Raising Confident & Self-Sufficient Children

Raising Confident & Self-Sufficient Children.

Q: How can I raise confident and most importantly self-sufficient children?

A: Drs. Darlene Sweetland Ron Stolberg, in Teaching Kids to Think: Raising Confident, Independent, and Thoughtful Children in an Age of Instant Gratification, describe four parents traps that are situations “in which parents are drawn to solve problems for their children or rescue them in a way that ultimately stifles growth opportunities.” I’ve outlined three of the five parent traps here.

The Rescue Trap.  Parents often feel the need to “save” their children when their children are hurt, frustrated or angry. If we constantly rescue our children, they never learn to help themselves.

The solution:
Take a backseat. Let your child struggle. Ultimately he will be stronger and know how to succeed the next time. If he really tries and really fails, then you can save him.

The Hurried Trap. Today’s children are used to instant gratification as they live in a fast-paced society with access to information and entertainment at all time. Parents who fall into the “hurried trap” respond immediately to their children’s requests and desires.

The solution: Pause. Take a step back. Allow your child to wait for things he wants. When it comes to his needs, of course, provide them, but don’t constantly jump at his beck and call.  He’ll learn patience and gratitude.

The Pressure Trap. Many children are engaged in so many different activities because their friends are on the competitive sports team or the math club. They are overscheduled and have little or no unstructured time. This can lead to the common complaint of boredom as children will never gain the ability to entertain themselves.

The solution: Schedule free time.  Let your children learn to entertain themselves. At first, this will be difficult and they will complain of boredom, but eventually they will gain powerful problem-solving and imaginative skills.

The Bottom Line
Today’s research indicates that confidence is the key factor to raising successful kids. As parents, we might unknowingly fall into “traps” that prevent our children from gaining confidence. Learn about those traps and the ways to avoid them.

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