Kids who feel encouraged generally feel good about themselves. They usually have a strong and positive self-image. They are able to handle challenges that come up at home, school and on the playground. They are better able to resist negative peer pressure. They are more ready to laugh and enjoy life and are the kind of kids most people like to hang out with.
So, how can we as parents help our kids feel encouraged? It is important to show that you respect their point of view and value their input. One of the best ways to do that is to ask them to assist you in thinking of solutions to the little domestic problems that come up everyday. It is also helpful to ask their opinions, empower them to help themselves and praise solution oriented thinking:
Here are some questions that we can ask to promote problem-solving skills in our kids:
- “What can we do as a family to make sure the lights are turned off before we leave the house in the morning?”
- “What can we do to make sure that the snacks are shared evenly in the house?”
- “There has been some fighting about the basketball hoop. How can we make sure that everyone is getting a turn?”
- “Does everyone feel comfortable with the jobs that they have been assigned? If not, can anyone think of solutions?
Some ways to ask their opinion are:
- “We are having your cousins over, do you think they would like to sleep in the guest room or camp out with you?”
- “Grandma and Grandpa are coming to visit, do you think they want one or two pillows?”
- “Daddy’s has a headache, do you think we should give him an ice pack or the heating pad?”
Kids also like to have a say in what will help them overcome the little challenges that they face everyday. To teach them that they have the ability to help themselves with a little thought, you can ask:
- “You seem sad about that ball game. What would make you feel better?”
- “You are having trouble with that math problem, is there anything that you have done in the past that would help you now?”
- “You seem stressed about your test tomorrow, do you think a hot shower would help?”
Finally, as parents we want to reinforce thinking that is solution oriented. Any attempts by children to come up with a solution should be noted and acknowledged:
- “That is an interesting idea, we should try it.”
- “That is thinking out of the box.”
- “I am glad we are a family that focuses on solutions.”
Encouraging kids takes some time and a little forethought. Teaching kids to think about solutions will help you have a partner who can truly help you solve the little and big problems of life.
About the Author:
Adina Soclof is a parenting expert we really respect. Learn more from Adina about Raising Resilient Responsible Independent Children.