As a parent, we only want the best for our kids, but sometimes we have to learn how to take a back seat and give our kids room to grow and to find their own way in life. In order to give our kids the strength they need to succeed there are a few strategies and tips that can be employed to make their journey from childhood into adulthood just a little easier.
- Allow them to fail, but don’t allow them to quit. Sports, academics, playing an instrument, or singing in a choir are difficult and require skills that might be just beyond the wheelhouse of your kiddo, but by allowing them to fail and showing them that they will still survive and the world will not cease to exist around them, they build confidence and character. Every time a parent jumps in and takes over for them or allows a child to quit when things get difficult, we are allowing our kids to skirt around perseverance and build a fear of failure.
- Provide opportunities for your kids for individual growth. Allow them to make their own breakfast or check out a new sport. Let them choose what they will do next and try to roll with it as best you can.
- Give them jobs without the promise of allowance. Here’s a famous experiment regarding allowance and payment for jobs. A friends asks for help moving, and pays the other friend a totally unexpected $20 at the end of the job for their time. The next time the friend is asked for help, there is an expectation there for a reward and they end up weighing the cost benefit analysis. On the other side, there is no money exchanged and the second time the friend is asked for a ‘favor’ there is no expectation of reward so they are willing to perform again without expectation. Allow your children to pick a few chores that they will do to earn allowance, but also counter it with other randomly assigned chores that they will not be paid for. This helps them to earn empathy and creates a willingness to help others and increases self worth and confidence.