Things Kids Need to Hear from You:
We often get caught up with the daily grind that we sometimes forget how our children’s days or lives are going. It can be tough being a kid, especially in today’s technology-ridden world where the bullying landscape reaches far and wide.
It’s our job as adults, as parents, to offer a respite from the harness outside our homes, but at the same time, it’s part of the job description to toughen them up to handle certain realities they will experience outside.
Make sure that your kids hear these from you first:
“Success means differently to everyone”
Kids also feel pressure in school. They have homework, tests, papers and extra-curricular activities like you wouldn’t believe. On top of all that, they’re learning to figure out who they are, where their passions lie, what they’re good at and all sorts of existential turmoil that every kid goes through.
The least we can do is to assure them that whatever they choose, they can be successful. They don’t have to be doctors, lawyers or some hot-shot CEO to be branded a success.
Remind them that everyone has a different path to follow and as long as they follow what is theirs, success inevitably follows.
“Choose your friends wisely”
Say this as more of an advice than a warning. We all know that kids, especially teens will most likely test our authority or the lessons we impart, so expect them to cross the line at some point.
What’s important is that you remind them that good company goes a long way. The friends they choose now will be their pillars of strength and moral compasses when they grow up.
Stress the importance of having people with good character around them. Cite examples from your youth of both good and bad instances. Relate to them on a level they’ll understand.
“Celebrate your weirdness”
Of course it’s tough when kids figure out what makes them different from others or how different they are from the norm.
Everybody their age wants to fit in and if your uniqueness is staring at you, it’s hard to shrink yourself into the crowd.
Encourage them to celebrate what makes them different. Explain how different changes the world. The iPod was weird when it first came out. Revolutionary, yes, but not to all. First it was weird, then it became revolutionary.
Help sell the idea that uniqueness is a bonus. Something that not everyone has. It is their own brand. Support them in their efforts to feel comfortable about their quirks.
When at home, make them feel free to be themselves totally. Even if you yourself think they’re weird.
“Always be respectful”
Make sure they understand the value of respect. It’s not just for elders, it’s for everyone. Remind them to treat teachers, parents, custodians and the lunch lady with the same level of respect.
Kids have a tendency to feel entitled and because of that, they sometimes act disrespectfully towards others, even their peers. You need to explain to them that a sense of entitlement is not to be tolerated. Respect if for everyone, regardless of their sex, race, age or status in life.
If they disagree with someone or they don’t like a person, tell them they don’t have to like people in order to respect them and their differences.
“You are awesome”
Many kids worry that when they finally decide on who they are, that they won’t be accepted by their loved ones and secondly by society.
Help unburden them by at least reassuring them that you think they are awesome, no matter what.
Never let them worry that you will reject them in any way. As long as they are good people, they will always be awesome to you.
Small but constant words of affirmation will help kids gain confidence and make them more courageous to face the world that awaits them outside our front doors.
We should do what we can to arm them with the right tools so that they can live the life they want and deserve.
Always remind them that they are loved and beautiful!