In discussions with Psychologists and Social Workers who work with youth there is a growing opinion that anxiety is far more prevalent in children of this generation than those previous. My evolving theory on this is that the problem is not with the kids, but the lack of self worth evident in one or both parents. We can not expect children to grow up into healthy adjusted adults if what they are seeing at home is parents who do not value themselves.
Raising resilient children is not about the kids themselves, it’s about how we as parents influence them through our own presentation and relationship with self worth.
Having clear and consistent values and beliefs helps guide us through our every day decision making. I think it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to always stay on track with goals. Human nature itself dictates that most likely won’t happen. However, if we lose our way, it’s important that be temporary and we are able to find our way back to what brings us peace and contentment.
Being able to demonstrate this to our children teaches them, that while life is not always smooth, it is mostly safe to take calculated risks and responsibility for our path.
If you’d like to know more about this, perhaps it’s time to think about coaching to address the areas of your life which are currently least fulfilling or where you think you have lack of clarity for future directions. In the mean time, here are some quick tips of widely accepted methods to help you and your children thrive.
- Employ boundaries and expect them to be occasionally pushed. If they can’t grow and expand, they can’t learn. Fears thrive in situations that are unpredictable so keeping some routines and boundaries as staples will help to alleviate those. And while tough love at the time, they will be grateful for them in the end.
- Accept discomfort, it’s not the enemy you think. Learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations helps build our resilience bubble. Comfort zones are there to retreat to like the fireplace on a winters night. You have to learn to experience the cold in order to benefit from and enjoy the warmth.
- Accept imperfections, including your own. It’s unrealistic for parents to insist on a higher bar for their children than what they’ve set for themselves. We are all living a perfectly imperfect life and while most good parenting is about leading by example, our children benefit from our honesty about the things we struggle with and learning the methods we used to over come those struggles. Keep it age appropriate. Keep it real. Keep it honest. And keep love at the core of everything you do.