In this digitally exposed era, it can be a daunting task for any parent to raise confident, emotionally intelligent and most importantly authentic kids. Today’s parents have an innate quality of fretting over every possible thing. The desire for our child to “fit in” definitely comes out of love, but we need to realize that we are currently living in an age that celebrates diversity. Helping your child to be true to themselves might be difficult initially but it will surely pay off in the long run. So here are a few pointers that can help you to bring about the best in your child

1. Experience dependent learning

I’m sure all of you would agree that rather than someone telling you how to do a particular thing and nagging you about it, you learn much better when you actually experience it by doing it yourself. So why don’t we apply this with our kids too. “Don’t do this, you will get hurt”, “This is not how you do it”, “You leave it il do it for you”, “I know better”, – do these sentences ring a bell. We all tell our kids this, (with our intention being to protect them, but is it really helping them grow as individuals?) In fact, it is the opposite that actually happens. Kids lose confidence, their self worth, might even go into a shell since they aren’t allowed to express themselves the way they want to.

Let your kids ACTIVELY EXPLORE, experience whatever they want to on their own. You can guide them by BEING there and ensuring they don’t get hurt. Interfere only when you feel they are at risk. They will learn to deal with the consequences of their choices, develop curiosity, ownership, and will be able to develop their unique self.

2. Creating a will based environment

Are we doing things out of our will or out of fear? I’m guessing a lot of us do things out of fear, fear to be accepted and fear of being judged. That could possibly be because most of us come from a generation where we were raised in a fear based environment. So we tend to raise our kids with the same intention too. This fear based environment will only produce kids having low self esteem. Instead try creating a will based environment where you value their decisions and difference of opinions. Ask them questions rather than making commanding statements. You would help them be stronger willed and have the courage to stand up for themselves and may be for others too.

3. Accepting negative emotions

Sure all of us hate it when our kids whine, cry, howl and throw tantrums anywhere and everywhere. All we want them to do at that point is stop crying and we divert them. Well tantrums are a way how your kids are expressing themselves. They just haven’t labeled their emotions yet. Happy and sad are two sides of the same coin. But still we tend to ignore and avoid the negative emotions and not address it. Ok picturize this, ‘You have had a terrible day may be with your boss. And you come back home and vent it out to your spouse. Instead of managing your emotions your spouse responds by saying “oh god, whats there to cry in this; stop behaving like a child; stop whining over these things; get over it” How would you feel? Horrible right? It’s the exact same feeling our kids go through too. Accepting and acknowledging positive emotions are super easy, but negative ones, tough. Only when we help our child manage their negative emotions and create space for positive ones, only then will they be able to learn to truly express themselves. Nothing can be more grateful than guiding your child in developing the quality of self acceptance.

Parenting is as much about our growth and evolution as it is for your child. All the 3 points that I have mentioned need a lot of growth and acceptance from our end too. Living a confident and authentic life successfully is fulfilling beyond words- and an opportunity that no child should go without. So my take home message is, let your kids willingly experience each action of theirs so that they can embrace and nurture their “inner self”, it will bring far richer rewards than conformity ever would.

 

Thank you Veera for choosing me as your Mumma <3