Encouragement is a key component of the Duct Tape Parenting lifestyle- we don’t ZIP IT and check out. We do ZIP IT and check in. We take one step back and one step to the side, so we can see without steering. This summer, let’s all make a conscious effort to encourage our children as they navigate their lives.
Of course we aren’t perfect, but we can try to use the following strategies everyday, in some way to make the relationship with our kids stronger and to aid them in building resiliency, independence and confidence. When we encourage, we parent with our child’s interest and integrity in mind.
12 Awesome Ways to Encourage Your Child:
- Set Realistic Expectations – Value the child AS IS by saying and showing that you believe she can do this and let her try.
- Show Radical Faith – This summer, have confidence and avoid checking in, monitoring and questioning how things are going all the time.
- Build Self Respect – Avoid comparisons and proving of worth with words and actions that say, “you are capable and you are loveable for all reasons.”
- Recognize Effort & Improvement – Communicate clearly that she is unconditionally acceptable and avoid focus on completed tasks or “could be” “should be” statements.
- Focus on Strengths and Assets –Look around and proactively help your child embrace the resources and assets around him, vs. focusing on mistakes.
- Ask Your Child vs. Telling – This is a simple strategy we can easily forget as parents! By asking and supporting their choices, we encourage kids to try, explore and make decisions.
- Identify Resources – Become a talent scout and use “vision” to see a talent in its raw or under-developed stages and accept when a she says “no” to activities you may have thought she would enjoy
- Direct Your Child Accordingly – Using “vision” means recognizing potential outside of your preference and even still, encouraging your child to follow a natural direction (even if you previously envisioned a this path!).
- Use Interests to Energize – Once your child expresses an interest, run with it without steering. Start small, think creatively and strategically to create spikes of excitement in your child’s life.
- Listen and Make Eye Contact – If your child has the courage to tell you what he or she would like (or not like), be sure you’re focused on your connection so that you can support him or her. Bonus: You can model what a good relationship feels like – it’s profound, even for adults, when someone stops what they are doing and listens to us- so let’s pass it on!
- Be There – Let’s say your child makes a decision that doesn’t work out. Consciously refrain from commentary, judgement or I TOLD YOU SOs. Let the lessons sink in with minimal interference. This is a great way to say “I accept you as you are.”
- Have a Sense of Humor – What seems like a mountain today, will look like a molehill down the road. Make mistakes and laugh at them. This teaches our children that mistakes are a part of life and they do not define who we are.
Do you have any other points to add? Let us know! Want to PIN this list? CLICK HERE TO SEE THE AWESOME PIN!