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50 Things Every Parent Should Give To Their Children

50 Things Every Parent Should Give To Their Children

There is no profession, no challenge in the world more awesome and more fulfilling than parenthood. It’s exciting, exhilarating, complex, mind-boggling at times, and downright frightening on some days. It involves the lives of precious little ones who bring joy like nothing else can. Parenting creates an automatic legacy that is not highly related to money. What kind of heritage will you leave behind? As you ponder that question, consider 50 things moms and dads should give to their children.

1. Solidarity

Harmonious love from both parents working together on one accord to raise their children and build a strong family connection.

2. Real Love

Give your little girl AND your little boy genuine love, affection, hugs, kisses, and politeness, which covers a multitude of parental bloopers.

3. Bonafide I Love You’s

Your children must know without a doubt that you love them dearly and that you always will even when they are hardheaded and mess up, when they’re disobedient and rebellious.

4. Wisdom Nugget—There Are No Perfect Parents

Accept your imperfections and always be willing to listen, learn, develop and transform.

5. Stability

Provide a stable household atmosphere for your children; even if you must do so as a single parent, it can be done; commit to make it happen—there is help available for you and for them.

6. Security

Give your kids a protective shield that provides them with safety, shelter, food, clothing, medical and dental benefits, educational and social skills keeping them safe and sound, yet not suffocated.

7. Proper Assessments

Censure your children’s actions and behavior by isolating the deed from the doer, working towards solutions by means of discussions and by supplying justifications that explain why their behavior is unacceptable.

8. Fairness, Thoughtfulness, and Discernment

Avoid comparing your children with each other as well as with their peers in a pessimistic way, recognize their differences, do not take sides or fall for their attempts to manipulate you.

9. Open Expression: The Right to Disagree with You and Others

At the appropriate time, teach your children through real life demonstrations that they’re entitled to their own opinion, which must be expressed respectfully and with immediate apologies when they err.

10. Comedy

Wittiness is a product of the whole family environment; consequently, start teaching your children from infancy laughter with your goo-goo baby talk; then later explaining why things are funny, laughing at their jokes, and getting silly to help them develop a sense of humor and become happier, smarter, healthier, confident and better at surviving their challenges.

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11. Chastisement

Discipline your children by clearly explaining and consistently administering well thought out, rational rules, guidelines and punishments for blatant violations.

12. Leadership by Example

Strive to be cool, calm and collected—control your attitude and temper; yelling and screaming simply intimidate children while extinguishing their trust and feelings of safety; be quick to say, “I’m sorry” and mean it.

13. Freedom of Speech

Allow your children to express themselves earnestly and involve them in decision-making processes that directly affect them; thereby, empowering them to think and to make good judgments.

14. Patience and Recognition

When your children are stubborn and disobedient, resolve the issue with less conflict and aggravation for both of you by not forcing their compliance; stop and ask both yourself and your children “Why is this happening?” without overlooking the possible link between biology and behavior.

15. Parental Controls

Set up controls to filter and monitor your children’s Internet usage, report cyber bullying to the appropriate social media network, protect them from online grooming by strangers, make sure they are playing online games appropriate for their age group, and have a talk with them about pornography.

16. Premises of Optimistic Anticipation

Clearly define and kindly remind your sons and daughters what your reasonable expectations of them are—respecting their individuality.

17. Prescriptions

Set up structure and boundaries such as bedtimes and curfews for your children so they don’t grow up out of control, become unwise and struggle as adults with obeying local, state and national laws.

18. Strong Moral Foundation

Teach your kids what is right and what is wrong, trust them and produce an environment where they will quickly come to you with ANY problem or concern.

19. Nutritional Alignment

Inspire an overall healthy lifestyle in your children by providing nutritious meals, and allowing them to express their preferences instead of forcing them to consume your choice of meal entrees.

20. Desire for Physical Activity

Encourage exercise via extracurricular activities like T-Ball, ballet, swimming, track, tennis, and even family exercise routines so that for the children getting active and staying healthy becomes fun and easy.

21. Lessons about Money

When they are of age, teach your children how to count, and budget money, as well as how not to waste their money on consumer goods; but rather give to charity, pay themselves, and put some of it into savings.

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22. The Taste of Life

Refusal to shelter your children is a marvelous gift to give, for it allows them to experience life for themselves, to learn to make intelligent decisions and to face the consequences of THEIR choices.

23. Freedom of Choice

Give your children options; sometimes just make resources available and then let them fashion their own events and activities with your support and guidance, as necessary.

24. Mentorship

Demonstrate your virtues and be an excellent role model for your children; be the kind of person you want them to become.

25. Regard and Concern

Never, ever fight, argue, doggedly disagree and bicker in close proximity of your children.

