As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to help your children succeed. But what if success means something different for each kid? How do you raise confident self-reliant kids who can figure things out on their own? Raising children to be confident and self-reliant is key to giving them survival skills they will need to be great adults.
Raise Confident Self-Reliant Kids
The key is to allow them to take some reasonable risks and learn valuable lessons as they make mistakes. Let them try new things and learn from their experiences. Encourage them to be independent and think for themselves. Here are some tips on how to raise confident self-reliant kids:
Build Trust with Your Kids
Trust is the core of any healthy relationship, but it’s even more important in parent/child situations. When there isn’t trust between a child and their parents children may lack the confidence to become independent adults because they don’t know how capable or responsible those around them are regarding certain tasks.
To make sure children grow into well-rounded individuals with strong self-esteem, you need to provide basic amenities like safe surroundings which are necessary for growth, while at the same time showing love and concern. Be there for them when they need you, but also give them some space to grow. Show them that you trust them and they will learn to trust you back.
Encourage Them to Take Reasonable Risks
Don’t be overprotective of your children. We’ve all heard about “helicopter moms” who tend to hover over their kids, no matter what the situation. Allow them to explore and take risks that won’t likely result in significant physical or emotional harm. This is how they learn and grow, much like when they were little and needed to learn to walk and run. Of course, the risks you allow, or even encourage, need to be “age-appropriate” so they don’t immediately get in over their head. If your child wants to bake a cake all by themselves, and you feel they have the basic understanding of working in the kitchen, encourage them to give it a shot, while you’re cautiously close so the house doesn’t burn down. If they want to start a lawn mowing business, even if they haven’t had a whole lot of experience mowing your own lawn, you can give them some guidance about fingers and toes safety, fueling the mower, staying clear of flower beds, etc., and have them give it a try.
Let Them Make Mistakes
Kids need to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Encourage them to try new things and enjoy adventures that will enhance their life experiences. They will learn more from their mistakes than from anything you tell them. Sometimes, life consequences are the best consequences a child can get. We all make mistakes, but the key to raising confident self-reliant children is for them to learn from those mistakes and hopefully store lessons learned in their memory banks.
Encourage Them to Be Independent
Encourage your children to be independent and think for themselves. Have them involved in activities that will broaden their experiences, and hopefully meet and be mentored by quality people you respect and trust. Those activities may include a wide variety of things like team and individual sports, music, dance, computer camps, reading clubs, debate, drama, and more.
Help them develop their own opinions and ideas based on contact with people outside their circle of friends. Not only can you encourage them to think for themselves, but you can give them assignments around the house that will teach them what it takes to run a household, but will further foster that independence, a stronger work ethic, and the ability to think about others.
Chores like gardening, cooking, cleaning, doing their laundry, and picking up after themselves are all great ways for them to learn to be independent and prepare them for similar tasks when visiting extended family, going away to college, or just keeping track of things when you as parents are gone.
Teach Kids Survival Skills
Teach your children survival skills like how to start a fire with matches and twigs or with a Ferro Rod, how to use a tarp and some stakes to build a survival shelter, how to purify water with the equipment you have, how to grow your own food in a garden, how to find food in the wild like berries, and how to defend themselves. These are all important skills that will help them be confident and self-reliant, and may even save their lives.
Involve Them In Emergency Preparedness
Another way to help them be self-reliant is to involve them in your family’s emergency preparedness plans. Teach them what to do in case of various emergency situations. Show them how to use a fire extinguisher, how to get out of a house in case of a fire, and how to call 911. The more they know, the more confident they’ll feel in an emergency and the more comfortable you can feel when you leave them at home.
Teach Pioneer Skills To Your Kids
Pioneer skills are those that our ancestors used to survive. Things like gardening, canning, sewing, and homesteading skills are all important for kids to learn. These skills will help them be self-reliant and confident in their ability to provide for themselves and to help others. My girls took home economics classes in school years ago. I’m not sure all high schools teach those classes today.
We had neighborhood boys who took woodworking and auto repair classes. Now I wish I’d had my girls learn some of those skills. Having the skills to do more “technical” things around the house will certainly come in handy down the road.
The pioneers also had to perform all sorts of first aid steps to fix cuts, scrapes, burns, and so much more. Have your child put together their own first aid kit and teach time how each included item is used.
