When Raising Confident Kids Is the Ultimate Goal
There is a lot of debate lately over the best way to raise children. “Helicopter” parents—those who try to micro-manage their children’s lives—are berated for raising children without coping skills. Meanwhile, “free-range” parents are often mocked or looked down upon for giving their own children some of the freedom they enjoyed. But they all have something in common: they would like their children to be successful.
Whatever your parenting style, you can prepare your children for more successful lives with a solid foundation that builds self-esteem and a strong personal identity.
1. Teach children about their family history.
Learning about our ancestry is important for medical reasons—so we can be proactive about avoiding behaviors that may lead to health conditions passed on genetically. But it’s also important to teach children about their roots to provide a sense of identity and societal belonging.
“Psychologically, building that connection to a child’s past and their roots may help provide the mindset and confidence a person needs to succeed,” says Brian Russell, Family and Child Service Provider for Kids Oneida, a not-for-profit organization that works with at-risk youth and their families.
2. Build fun family traditions.
Family traditions are all about togetherness—whether it’s an annual vacation at a lake house that’s been in the family for years or simply baking cookies at Christmas. When you take the time to continue family traditions—or create new ones—you provide children with a sense of belonging to a family unit. This can foster feelings of security needed for success.
“Traditions help maintain a sense of connection, even across the generations, which can be valuable in building confidence,” says Russell.
3. Show your children you always have their back.
It’s a parent’s job to teach their children—not necessarily to be their best friends. But it’s also important to let your children know you’ll stand up for them when they are right, cheer them on when they need support, and celebrate their victories with them.
Many parents do this daily by attending their children’s sporting events and supporting them in their academic endeavors. But you can also reach out when you can’t be physically present in the form of Lifetime Wishes.
Some Lifetime Wishes you can send to let your children know you care:
- Daily Wishes that remind your children of your love for them
- Wishes and advice on milestone birthday
- Unlocked Life Event Wishes that adult children can open at specific times: a new job, a move, a tough break-up, or a significant loss
Your children will know you’ve always got their back when you reach out and share your knowledge, insight, and encouragement in a personal Wish.