26. Individualism

Respect your children’s privacy, and generally speaking, refrain from doing for your children the things they’re capable of doing for themselves.

27. Give Your Approval

Applaud your children with frequent acknowledgements, encouragements and validations so they feel prized, treasured and poised for positive thinking, good relationships, constructive imaginations, lessons in determination and resilience in setbacks.

28. Exhortation

Don’t be brief and miserly, give your children frequent, spirited, descriptive high praises and compliments so they will be incited to repeat and improve their performances—give them far more than the flimsy, “Good job!”

29. Conversational Excellence

Offer your children the greatest communication skills you can by employing words and actions that help build in them conviction, integrity, composure, dignity and self-reliance through precepts and examples.

30. Strong Constitution

Give up your gripping fears and worries for greater faith in God, your children, and their well-being.

31. Self-Defense Skills

It’s a great idea for parents to train their children at home and/or enroll them in self-defense or martial arts classes to diminish their fear of bullies and safeguard them from predators, making certain to engage the children in role playing which is critical for stimulating their confidence and personal power.

32. Firm Control

Refusal to let your children have everything they want—say “No” to them more often and follow it up with the reason for saying no or offer them a substitute option.

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33. Education

Assure your children will receive the best possible education at school from the invaluable life skills lessons provided during your time together; assure they develop strong reading skills because the American Academy of Pediatrics calls reading skills “the foundation for children’s academic success.”

34. The Value of Hard Work

Teach your children responsibility by giving them chores followed by an allowance, monetary or non-monetary—an extended curfew, additional play time, or other special privileges—as a return for those jobs well done.

35. Thoughtfulness and Perception

Avoid comparing your children with each other as well as with their peers in a pessimistic way, do not take sides, and for goodness sake, resist their attempts to manipulate you.

36. Self-Assuredness

Give your children a big boost in integrity and autonomy by teaching them to stand up for what they believe in and to take responsibility for their actions, thus supporting their uniqueness and their independence.

37. Prince and Princess Treatment

Make each child believe that he or she is the favorite child—exemplify no partiality which creates low self-esteem, sibling rivalry, disrespect and disharmony in the family unit.

38. The ‘Be True to Yourself’ Lecture

Your children must be trained not to waste their skills and talents trying to be someone else or what others think they should be, for happiness comes from within and true friendship cannot be purchased.

39. Involvement in Their Lives

Take them to a community park, skating rink, a fishing trip, local library, amusement park, museum or a puppetry show; go on a school field trip with them; attend their extracurricular school activities; take them to Sunday School and children’s church.

40. Standard Appointments

Set aside a time to talk to your children individually and equally each day; avoid getting distracted with work, other people or with your cell phone.

41. Honesty

Children take hints from their parents so avoid any kind of deception and DO NOT overreact if your children lie to you; instead, help them understand the importance of telling the truth.

42. A Listening Ear

Pay attention to and respect your children; honor what they want to do with their lives, and don’t weigh them down with rigid, overwhelming demands.

43. Strict Commitment

Make time for your children because they need your presence much more than your presents; give them sincere devotion and be there for the important events in their lives.

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44. Hearts of Thanksgiving

Encourage gratefulness and appreciation for even the smallest act of kindness by expressing gratitude to each other in front of your children, and by thanking them profoundly and excitingly when they bring you a bouquet of weeds or a picture of a stick family with a little heart on it.

45. The Golden Rule

Help your children see that that their words and actions cause other people to be happy or sad, and that they should be kind to other people in the same way they want other people to be kind to them.

46. Liberty from your excess baggage

Together, focus on creating your heartfelt dreams and aspirations rather than empowering fears from your past and entrapping your children in them.

47. Date Night

A Date Night Out strengthens marital and family relationships by offering parents a great opportunity to de-stress, relax, and wound down a bit creating guilt-free balance and wholesomeness; while allowing the children to indulge in developing new friendships and a new kind of pleasure especially if they, too, are removed from the home to a safely supervised, entertaining and fun setting.

48. YOUR BEST Body, Mind, Soul and Spirit

Overcome your vices—alcohol, drugs, gambling, rambling, promiscuity, etc—because they jeopardize your children’s health, character and success.

49. Your Full Support

Help your children cultivate a healthy self-image by implanting a positive mindset in them that they are lovable, capable, and unique so they know that being different is acceptable, and that they DO NOT need to follow the crowd.

50. Individual Person Acknowledgement

Your children are not a replica of you, they are not here for you to relive your life through; but, they are sons and daughters for whom you are accountable to develop and nourish according to their own natural abilities.

Don’t give up! Parenting is a lifelong assignment. Each day try to become a better one.

Featured photo credit: http://www.clearpointcreditcounselingsolutions.org via clearpointcreditcounselingsolutions.org

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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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