselves as valuable, talented, and capable individuals. The way you teach your child to behave positively also sets an example for your child to teach their peers to treat them with respect and kindness.
And always keep in mind your actions speak louder than your words.
You are your child’s role model. How you speak to and treat others is usually replicated.
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Click Here to see my piece on this topic on FOX News.
Top media mogul and business expert Jen Groover has been tagged by Success Magazine as a “One-Woman Brand” and “Creativity and Innovation Guru” and as a leading “Serial Entrepreneur” by Entrepreneur Magazine. She has gone from guest hosting spots on QVC to linking deals with some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights. Jen is a top business and lifestyle contributor and content creator for major networks, such as ABC, CBS, CNBC, NBC, Fox News, Fox Business News, and The CW. You can also connect with Jen on Facebook and Twitter.
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