Who is the proud parent of a naturally confident child?
My munchkin has very clear ideas and opinions about everything. While I absolutely love this part of her personality, there have been times I didn’t quite know how to assert my “mom authority” and still honor her opinion. She’s been raised to think critically and express herself, and I never want to squelch her personal freedom and voice.
However, when you’re tired, your schedule is tight, or you just need to get something done, letting your child express their opinion or position can be nothing short of frustrating! (gasp) Did I just say that out loud?! It’s true, though. In those times, I just want my daughter to do what I say, so the day can keep moving smoothly. Yet, I know that silencing her voice is not the answer.
So, I found a way to do both. Within the bounds of what needs to be accomplished, I include her in the process of making choices. For example, if it’s time to start formal school work, we’ll go over what we’re covering that day, and I will let her choose where we begin.
I’ve found that allowing her to be involved in the decision-making process helps her to feel good about her voice being heard, while we still accomplish what needs to get done. Happy mommy, happy kid! Here are three tips to help you empower your confident child:
Give Them Options
Giving your child options can be helpful for meal times, completing schoolwork, or when important tasks need to be completed. When possible, let your child choose from a set of pre-determined options. You create the list of options, so whatever they choose is something that works for you as the parent.
Invite Them into the Conversation
When you’re trying to make a decision as a family, invite your child’s opinion. I find that this works well for decisions like what you’ll have for dinner, how you’d like to spend the weekend or the location for your next vacation. Allow your child to offer their ideas, and even if their idea isn’t chosen, let them you know you appreciate and welcome their input.
Listen to Them
Be sure to actually listen to what your child is saying. I tend to employ active listening by repeating back to my daughter portions of what she’s just said. This practice affirms that I’m truly hearing her and allows her to clarify if I don’t understand what she’s trying to convey. Listening to your child also involves finding ways to incorporate their ideas, whenever possible.
I hope you found these tips helpful! What are some ways you empower your child?
Dr. Tiffany McKinnon-Russell is a former member of Corporate America, turned homeschooling mom, author, and entrepreneur. She is the author of More Than Happy: Abandoning Perfection in Pursuit of True Joy. Dr. Tiffany helps moms learn how to nurture themselves while caring for their families, and teaching their children with confidence, clarity, and creativity!