The bond that a mother shares with her child is priceless and forever. At the same time, the bond defines and shapes the child’s personality, attitude and perspective of the world. We as children love to shadow our parents and more so our moms. This aspect, challenging yet endearing, assigns every mother a task and responsibility to ensure that her child models on all that is good. Our children will grow to be independent and confident individuals when we empower them to think, decide and take responsibility. Here’s how you can help your child become a compassionate, diligent and enterprising individual:
Empowered mother, empowered child: Show your child what you want him/her to be. Children mimic adults, grab this instinct as an opportunity to build admirable qualities in your child. As mothers, you are always on your toes multi-tasking and switching roles according to your child’s needs. It’s natural that at times you’ll lose control and that could trigger the wrong button in your young one. Here are a few tips to enrich your everyday experience and brighten up your child’s as well:
- Practice a healthy lifestyle
- Follow a pattern in your daily schedule
- Engage in constructive activities that help you to de-stress and feel good about yourself
- Have a positive approach to everything.
Exemplify restrain and how to channelize your energy in a positive direction. Your child will learn to do the same. Adopt a non-negotiable attitude to slack and negativity on your journey as an individual. Your outlook will naturally percolate down to your child.Read, learn and aspire for personal achievements and let your child follow in your footsteps.
Treat your child as an equal: How you conduct with your child influences his/her self-notion and perception of people at large.Allow your child to voice his/her opinions and give him/her due space, and it works like magic. He/she too will learn to respect the opinion of others and be conscious of the rights of other individuals, a lesson no amount of lecturing could achieve. Encourage your child to share his/her thoughts about national affairs, global issues or even family matters. Instead of suppressing your child from arguing out his points, get into a healthy debate and provoke him/her to refute your points with logic and strong argument. This will unlock the intellectual faculties of your child, make him more discerning and a critical thinker. And on your part, you’ve won half the battle of cementing your bond with the youngster as a parent, mentor, and friend.
Let them choose and learn from mistakes: Mothers tend to forbid children from trying out anything that might harm them. Well, it’s a given that worries are synonymous with mothers, and as someone rightly said, “She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.” However, unless we fall, we do not learn to rise; that’s the tried and tested formula of growth. You are after all empowering your child to thrive as an independent individual, a decision maker and someone who can beat adversities and emerge unscathed. To build that kind of resilience in our children, we need to let go of them about their decisions as they make new friends, learn a new skill, want to experiment with your tool box or try to whip up a dish. For mothers, you wait in the wings but plunge into action the moment your child falters, hesitates or is overridden by fear. We have to ensure that the mistakes act as pillars of success but not as fears.
Assertive not submissive: Just as your child is learning to stretch wings, give him/her the confidence to fly high. He/she will never look down or fear the heights and have the determination to soar against the winds. As you set your expectation with your child, it is important that you never criticize his/her efforts but always keep him/her high on morale. Negative comments make children question their ability and develop the tendency to shy away. Ensure that assertiveness becomes a part of your child’s personality to propel him/her through any circumstances. The world that’s turning more and more global, we need to arm our children with an inherent sense of identity and self-belief.
Inclusive education: Allow your child to be a part of an environment that thrives on diversity. Children are far more flexible and unbiased than adults and have this amazing innate ability to blend in any context. The more they are exposed to different ways of life, cultures, languages, communities and people from a tender age, the broader are their understanding and level of acceptance. As you provide your child opportunities to explore diversity in every possible form, he/she will develop social awareness and emerge as an informed citizen of the world. How can you provide your child an inclusive education?
- Enroll him/her in a school that grounds its principles on inclusivity
- Let your child interact with children from other communities through clubs and associations
- Visit organizations that shelter children with special needs
- Encourage him/her to represent school in community services
- Let him/her participate and organize events with children of the neighborhood
- Travel to various geographies.
Growing up in an inclusive atmosphere, your child will naturally pick up great social skills, become more responsive and spontaneous in communicating with people from across cultures and communities. Furthermore, he/she will blossom into a sensible and empathetic human being who’ll understand differences so as not to discriminate. Rest assured, your child will develop the skills and qualities of a successful leader and change maker.
The journey as a mother is arduous, challenging yet rewarding to the core. You ride along with your child a considerable path, being their support system and slowly let him/her go ahead on his/her own. You are the change maker as you transform your child’s life, stepping in occasionally to help them regain balance. Your child will shape up beautifully if you are positive, proactive and happy. Your positivity will reflect on your child, creating a strong character, a determined individual, and an effervescent personality.
Ms. Vibha Kagzi, Founder CEO ReachIvy.com a national thought leader on study abroad and careers, who holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Vibha has been contributing author articles and industry led inputs in well-known publications pertaining to study abroad and counseling, knowing the host of expertise she has and provides unbiased opinions on current issues.
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- How can a mother empower her child from a young age? - May 15, 2017