How to Better Parent Your Kids as They Get Older

When children are young, parents are accustomed to doing everything for them. But as kids grow older, parenting goals need to shift away from physical care and toward helping kids grow into confident, resilient adults. Rather than command and control, parents need to step back and guide.

Raise Their Self-Esteem

Healthy self-esteem helps kids socially and academically. Children with weak self-esteem may be afraid to try new things or may become discouraged easily if they encounter difficulty. Kids build confidence when they understand and learn to rely on their inner strengths. 

You can help your kids gain self-esteem by praising their positive character traits and actions, not just their successes. It’s also important to teach them to make positive statements about themselves. While it may be necessary to criticize sometimes, direct the words at the child’s actions, not at their character.

Instill in Them Independence

Parents can help kids learn to be independent by teaching them the skills they need to care for themselves and function successfully in the world. You can help by letting them help you cook, do laundry, and make household repairs. Skills like these will help build confidence. 

When you can help your child master skills so they no longer need assistance, they are on the road toward independence. Sports are a good teaching tool. Swimming lessons will teach your kids many techniques they’ll need in the water. They quickly learn to rely on themselves and their sense of independence increases.

Give Them Choices

As children become more independent, they will need to make good decisions. This is especially important as they become more involved in school, after school activities, and social situations. But kids can only learn decision-making strategies if they have the opportunity to make choices.

Start with simple choices, such as what to wear to school or what the family should eat for dinner. Discuss the reasons for making the decision and what the possible consequences of each choice might be. Help your child to evaluate which choice will have the best outcome. After learning good decision-making strategies, your kids will be better equipped to face more difficult ones.

As a parent, you can help your older kids become mentally strong by guiding them through the situations they encounter every day. As they grow, they will develop the confidence and skills needed to become independent adults, celebrate life’s successes, and cope with its adversities. That’s something that any parent can be proud of.

Check out this article on why you should be more open with your kids!

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