Worth your weight in gold
August 16, 2012 2 Comments
This came up recently at another online site and I thought it might be a good idea to bring it up here. I try not to get too “heavy” about things because hey, what fun is that? And besides, I have a tendency to lecture people and again, what fun is that? But, sometimes there are things that are important to talk about.
One of the best things you can ever do for your kids while they are growing up and through the teen years is label stuff for them. The same way you would point at a car or truck or cat and tell a toddler what that is, you should be labeling more complex things like emotions and feelings and choices and connecting them to behaviour and to themselves. There are many reasons why this is beneficial and one of the reasons is that you want your kids to learn that they are good people for a reason. I’m always harping on letting your kids make mistakes and letting them make choices and making them live by the consequences of their choices etc etc etc. Yes, it builds inner strength and confidence and self-esteem and teaches them life lessons that are best learned in adolescence but it is also helping them to figure out their identity. Kids need to understand the value of their worth and that they are good people, not just because mommy and daddy keep telling them, but that they’re good people because they make choices based on values and they make decisions that show their character. In the process of separating from their parents and families, kids not only need to learn basic life skills, they need to learn social and relationship skills. They need to learn that their worth isn’t dependent on another person’s happiness or sadness or feelings but is based on who they are and the life they chose to live.
Yes, our actions impact other people and that is part of this whole learning process but it’s a different process than pointing a finger and making someone feel badly because you made little susie cry. It’s about understanding your role and therefore your responsibility (and what you should never be responsible for). Those are skills that we carry our entire adult life and if we don’t learn them, it can be an uphill battle later on in the adult years.