Forget rocket science, parenting takes the prize as the most challenging job in the world. We are responsible for other human beings. We have to nurture them and help them become fully-functioning adults. Sometimes in our efforts to nurture and to teach, we actually do too much. When parenting, it is best to keep in mind these three things that will help your kid grow mentally strong and able to successfully face future challenges.
1. Stop materialism in its tracks
We live in a materialistic society filled with gadgets and ultra-cool toys, but that doesn’t mean we have to support materialism. We need to train our kids to value friendships, quality time, and life experiences above objects. Instead of rewarding our child with a new toy if they behave during that office visit, let’s offer a trip to the park, reading their favorite story together, or our undivided attention for an hour of play. Let’s make memories, not collections.
2. Foster responsibility by turning off the helicopter
By shutting down our helicopter-parenting, we allow our children to mature. Don’t hover. Give them space. Let them work on their own school projects and face the consequences and their teachers if they don’t complete those tasks. They will learn more by making their own mistakes than by you preventing mistakes from ever happening.
3. Praise hard efforts, not just results
All too often, we focus on the end product and forget the trials and frustrations that we faced to get there. Let’s praise our kids for their hard efforts, not just their results. That science project may be a flop (not all vinegar and baking soda volcanoes explode), but even Thomas Edison had more than a few failures before he found success.
When we give our kids a “reality check” by making them take responsibility for their work, praising hard efforts, not just outcomes, and steering clear of materialistic rewards, we are building them up to become responsible, mentally strong adults, capable of facing any challenges that adulthood might throw their way.
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