Parenting is a tough job! However, your family is your primary responsibility. The most amazing gift you could give your children is by being the best version of you and helping them boost their confidence and grow in godliness. Raising amazing kids will make you proud and here are seven ways to raise confident kids.
1. LISTEN BEFORE YOU TALK
Your kids will always have a sense of belonging when you always listen to them. They don’t only have a sense of belonging; they also feel special and wanted. You may never know this, there are many things you can learn from your children including how to raise them. Your kids can teach you how to love them and where exactly you need to pay attention to their lives. But when you aren’t paying attention and listening to them, you’ll lose them to mistakes.
When your kids do something wrong, don’t quickly judge them, you need to listen to them, understand why they did what they did so that you can take informed action. Sometimes, when kids misbehave, it would be a pointer to what you weren’t getting right in the first place.
2. KIDS ARE KIDS, DON’T JUDGE THEM
Hope you remember when you used to be a kid? How did you always feel when you were judged by your parents especially when their judgment didn’t look fair to you? When you are listening to your kids, don’t be too quick to draw a conclusion. Make them understand that you are going to think through what they have said and truly think through it. Sometimes, when you judge your kids, it will distract you from what you need to pay attention to.
For example, you may assume your children are very disrespectful because they do not greet their uncle or cousins but when you get close to them and talk with them about it, you may realize that something unhealthy is going on behind your back. When you judge them, they will hide the truth farther from you. When they get used to you always judging them, then you would definitely get used to them always hiding things from you.
3. THEY ARE KIDS, NOT SHEEP
It is true that taking care of people is often likened to shepherd but taking care of kids is much more than taking care of animals. You take care of animals not necessary because you love them but because you want them to get fatter and healthier for food. Don’t hit your kids mercilessly!
If the rod should serve as anything, it should serve as a guide and comfort. Sparing the rod and spoiling the child doesn’t mean you should spoil the rod on the child. Sometimes, the rod may be words. Don’t let anger dictate how to punish your children; don’t speak to them in anger.
You may temporarily ground your kids or give them a domestic punishment while you stay away for a while to think about what to do next. When you punish your kids in anger, you are abusing them and you are hurting their self-esteem. It is very important to make your kids understand that when you discipline them, you are doing so because you love them.
4. BE THERE FOR THEM
You surely have many responsibilities and you are probably working extra hours to cover the cost for the bills but this isn’t enough excuse not to spend time with your children. Now that they are still kids, they need you more! You train a child in the way they grow and when they get older, they will find it hard to depart from it. In Igbo Speaking communities, an adage says “you don’t learn dancing at old age”.
It is very good to try hard in meeting up with the necessary needs of your family but no one should be done at the expense of another. If you can’t devote time to your kids, there is no need to have them. You need to be your kid’s friend, gossip mate and playmate, this is the only way they can be free with you and it makes parenting easy. Also, take note of their birthdays and special days.
5. BE THEIR MENTOR AND MODEL
Your children will eventually grow up to start looking up to certain people as role models. As they start to choose their career paths, they may have mentors and coaches but it is important to know as kids, you are the first person they are looking up to. You have to be intentional about the example you set before them.
If you know what you want your kids to become, you have to become it first and lead by example. You can’t be fighting with your spouse in their presence and expect that you won’t raise violent kids. As much as it is good to guide your children with words, also guide them with your actions.
6. YOU CAN BE WRONG
It is always difficult for parents to admit that they were wrong especially in Africa. Your duty is to guide your children; they don’t need to be treated like animals. If you ever wrong them, whether you judged them wrongly or did things you shouldn’t have done towards them, you can learn to say things like “I am sorry for hitting you that way. You know I want the best of you and whatever I am doing is to the best of your interest. I make mistakes too and I admit it.” This way, you are also teaching them to learn to admit their mistakes when they do wrong.
7. STUDY AND HAVE DEVOTIONS WITH THEM
Before your children go to bed, they don’t necessarily have to come to the sitting room to pray with you, you may enter their rooms, sit beside them and say to them “let us pray before you sleep” and this way, you are raising a culture in them. You could also read a few Bible passages with them, read them their favourite stories and kiss them to sleep.
The morning isn’t any different. Before they leave for school or before you leave for work, you should pray with them too. There are also times you may need to help them with their home works or discuss their favourite stories with them.
In doing these things, you are bringing the best out of your kids and posterity will remember you.