11 Strategies For Raising Happy and Successful Kids
What is your strategy for raising your kids?
Some parents only give their kids feedback when they do something wrong. While others take time to hold space for constructive conversation. At the end of the day, most parents desire the same thing when it comes to parenting. The desire to raise good kids. Children that grow into respectful, kind, and overall successful adults.
Below are ways to raise awesome kids.
1. Lead by example.
Think about how you want your child to behave and overall live their life. For instance, do you want your child to say thank you after someone provides them with kindness? Or do you want your child to know that failure is only a step towards success? Often parents desire for their child to behave in a certain way. The guidance I share with you is to lead by example.
Take time to reflect on how you are living your life. If you want your child to speak to people with respect, first take the time to consider how you are speaking to others. Engaging in this practice, helps your child see you as a leader and have an example to work off of.
2. Hold space for growth
- How do you teach your child to grow?
Parents can utilize board games as a system for growth. Board games incorporate space for winning, losing, patience, respect, and other key practices. Taking time to play the game monopoly can be fun and provide your child with space to create immense growth. Working with a therapist can help parents learn how to create a safe place.
Monopoly can teach your child to:
- Learn to practice decision making as you take turns
- Manage money.
- Understand how to differentiate between having a job and investment properties.
- Learn to practice patience by waiting your turn.
- Learn to be respectful of the rules.
To strengthen your relationship with your child and help them become a better person, take time to use games as a space for growth.
3. Show Interest In Your Child
During the first therapy session, counselors typically take time to ask kids, tweens, and teens what they are interested in. Some share sports while others go into detail about their favorite television show.
I want you to think about how you feel when someone shows interest in your hobbies. More than likely you feel supported and experience a connection. Showing your kids interest directly shows them that you care and help to promote further conversation. The reason is simple when interest is shown it serves as a tool to develop and nurture a relationship. To strengthen your relationship with your child, take time to show interest.
4. Praise daily
- How often do you praise your child?
Praise can come in the form of providing your child positive feedback for their actions or behaviors. For instance, if your child wakes up on time or holds the door for another person do you take time to provide them with praise? When a person receives praise, it’s like feeding the reward part of the brain it’s a favorite food. Ample research shows that praising helps to reinforce positive behaviors. Simply meaning that when you praise your child, there is a strong chance that your child will continue to engage in similar positive behaviors.
Ways to praise your child:
- Leave them a note sharing one positive action you have seen.
- Work to be specific to what you are praising.
- Describe the action or behavior you are praising so that your child can be a connection between the behavior and praise.
- Avoid comparison praise. This can take place when you are praising one child in connection to their sibling.
- Avoid over-praising. This takes place when there is repetitive praise over a singular action. Such as praising your child for saying thank you, over and over. What can take place is that the praise can lose its impact.
5. Community Connection
- Does your child engage in a recreational-related activity where relationships can be built?
These types of organizations include the scouts, sports, video game leagues, and more.
Including your child in an organization helps them in the following ways:
- Build relationships and friendships.
- Learn to overcome and face obstacles. The obstacles can be interpersonal such as pushing themselves to navigate social anxiety or team building.
- Explore and master new skills.
- Develop emotional intelligence.
6. Practice Role Playing
The practice of role-playing is therapeutic and often takes place when a client works with their counselor. Parents can practice the same skill by first identifying the goal for role-playing. Let’s use an example so that you can have space to learn from it. Consider that you want to teach your child how to manage their anger.
This is due to your child sharing that they get frustrated at school at times when interacting with a peer. The first step you can take is to encourage your child to consider how they would feel when pretending to be the peer. The second step is to encourage your child to interact with the peer. This process helps your child face the obstacle. During the process, you can provide feedback aimed at supporting establishing a positive interaction. Overall, the goal remains connected to managing anger.
7. Know Your Childs Boundaries
The term boundary connects to what helps a person feel comfortable versus uncomfortable. For instance, if your child shares with you that they feel uncomfortable in large social settings. It is vital to respect their boundary. Not doing so, can lead to your child feeling disrespected.
Raising healthy, happy, and successful kids must include the process of understanding your child’s limits. As a fun activity, grab a sheet of paper. For the header, write down “things that make me feel uncomfortable”. Sit with your child and ask them to write down what makes them feel uncomfortable. As your child fills the paper, you’ll start to learn what their boundaries are.
Once they have finished writing try to have a conversation connected to how respecting limits/boundaries can take place in day-to-day life.
8. Engage in family therapy
You do not have to be experiencing a problem to go to therapy. You can with your child visit a counselor near you and work on developing a healthy parent and child relationship. The therapist may simply share that you are doing exactly what you should be doing. The therapist may also provide a few positive pointers that can help improve the parent and child relationship.
Ways that working with a counselor can help:
- Learn positive habits to include in your parent and child relationship.
- Remove toxic practices that are hurting the parent and child relationship.
- Develop an understanding of boundaries.
- Learn activities to utilize aimed at improving the parent and child relationship.
- Create a safe place that allows you and your child to engage in intimate or difficult conversations.
9. Teach your child empathy
Empathy is one of the most important skills that a person can develop. In essence, the skill focuses on being able to put yourself in the shoes of another person. Being able to see from the eyes of another so that you can also take into compassion.
The skill help kids understand how to navigate interactions with themselves and others. A typical example includes the focus of teaching your kids how to treat others. Let’s use a case study.
Jeff sat down with his son, Tony to go over the recent incident at the park. At the playground, Tony was in line waiting to play on the swing set and greatly impatient. He pushed the kid in front of him and one thing led to another. Jeff sat down with Tony to practice empathy. He encouraged Tony to consider how he would feel if he were the child in front of him. He asked him how he treats his friends and how he desires his friends to treat him. Together they conversed and tapped into empathy. Jeff encouraged Tony to practice empathy by role-playing through the situation that took place at the park.
10. Exposure to Volunteering and Giving Back
Kids can grow through the practice of exposure to volunteering. Whether it be signing up at your local church or taking an internal trip to give back. The key is that both parties are included. Parent and child. Together register at a local organization or engage in a service-related project. As an example, visit your local grocery store and pick up items that you can give to the homeless population in your community or donate to a local organization that connects to a cause you support.
The activity helps to develop character skills.
11. Ask Your Child Questions
Providing your child with guidance through direct instruction is a great way to promote positive development. Yet, kids like adults, do not always respond well to being told what to do. Practicing asking your child question can create space for growth.
Below are questions that you can practice asking your child:
- What are the names of your best friends?
- What do you look for when selecting friends?
- If you could be any animal what animal would it be?
- What makes you feel thankful?
- Who is your favorite storybook character?
- If you could have any superpower what would it be?
- What are your core values?
- How do you feel when you help others?
- What goals are you working on?
- What annoys you the most?
- What makes someone smart?
- If you made a movie, what would it be about?
- What’s your worst fear?
- If you woke up tomorrow and one thing changed to make your life better. What would it be?
This reading helps parents learn how to teach their child to grow into a respectful, kind, and overall successful adult. CLICK HERE to work with a counselor.