1: I am ME, and that's who I want to be! Asking your child what they LOVE about themselves and what others love about them can help them realize their talents and what makes them so special. Go to the link to see the print outs and sit down your your child and fill them out. I even did the one where you glue a mirror to the middle, but I went a step further and had my children look in the mirror before bed and say, "I LOVE ME!" Click the link above, because this was such a good thing for my kids! And don't forget to display it all!
2: Lights! Camera! Action! Have a family activity where everyone takes turns getting up and performing something in front of the rest of the family. It can be a skit, a poem they wrote, telling a joke, displaying art work they did, reading a book, singing, dancing you name it! PERFORM & APPLAUD!
3: Hard Work. There's many lists of age appropriate chores to do around the house, but learning hard work even at a young age can help them build confidence with their success and new abilities! Letting your baby feed themselves with a spoon is a small example. Having your toddler do his/her best at making their bed. If they do their best and you know they did they're best then it's okay to step in a help the rest of the way. My daughter just turned four and she even puts her clothes away herself. She puts them on the hanger and I hang them up because she can't reach. Get your chore charts out and praise them for the success and abilities!
4: My motto is: There's Always a Solution! Whenever your child is having a difficult time figuring something out, LET THEM FIGURE IT OUT. Maybe help brainstorm some ideas with them, but if they want to try and fix a problem a certain way, let them. Even if you know it wont work, just let them figure that part out on their own. Relying on you to fix all their problems won't build confidence in themselves...(As hard as it is to not do it all for them. Trust me, I know).
5: Homework! As early as Preschool, your child needs a parent that is interested in their school and will help them set goals and achieve them! If your child goes to school without finishing homework, they feel like they failed, or even that they CAN'T DO IT. Talk to them about the importance of school and then give them the time (and attention sometimes) they need to understand their work. Getting it done on time is a little boost of pride they need to continue motivation.
6: Never say never! (or- I can't). Nothing breaks your heart more when your child says "I CAN'T" and then hangs their head. That phrase isn't aloud *ALLOWED* in my home. We say: "I need to try again!" It really only takes a few words to get your child inspired. In high school before a race it only would take a few words from my coach or team mate to inspire me and feel motivated. The same works here. Teach them about the 'art' of practicing and trying your best.
7: Goals! Set goals as a family and also let your child set their own goals. Make a chart to mark your progress. Teach them again that hard work is the only way to achieving something worth while. Then celebrate when goals are reached. Praising your child is a constant necessity.
8: Bottle it up! Telling your child NOT to cry is like telling your child to bottle it up. And then you instantly lose their confidence in talking to you about how they feel. Crying is like laughing, it's necessary. Emotions are A-O-K.
9: Put your SILLY on. Encourage your child to be silly. That means that you need to let your child be silly and also participate and laugh along! But encouraging them also means that if you have a child like mine who is already too embarrassed to be silly, even in front of family, you need to be silly FIRST. My son has finally started to initiate silliness and my heart is very happy. It's important to teach them to not care what others think. That's a hard thing to instill, but if you ever want them to stand up for what they believe or to be themselves, then start BEING SILLY. Even if that means crazy hair dancing...
10: DANCE! Because no one's watching. This intertwines with #2 and #9, but dancing as a family is one of the best ways we spend quality time together. I'm so serious. We hip hop, tap, tip toe ballet and swing dance it all! I've even taught my son how to properly ask a girl to dance. Take one fun 3-4 minute song and take a quick break! Whenever I'm seeing that my kids or even my day need a pick-me-up, the itunes start playing we all know what to do!
11: Don't say DON'T. We find ourselves saying things like: Don't yell in the car! Don't put your elbows on the table! Don't hit! Don't put your shoes there! Don't Don't Don't! Or we could calm the home down by saying things like this: No one wants anyone to get a headache, so lets be quieter. Do you think your brother likes to be hit? What should we do now? Can you find a better spot for your shoes? As soon as you say DON'T your child feels victimized and belittled.
12: Art and Create. Being creative is probably the best way to express your self, be different and a GREAT opportunity for you to praise their expressions. Display it, love it, and do it again.
13: Service. Serving someone else is the ultimate self-booster. Personally I don't know anything that feels better than serving others. Kids can feel that too when they have the opportunity to serve. It was a first goal of mine to teach my children service because I know the importance of it in my Heavenly Father's eyes and in the world today. It can be hard with small children, we all know that sharing is toddler-fight-central. But it can start with simple things, like writing kinds words to someone, giving someone a gift, opening a door. I have to tell you a story of my son because it melts my heart. He had been saving up his chore allowance for something he wanted REALLY REALLY badly. One night he came into my room with his piggy bank in hand. He handed it to me and told me he wanted me to a have it. I smiled really big because I knew it was a great sacrifice, but his smile was much much bigger. (I later told him I couldn't take it, but at the moment he just felt so good). 14: Family Post. Each of our family members has their own mail box. It's the perfect opportunity to serve someone anonymously too in your home and it's a great place to start teaching about service. Love notes, notes of encouragement, candy, stickers, toys. They've all been found in our mailboxes. (Even my husband and I take advantage of the sentiments to one another). It's important to teach service in the home first, and this is a special way to make a small day seem so important. 15: Stress Relief. Kids can get stressed, they can even feel when you're stressed so don't encourage it. There's many ways to deal with it and you can find your own personal way, but here's some things that I like to do. If they're stressing about something that already happened, help them understand that they don't need to stress over something that they can't change and already happened. It's over, so let's think about something else. Also, I found a fun kids yoga workout at the library. It was fun and got the kids a little wound up and silly in the beginning and then slowly calmed them down and relaxed them the last half. I'm thinking I need to buy that movie for a bedtime ritual for my kiddos!
on Jan. 26, 2013 at 3:22 PM