Ways to Help Your Kid Be a Rockstar & Emotionally Ready For Life!
Is your child emotionally ready for the world?
All parents want their kids to succeed and be happy. We evaluate and reevaluate every move we make, every word we say. We don’t want to see them fail so we jump in to help. We don’t want them to get hurt so we stop them from climbing. We praise every single thing they do as if they just solved the meaning of life. We pretend the world is full of puppies, unicorns, and rainbows. But what if we allowed them to fail, to bleed, to cry, and to see the world for what it is: a beautiful rainbow that sometimes has a few dark shadows. Would they fare better in the real world?
Above all, walk the talk.
Your kids are watching you. Believe it or not, they look up to you, they follow your lead. This isn’t as minor as telling them not to drink when you have a glass of wine in front of you. This is about the ethical and moral choices you make when they are watching and even when they are not. This is about not consistently cutting corners to get something done faster. This is about not lying or making up stories to get out of a situation. It is about character and the one that you want your own children to have. If your children grow up watching you cut corners, telling white lies, and behaving poorly behind closed doors, there is a pretty high chance that they will do the same when they are adults.
Let your kids miss the boat.
Don’t swoop in to rescue them all the time. As an adult, do people consistently rescue you from your problems? Do your parents jump in when you messed up at work? Allow your children to feel the consequences of some of their actions, are they emotionally ready for the consequences of some of their actions?. Children need to learn the valuable skill of navigating problems on their own, of brainstorming ideas that can fix them. If we show them, teach them, that their parents will rescue them at every obstacle, they will likely struggle as adults when faced with hardships. It should go without saying, but obviously, don’t allow them to come into serious harm for the sake of having a teachable moment.
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- Let them run in the streets.
Well, not literally. More like, let them be kids. Kids are supposed to climb trees, run around the neighborhood with their friends until dusk, scrape their skin up, and get their hearts broken once or twice. As parents, it can be painful to watch these things happen and even let go enough to allow them to happen, but we need to. Children need to learn, evolve, and grow. They need independence and in order to get that, we have to let them go.
Use discipline wisely.
In other words, pick your battles but once you do, stick to them. My kids are really great at looking at me with that Puss In Boots eyes. Those big, glassy, sad eyes that make you want to scoop them up, cover them in kisses and apologize for yelling and.or punishing them. Whether you practice peaceful parenting or prefer strict discipline, enforcing consequences for poor behavior is a must. While children should absolutely explore their world, boundaries in that world keep them safe and teach them life has rules and consequences. Your children should not believe that they don’t have to listen to authority.
Use praise wisely.
They’re your kids. Every single thing they do is amazing and awesome, right? Well, for the most part. It’s fantastic when they accomplish things, it really is. But we need to learn the difference between a job well done and an over-the-top amazing accomplishment. If you literally jump for joy when your kid scribbles on a paper and calls it a cat, how will you top it when they finally do draw a cat? And when you can’t top it, your kids will feel disappointment and disapproval, which can lead to poor attention-seeking behaviors, which leaves them not prepared and emotionally ready for subpar reactions in the real world.
Don’t put your kids too high on that pedestal.
We all believe that our kids are advanced. They tell you 2+2 is 4 at three years old and you’re ready to enroll them in Mensa. But this over-the-top behavior puts a lot of pressure on kids to be perfect and be smarter and more advanced than they actually are, especially as they are not yet emotionally ready for a lot of adult scenarios. Indeed, some kids truly are advanced in many subjects. But intelligence and advancement do not always equal emotional maturity. They may be able to finish their work faster, run faster or draw and paint better, but they don’t necessarily have the emotional maturity of the age at which those tasks are normally performed.
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