By Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D, Veteran, licensed Psychologist
To parent our children to live exceptional lives and become exceptional people, we must teach them to have the fortitude to stand tall no matter what is happening. We accomplish this by parenting them to commit to consistent progress and productivity towards their goals, and to accept them when they are doing their best and things still aren’t perfect.
Let us parent our children to see that the goals they set are the benchmarks to design their life around. In order for them to mature into exceptional people, they must have guideposts directing them on their path. As parents, we must also understand our children will go through phases and stages of life where their goals and priorities can be fuzzy. When this is the case, parent them to be resilient and to stand on their own.
7 Powerful values to teach our children1. Be resilient:
Uncertainty is an important part of life, as it will stretch our children beyond their small thinking. Children must learn that courage can only be developed through the act of doing courageous things. Being challenged is the catalyst for the development of their resilience.
Life’s challenges will test our children to their core and we must help them understand that is through those times, when life brings them to their knees, that they cultivate their inner wisdom, the strength of their character to save themselves, and their emotional intelligence.
Resilience leads to an exceptional life. It is that ability our children have to survive and flourish through their traumas, stressors, responsibility shifts and challenges.
2. Be willing to risk:
When we talk about risk with our children, make it positive. Teach them to see risk as rewarding and provoking of the expansion of their possibilities in life. When risk is seen as positive and necessary, our children become less afraid of failure. Celebrate the results of their efforts and teach them to take great pride and joy in the journey, not just in their destination.
It is their experience of joy which deepens their ability to thrive. Teach them to embrace challenging themselves to continue expanding and pressing forward.
2. Be authentic:
All of us have unique and special children, and although fitting in and belonging is important, we must encourage our children to be themselves. Having a strong sense of self can only come from having the courage to be who they are and to be proud of that. When we, as parents, accept them for who they are and are open to them being different than us (as long as they are being safe) they will have more courage to be themselves and stand strong in their own identity.
The world’s most innovate people are “different.” They are creative, unique and the pioneers of all that is newly invented, created and developed. As parents, we should never ask our children to shrink. We need to expect that they live authentically.
3. Be self-respecting:
We must love our children in a way that teaches them not to depend upon others for their sense of worth, for their drive to do well or for their happiness and acceptance. To be exceptionally happy and successful in life our children must learn to be discerning of the company they keep and whom they choose to have relationships with.
Negativity is drama-producing, and it is painful for our children when they come across mean people. We must take these opportunities to drill it into them that it is important to keep their lives clean of toxic people. They have a right to say no.
When things are in a particularly stressful place for them, encourage them to tap into their will to continue moving forward. If someone doesn’t like them then can chalk it up to that person’s loss.
4. Be determined:
When our children get down, parent them to get back up. We parent determination by living it ourselves and supporting them to find their inner grit. To be independent is to be exceptional. We must parent our children not to depend upon others for their resources, but to be determined to make their own way in life.
When we nurture the boldness within them they more naturally feel and believe in their power which helps them stay passionate about their future goals. In being determined our children become aware of a larger view of themselves and learn not to let outside influences deter them from their focus.
4. Be classy:
We must help our children understand that those who are the loudest in life are the least heard. To be classy our children must understand that less is more. Hard work needs to be signature to who they are, rather than the need for public accolades. A person’s steadfast modest nature allows their success to speak for itself.
We must guide our children to take care to be intelligent in their speech, style and posture because these subtleties are the unspoken communications of their self-esteem. Teach them that confidence doesn’t need for attention, it draws attention
5. Be nurturing:
As loving parents, it is a commitment we undertake to do whatever it takes to get up in the morning to feed and nurture our children, our pets, our partners, our career and most importantly, ourselves. When we live this way, we teach our children to be committed to themselves and others. We have to teach our children not to work until they drop, because it is essential they get the time to nurture themselves and enjoy life.
Further, we must parent them to understand that no matter the pain in their life, they must continue to work hard to support those who depend upon them from family, friends, coaches, employers. This is essential, as nurturing what and who they are passionate about is part of what makes life happy and satisfying.
6. Be tough-minded:
To be healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, our children need to be tough-minded, shrewd, focused, determined and keep their efforts on their aspirations, regardless of the distance it will take to fulfill them.
Reinventing themselves will be an integral part of their life. Our children must know they are capable pulling it from where they don’t have it when put to the test in high pressure situations. They will feel stress just as anyone else does, but it will be their tough-mindedness that they live the motto to never quit.
7. Be kind:
For our children to be exceptional in life or business, teach them to see the good in others. Help them notice and value the intelligence and character that other people bring to their life, and be thankful for them. It is through their relationships with other people, our children will grow the most.
When our children are grounded in who they are they will learn they do not need all the attention for themselves. It is important we teach them the joy of celebrating the accomplishments of others as much as their own successes. In life there is always enough for everyone and any belief in the opposite only blocks opportunities for them personally. There is enough love, money, success and passion, therefore, they do not get or need to be jealous and sabotaging of the successes of others.
Teach them to compliment often, to be kind, and to be smart to the benefits of genuinely making others feel valuable.
An exceptional person living an exceptional life is one who feels deeply, loves fiercely and is willing to work tirelessly. We owe it to our children to teach them to embrace their human emotions but not let them entertain negativity for too long. Stand-out human beings are humble and powerful and we have the power to build this into the character development of our children. We must nurture them to be both practical and passionate and to pursue life with courage, honesty and flexibility.
Sherapy Advice: Resilience is that deliberate ability to dig deeply in an effort to overcome life’s challenges
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