Parenting is the most important and rewarding part of life. We have the divine opportunity to teach love, confidence, compassion, discipline and responsibility to another person. We will know what kind of parent we are by how we see our children get along and interact in the world. Love should be the foundation of parenting. It is also important to know that discipline is the highest form of love.
10 Steps to Parenting a Goal-Digger
1. Attachment Parenting: Children who are provided a sense of well-being from the beginning of life will spend the rest of their lives striving to keep this feeling. Children who are valued emotionally, given security, touch, eye contact and patience become motivated to repair their feelings of well-being when they lose them because they have already been integrated into their sense of self.
2. Self-Love is Taught: Assess how you were parented and learn to give your child what you were never given. Take note of what your parents did, positive and negative, which built your self-image and take what was good and give all of that and more to your child. Be conscious of what did not work for you and avoid repeating those patterns.
3. Be Human: No one can be happy all the time and sometimes, life is extremely uncomfortable, but a parent's unhappiness can transfer over to their children because children look to their parents as a mirror for their emotions. If you are having a rough time, be honest with your children so they learn that the emotions are natural and that life is full of up's and down's, but let them know you are strong enough to face it and have it handled.
4. Snuggle Your Children: Touch has been shown to increase bonding and decrease stress. Touch is healing, as it develops trust and reciprocal emotional sharing. It helps children to know they are loved and worthy, which helps them to develop better relationships with their peers. Touch increases self-love and confidence.
5. Play with Your Children: When you play with your children, it gives them the message they are worth your time effort and love. Children learn a lot through play. It improves their behavior by giving them a feeling of importance and accomplishment.
6. Use Your Child's Name: Using your child's name makes them feel important. Use their name when you are giving compliments, so they take that compliment as being directly related to their value. It tells them they are real and special. Using their name helps to soften discipline because you are making them a person, rather than a faulty behavior.
7. Rewards Carry Over: As your child gets older, make sure to encourage and compliment their talents and interests. Celebrate that they are able to do something well. As they get this feeling of gratification, it will carry over and help them to be more open to try and achieve new things. Rewards are the beginning of the development of internal motivation, creating self-starters.
8. Set Your Children Up for Success: Children assess their value by how they are perceived by others. It will be important not to let your children quit what they start but also not to force them to do what they genuinely don't want to do. This balance helps your children with the exploration of their identity and also to learn the value of commitment and passion.
9. Home is Always Available: Children, as they grow, will have times of being attached to home and times of needing independence. All children are going to need to periodically retreat into the comfort of their home where they feel safe to be vulnerable in between times of venturing out into the unknown. Home is where the emotions should be nurtured so they get the support they need for independence.
10. Give Your Children Responsibilities: Children need jobs. One of the main ways children develop self-love, motivation, confidence and value is through helping maintain the family home. Giving children household duties helps them experience their worth and it provides them a sense of accomplishment and reward.
Raising a 'goal-digger' requires three things: Time, attention and listening. We can give children too many things, but we can never give them too much love. When we give them too many things too easily, they become gold-diggers. When they are loved by their parents, they learn to love themselves. When they have these qualities in place, they learn to work hard, love themselves, interact with others and live goal-filled lives. They will not be entitled looking for the easy way out.
Follow Sherrie Campbell, PhD on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Dr_Sherrie