5 Ways to Empower Your Little Ones
When children are born they are filled with wonder and awe for the new world around them. They quickly learn behaviors and beliefs throughout their lives that shape them into adults. What does it mean exactly to empower them? Empowerment means guiding your child in a manner that encourages their belief in their own abilities and potential for positive growth.
Of course as parents we do our best, but because we too are human and are STILL learning we will have good days and bad. Nobody has it mastered but we can have an end goal in mind, which is to raise our children to be the best version of themselves.
“The child who is told they are stupid and worthless will believe that is what they are. A child who is nurtured to believe in him or herself, encouraged to take risks and is continually reinforced for their efforts with positive affirmations and respect, will most likely develop a strong belief in him or herself and their capabilities.”
I firmly believe that enforcing self love and diminishing self doubt in your child will better shape him for the challenges and obstacles he or she will face as an adult. How can we do this? There are endless articles on how to empower your child but I like to stick to these 5 with my kids as it's short and sweet and after time, it starts to become natural.
Little words of encouragement throughout the day will boost your child’s self-esteem and willingness to try new things. By saying “you can do it” or “I believe in you” helps train your child to start thinking that they are able and not unable to do something. In our house, "I can't" is a bad word. I encourage my kids to say, I will try.
Give them choice
Giving your child a choice will allow them to decide on something that is directly related to them. Would you like to color or read? Would you like to ride your bike or take a walk? Just giving them a little choice in their day is a great way to empower them. Picture your kid’s classmate complementing their cool spiderman t-shirt and your child smiling big because he picked it out. Now I’m not saying allowing them to boss you around is an option...but little choices (that both options are already approved by you) will go a long way for them.
Have them greet people how they want to
Were you ever forced as a kid to hug and kiss someone that you just didn’t feel comfortable with? That one great step uncle you saw once every 2 years or a neighbor that would give you a hug that made you cringe.... I encourage my children to say hi to everyone to be polite but it’s their choice whether or not to hug or kiss them. If they choose a high five then that’s what shall happen! This will teach them at a young age that they shouldn’t be forced into something that they’re not comfortable with and to develop boundaries. We want our children to respect their bodies and to make sure that others respect them as well. I also do this within our house. If my daughter wants to hug or tickle her brother and he doesn't feel like it in the moment, he tells her he needs his personal and physical space.
Superhero Power Stance
This is my favorite even now as an adult. Standing with your hands on your hip in a power stance is incredible (especially for girls). This helps boosts your confidence and our body language can change the way our mind thinks.
“The Wonder Woman power pose had its first major boost in a TED talk by Harvard sociologist Amy Cuddy in 2012, who talked at length about how standing like the Amazon warrior and pretending you're armed with your own lasso and headdress can communicate to others that you're serious, powerful, and in control. Standing in that "power pose" helped people in her study of the problem get hired for (fake) jobs, simply because they radiated confidence. It's since garnered a lot of attention, with one of Slate's journalists crediting it with helping her ask for a raise and negotiate a quick service with a dry-cleaner.”
We also do personal high fives. So if my daughter Nala does something she is proud of, she will jump in the air, clap her hands together and say "Good job Nala!". This teaches them to celebrate their wins. Celebrating our successes as kids and adults makes us feel great and encourages us to keep going and trying new things
Asking them “How do you plan to handle that”
This question for me works wonders. It preps their brain to start to problem solve. For example if your child breaks their favorite toy if you ask them, “What do you think we should do to” maybe prep them with 2 options like, we can try to fix this or you can do extra chores this week to save up for a new one. This gets the wheels turning in their heads and eventually overtime they start to look at problems differently where they immediately try to come up with solutions.
Do you have any tips on how to empower children? Comment below!