Encourage Them to Be Resourceful
Teach your children to be resourceful. Show them how to use what they have on hand to solve problems. For example, if they need a hammer and you don’t have one, show them how to use a rock or a piece of wood. If they need a screwdriver and you don’t have one, show them how to use a knife. The more resourceful they are, the more confident and self-reliant they will be.
Having this mentality can also prompt them to think about what is a need vs a necessity. That maturity can save them money as they set aside funds for school, clothes, tools, transportation, and other things that may not be as exciting as a new iPhone, but can bring lasting joy in the long run.
Teach Your Kids Financial Literacy
One of the most important things kids need to know is how to handle money. Teach them about budgeting, saving, and investing. Show them how to use a credit card wisely and how to stay out of debt whenever possible. The earlier they learn these things, the better off they will be financially as adults.
The cost of everything seems to be going up. I look at the price of food items in the store now and wonder how my married kids are getting by. Thank goodness they have homes, but who knows what the future has in store when it comes to rent and house payments.
They need to learn the importance of an education, whether at a vocational school or college. Those who have had the discipline to hang in there and walk away with a degree or certification really have an advantage. Of course, hard work doesn’t hurt either.
Focus On Your Child’s Strengths
It’s important to focus on your child’s strengths and not their weaknesses. This will help them build confidence in themselves. Help them find things they are good at and encourage them to do those things. Sometimes as parents we want them to excel in things we find fun, challenging, or educational. Letting them explore those is fine, but they should find their own areas of interest that motivate them and inspire them to do their best, no matter what the activity may be.
Positive reinforcement is key when it comes to raising confident self-reliant kids. Let them know that you are proud of them and that you believe in them. As a parent, it’s important to remember that success means something different for each child.
Encourage Them To Be Self-Starters
One of the best things you can do for your children is to encourage them to be self-starters. Help them develop a can-do attitude and teach them how to set and achieve goals. Teach them how to be proactive instead of reactive. I recently read an article that stated having a child (or even an adult) make their bed each morning as the day starts is a great way to set the stage for the whole day in a positive way.
The key to success is not found in waiting for your next instructions, but rather figuring out how best to utilize the resources at hand. Young adults who have grown up with parents managing their schedules and hovering over every task, tend to struggle more in the workforce. The more self-starters you have in this world, the better off we will all be.
Time Management Skills
One of the most important things kids need to learn is how to manage their time wisely. Time management skills are crucial for success in school, work, and life. Teach them how to prioritize tasks, how to set deadlines, and how to stick to a schedule. The better they are at managing their time, the more confident and self-reliant they will be.
All the new electronic gadgets we have make this task so much easier to do. With calendars and alarm clocks built into phones, tablets, laptops, etc., there is no excuse to miss an assignment or appointment. They can also be used to motivate us to get off our duffs and get some exercise!
Encourage Them to Be Creative
Creativity is a great way for kids to express themselves and be confident. Encourage them to be creative in everything they do. Whether it’s painting, drawing, singing, or writing, creativity should be encouraged. We have a number of extended family members who have developed amazing creative skills, anywhere from ceramics, quilting, oil painting, computer programming, and more. What a blessing in their lives.
Have Realistic Expectations
It’s important to have realistic expectations for your children. They are not going to be perfect and that’s okay. Don’t put too much pressure on them to succeed. Just let them be kids and enjoy their childhood. We spend a lot of years as adults, let them enjoy their youth, while learning to become great additions to their community and country.
Raising confident self-reliant kids is not an easy task, but it is definitely worth it. These are the kinds of kids that grow up to be successful adults. They are the ones that make a difference in the world.
So, if you want to raise confident self-reliant kids, remember to encourage them to try new things, be independent, and think for themselves. Teach them survival skills and pioneer skills. Most importantly, focus on their strengths and have realistic expectations. With time and patience, you can raise confident self-reliant kids!
Parenting is a never-ending journey of learning. What works today may not work tomorrow, and each child is different as they experience life’s journey. The key to success is to stay positive, be patient, and never give up. Raising confident self-reliant kids takes time, but will bring so much happiness and satisfaction to parent and child. Stay safe. May God Bless this world, Linda
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