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I have learned so much over the years, about the impact of our parenting on our kids. Our words, actions, beliefs and values contribute significantly to the development of our children. They are a product of their upbringing. No child is a bad child.  I believe we are all born as lovable, capable children with opportunities ahead of us.

It is what we learn from our parents or caregivers that shapes who we will become as adults.

How well have we taught our kids to cope with life’s ups and downs, handle conflict, respond to change, make decisions, solve problems, be resourceful, accountable, respectful and responsible? Some parents teach these very specific life skills, while others don’t even think about them. Our kids learn a lot by observing their parents who are their role models.

Sadly, there are many parents who inadvertently harm their children’s self worth by being dysfunctional themselves. The parents may not even realize that their behavior is in fact, destructive to their child’s well being.

If the parent’s needs weren’t met in their childhood, they will have their own self worth issues and insecurities, which will inevitably show up when they attempt to parent their children. The cycle will continue. The family legacy will live on.

Parents need to put their children’s well being first while they are growing and developing. Parents need to ensure and advocate for the children’s needs because they are too young and lack the capacity to do so on their own.

There are many ways to positively impact our children. Here are some examples:

Self Awareness As A Parent

  • Look in the mirror – what are your strengths and limitations as a parent?
  • What behaviors are you demonstrating that could be harming your children emotionally or physically?
  • What type of professional support have you sought out to stop this behavior?

Listen

  • Kids will tell you what they need from you
  • Do you hear what they are telling you from their perspective or are you listening through your own view?
  • When listening to your kids, put aside your own agenda
  • Acknowledge their perspective

Set Boundaries

  • Give your kids some guidelines and stick to them
  • Teach them to respect rules and other people
  • Teach them the importance of boundaries and how to set some of their own

Build Responsibility

  • Have your children take on a responsibility appropriate for their age (you can give them options or they can choose)
  • Recognize their effort and consistency in carrying out that responsibility
  • Provide encouragement when they make a mistake
  • Have and apply consequences if they do not follow through

Build Accountability

  • When your children fail, can’t fulfill their obligations or are struggling through something – do not step in and take over
  • Do not enable them to perpetuate unhealthy behaviors by fixing their problems for them
  • Allow them to experience the impact of their actions
  • Let them fall, let them deal with the consequences and in doing so, they will build self esteem around their ability to resolve their own issues
  • Teach them the fundamental life skills to handle their own problems and give them the space and support to practice and learn on their own

Show Love

  • Let your children know you love them
  • Spend time with them
  • Smile at them, acknowledge who they are
  • Let them now they are important to you
  • Let them know they are lovable just because they exist