As a parent, you’re responsible for more than just your child’s physical health. Raising kids with strong minds and hearts is an important part of parenting too. These simple strategies can help you instill positive values in your children.
Take a Step Back
If you want your child to develop the skills they need to thrive in life, you’ll want to encourage independent thinking whenever you can. Give them as many controlled choices as possible, let them talk about their wishes and opinions and try not to offer help unless they ask for it.
Utilize Natural Consequences
Discipline is an important part of raising healthy children. However, parents should be strategic about which consequences to dole out when a child acts out. Whenever possible, try to allow for natural consequences that help teach real life lessons. When you do have to create a consequence yourself, try to relate it as closely as possible to the offense, but in a way that does not shame or hurt your child.
Validate All Emotions
It’s natural for a parent to want to protect their child from sadness and disappointment. A temper tantrum thrown out of anger can also be unsettling and uncomfortable. However, this doesn’t mean that feeling sad or angry is a bad thing. Validate your child’s emotions by explaining that it’s ok to feel this way; they just have to learn how to handle big emotions in healthy ways. Also, remind your child that a day isn’t bad just because they have these feelings. All emotions are a normal part of everyday life.
Face Failure and Heartbreak Head-On
Parents may be tempted to step in and rescue their child from failure with good intentions. However, humans learn a lot from failure, even at a very young age. It’s necessary to make mistakes in order to develop resilience and true confidence. Don’t try to protect your child from failure and heartbreak too much. Instead, offer plenty of support and encouragement when it happens. Otherwise, children won’t develop the skills they need to succeed when life gets tough.
Model Positive Behaviors
Children learn a lot by watching their parents. How you handle challenges and life’s ups and downs is passed on to your kids in a very real way. Be honest about your emotions, persevere in tough times and apologize when you make mistakes. This is one of the greatest ways you can pass on strength and courage to your children.
Preparing your child to be mentally and emotionally successful in life takes intentionality and hard work. However, when you prioritize these areas, it can help you raise strong, resilient children who can thrive and live a fulfilled life.