The 5 Most Important Lessons You Can (And Should) Teach Your Kids

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Family, Self

We all want to raise children that are confident, caring, adaptive, happy and successful. However, when juggling a busy schedule and day-to-day stresses, it can feel hard to also successfully attend to our kids' emotional needs and impart life lessons.

The good news is that it's okay to miss some opportunities. By providing an environment in which your child feels emotionally supported, it'll help them develop an understanding and awareness of themselves that'll support them in all areas of their life. 

Here are 5 important things you need to teach your children:

1. It's OK to make mistakes. 

It's damaging to your self-esteem when you strive for perfection, because it's impossible! We all make mistakes, which is an important part of learning and growing. 

Replacing shame and embarrassment with an open discussion about their mistakes, removes pressure and guilt. Share your experience of making mistakes and what you learned.

2. Don't judge the people around you.  

When we judge others, we tend to judge ourselves twice as hard. Replacing judgment with open-minded curiosity about someone's experience, increases empathy and compassion for others, and ourselves. 

Help your children expand on their thoughts about others and ease up on rigid ways of thinking.

3. Your feelings matter.  

It's stressful believing our feelings are stupid, wrong and shameful. When your kids try to hide their true feelings, problems start to gather on the horizon. 

It's important to give your child room to share their feelings and have them validated. This experience will help them become more aware of their inner experience, which increases their sense of self-worth.

4. You have the power to make yourself feel better.  

Many kids don't learn ways to cope with strong feelings. This can lead to anxiety, depression and "acting out" behaviors. 

Help your child to find ways to soothe themselves during high stress times. Some ideas are reading, taking a nap, coloring, playing with toys, taking a bath, listening to music, writing in a journal, meditating, drawing, taking a walk and talking to someone. 

Having the ability to self-soothe makes children feel safe, which leads to being more flexible and adaptive in life situations.

5. Always trust in yourself. 

One of the greatest tools we have in protecting ourselves is our gut feeling and intuition. Learning to pay attention to and trust this part of ourselves is important in navigating relationships

Helping your child to validate and stand up for what they believe makes them less susceptible to peer pressure and leads to greater self-confidence.

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As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I help with parenting issues and ways to make the parent/child relationship stronger. I also work with adolescents to increase self-worth and confidence.  Contact me to learn more about how we can work together, visit here.