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10 Things Parents Can Do To Make Their Kids Highly Successful

10 Things Parents Can Do To Make Their Kids Highly Successful

Wanting the best for your children is a universal goal for all good parents. The best home, the best upbringing, the best school, the best life… Great parents simply want their children to have the optimum chance of success. Regardless of outside influences, all parents can instil values in their children to ensure they grow up to be healthy, responsible, successful adults.

1. Teach respect

Parents should instil a sense of respect in their children. Not just respect for all human beings and living things (although this is obviously important), but respect for everything in the world. Parents should show their children the value of respect as well; you earn respect by giving it out unconditionally. Teaching children to respect all aspects of life leads them to appreciate everything they have, and to learn the value of working to earn more.

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2. Teach tolerance

Children need to learn how to tolerate all other human beings on the planet. It does no good to look down on others; rather children should learn to help their fellow man when in need – since they may find themselves in need of help one day. Also, children should learn to tolerate those who have wronged them, and learn to understand why this may be (such as the bully who takes lunch money from others because his mom can’t afford to pack a lunch for him at all). There are things in this world that cannot be changed, and children that learn this will learn how to deal with these situations as best they can whenever they arise.

3. Teach responsibility

Parents should teach their children how to be responsible for their actions. It’s important for them to understand that what they do or say has far-reaching consequences, and whether or not these consequences are positive are negative is up to them. By going easy on your children when they do wrong, you ultimately are doing a disservice to them. It may be hard to discipline them, but keep the long run in mind. As adults, their actions will have much more serious consequences if they do wrong. On the other hand, teaching your children that positive actions result in positive rewards will put them on the path to success.

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4. Teach self-control

Children who learn how to control themselves will quickly become independent adults. Children who constantly have to be told to do their homework or clean their room rather than doing it on their own will eventually get lost when they find themselves living alone for the first time. Children should learn money management at a young age, and learn how to prioritize their resources (including their time), so when their parents are no longer around, they are not left wandering aimlessly. Keeping control during extraordinarily tough times is also important, so they do not dig themselves into a deeper hole by acting in a way that negatively affects them and those around them.

5. Teach honesty

Children need to learn to be honest, with others and with themselves. An honest child will grow into a trustworthy adult whose career will flourish. It’s incredibly important to instil in children the idea that, even if they do something they weren’t supposed to, it’s better to tell the truth about it rather than lie to avoid punishment. Children will make mistakes, but lying is not a mistake – it’s a conscious effort to outsmart an elder, which is disrespectful on many levels. Children should also be honest with themselves to continue improving on a daily basis. As they become more independent, they must be able to honestly look at aspects of their lives and analyze their choices. By being honest with themselves, children will continue to grow long after their parents can help them.

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6. Teach integrity

Having a high-paying job, a huge mansion, and beautiful sports car means absolutely nothing if they were gained through ill-gotten ways. On the other hand, having a modest home, a car that gets you from A to B, and a job that pays the bills is a true picture of success when it was earned through hard work and dedication. Children need to learn the difference between society’s vision of success and their own. Just like they need to learn to be honest even when they know they’ll get away with lying, children also need to learn to have integrity; they must always do what’s right, even when no one’s around. Whether or not you instil religious beliefs in them, teach your children the value of the angel on their shoulders, and how to squash the proverbial devil on the other.

7. Teach perseverance

So many children are so scared of not doing well that they never try. This applies to homework, tests, new hobbies, asking girls out, applying for a first job… kids are much more scared of the world than you think. Teach your kids that it’s totally okay to fail. What isn’t okay is letting life pass you by without ever trying. Be there to catch your children when they fall. Help them get up, dust them off, and throw them back into the fray. They need to know that failure is not the end of something, but is one of the many pathways to success. Their dream life will never simply “come true,” but they can earn it with hard work and perseverance.

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8. Teach gratitude

Teach your children to be grateful each and every day, for the things they have, and the people who care about them. Show them how to give thanks, such as doing chores without being asked, spending time with a relative, or writing a thank you note to a teacher for no special reason other than to give them credit for the hard work they do. Being grateful reinforces the idea that each of us has a civic duty to one another. Children who understand this will grow to be an integral part of their community, and will be valued by society since they are always focused on what they can do to help others.

9. Teach life skills

In between instilling values and teaching life lessons, parents also must remember to teach life skills to their children. Teach them how to wash dishes, clean the bathroom, mow the lawn, change a tire, or use a snow plow. Make them do it, so they aren’t hit with the shock of having to do it all when they (finally!) move out. Teach them to make a list of errands to do on a daily basis, so even when they “don’t have anything to do,” there’s still ways they can improve their lives. They might resent you for the time being while you’re showing them how to unclog a sink and their friends are outside playing, but they will appreciate it when they don’t have to call a plumber every few weeks when they own their own home.

10. Be a role model

Absolutely none of this can be done if you, as the parent, don’t model it for them. “Do as I say, not as I do” does not work (because the second you’re not around, they’ll be doing whatever they want). Be the person you want your child to be. In fact, be a better person than you’ve ever been in your life, if only for the benefit of your children. It is definitely hard work, but raising a model citizen is the most rewarding thing you can possibly do to boost your own confidence. Raising a child that can go out and make something of himself independently is the true definition of success.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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