How to raise independent and confident kids
Today, I'm going to be talking about four strategies that you can do to raise more independent, more resilient, and more confident kids.
Here at Blimey Box, we are passionate about helping busy parents figure out small strategies to help support their kids to become smarter, become better learners, and ultimately become better human beings. All right, so today our topic is raising independent and resilient kids.
Ultimately, we want our kids to become independent. We don't want them to always rely on us for everything. We want them to eventually get up, move out of the house, go away to college and become successful.
Watch the video to see how you can raise independent and confident kids.
Additionally, we want our kids to be resilient. Resilient means that they are able to pick themselves up after they fall down. After they fail at something, if they are resilient, they can pick themselves back up and try again. When kids develop resilience, it also helps them to develop Grit.
A parent goal is to raise independent, resilient, and confident kids.
A few parenting styles to avoid
Kids today are not growing up to be independent learners and it is our fault. You have probably heard the term "helicopter parents," "snowplow parents," or "lawnmower parents."
- Helicopter parents are always close by hovering around their kids, trying to keep them safe.
- Snowplow parents and lawnmower parents push all obstacles out of their kids' way to clear the path and make everything easy for them.
However, we know that none of these things are good for kids. Kids need to learn how to struggle and to fail and to try things on their own. We want them to get back up with resilience and to keep trying. Because ultimately in life, not everything is going to be easy.
You can't do everything for them for their whole life. They need to learn how to do things for themselves. The important thing is to teach them now, while they're young. The stakes are low, so now is a safe time to let your children struggle and even fail. Eventually, life will give them challenges and they will fail. Might as well help them to practice the skills now.
Children today often rely too much on mom, dad, and teachers for help. They're not able to do things for themselves. When things get difficult, they don't try. They give up easily. Kids have a fear of not succeeding and so they don't put in much effort.
How can we support our kids to be able to do things for themselves?
Well, first of all, I want to shock you a little bit with some crazy statistics from Michigan State University. They surveyed employees who recruit recent college graduates and this is what they found:
31% of employers received resumes submitted by parents on behalf of their children. I don't know an employer who is going to hire somebody who doesn't even submit their own resume. And I mean these are adults. These are kids who are graduating from college, and their parents are submitting their resumes for them. That is terrifying.
26% of employers had contact with parents who tried to convince them to hire their son or daughter. So 26% of employers had contact with parents. Parents are trying to convince them why they need to hire their son or daughter. Ah, that's so scary. The last statistic blew my mind.
4% of parents actually attended a job interview with their child. If kids cannot even go to their own job interviews, what employer is going to want to hire them?
These statistics are huge red flags for me. We have to start young with our kids so they don't end up incapable of doing things for themselves. When we train kids early to be independent, we are helping to set them up for future success.
Most parents want kids to grow up to be responsible citizens. We don't want our kids to always depend on us to do everything for them. Today, I'm going to give you strategies to help them now while they're young.
1. Allow your child to take risks and make mistakes.
This is so hard for parents and this forces us to step out of our comfort zone because I know it is hard to see your child taking a risk. This could be something like even on the playground and watching them climbing on the play structure.
Have you ever climbed up on the play structure with your child? Have you ever gone down the slide with your child or do you hold their hand the whole way down the slide? God forbid they slip or they go down the slide and land on their bottom. We need to take a step back as parents and let our children take some risks. We cannot always be there to hold their hands for everything.
Kids need to learn their limits, and understand what they can and cannot do. If we're always helping them and holding their hands and doing everything for them, they're not really going to understand what they can and cannot do. When we act like this, we show them that we are not confident in their abilities. And they come to rely on us to always help them.
Most parents want confident kids and it is our job to build their confidence by letting them take risks. If we let our kids (even at a young age) learn that they can do stuff on their own, we can help them to become more confident.
2. Support and guide with taking risks and facing challenges.
But we don't want to do it for them. Here's the difference. We want to be their coaches. We want to be their support. However, we do not want to do it for them.
If you always do everything for your child. If you show them exactly what to do and hold their hand the entire time, they will think you don't have the confidence in them to do it. Unfortunately, this also makes them lack confidence in themselves.
3. Allow them to make mistakes and reflect on learning.
You can help kids learn from mistakes by encouraging them to reflect and think about how they can get better. How can they improve with their learning? What might they do differently next time? Ask them guiding questions to allow them to reflect on their learning.
Instead of telling them, "here's where you made a mistake," have them find their own mistakes. Try not to point out their mistakes and then tell them how to fix it. This doesn't help them to learn the lesson and it diminishes their confidence. If you want to help your children become more confident kids, support them with reflection questions. They need to think about it and figure it out on their own. How can they improve? How can they change it for next time?
4. Encourage them to take risks to gain confidence
Kids pick up on your energy. If you are watching them and acting nervous and freaked out, they will feel the same way. However, if you encourage them and act excited for them, they will sense that emotion, too.
Make a conscious effort to encourage them. Act excited and enthusiastic for them to take on a challenge, take a risk, and to even fail. Encourage them to take risks and encourage them to make mistakes. Embrace it and be like, "Yay, it is awesome that you made a mistake! What can we learn from it?"
If you go in with that kind of excitement about making mistakes and failing, your kids are going to be more comfortable with taking risks. They will ultimately get more confidence and learn to be resilient. Encouraging mistakes and encouraging reflection ultimately develops confident kids. Be their cheerleader, but don't do it for them.
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