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Sunday 22 November 2020

Nurturing your child's inner being.

As parents, we want our children to be good people. We want them to be our legacy. We want the world to know what incredible human beings they are. But how do we do this? How do we raise our children to become the best version of themselves? Our day-to-day family lives lay the foundation for who they will become as adults. This is where our children first learn about trust, kindness, compassion, friendship, patience and forgiveness, or the lack thereof. If we live these values in our homes and practice it regularly, it will become a part of our children and spill over into life outside of our homes. 

Set the right example

We need to start with us. Our young children will follow our examples and not our words or even suggestions. They look at the way that we carry ourselves and the integrity we show at home when the rest of the world is not looking. We need to teach our children to value people over things. If we expect our children to become adults with good values, we need to set a higher bar for ourselves.

Get your priorities straight

Make time for what really matters. Hug your children and your partner many times during the day. Connect with them, share and speak from your heart. Show them that they do not need to scream for attention, that we do hear them and we do see them. Spending time with our families is such a great future investments – in ourselves and our children. 

An attitude of gratitude

We can talk about the people, things and experiences we have to be grateful for in the car, while driving to school or the shops, around our dining room table at meal time or at bedtime. Making time to reflect on our day, how we lived it and how we can make it better tomorrow, should never be about being better than others, but rather about being a better me tomorrow. Giving every family member a turn to reflect on what they are thankful for might start off with a purposeful decision, but once it becomes a habit, it will turn into a natural family tradition and ensuring that every day we look for the goodness in our day and the people around us.

Encourage individuality

Let us encourage our children to be individuals and not parent/people pleasers. We need them to know that we will support whatever decision they make, encourage them to work hard for themselves, and not because we need them to have good marks. Show them how to consider different perspectives and celebrate our differences.

Be a courageous cheerleader

Believe in yourself and believe in your children. Our children will believe in themselves if we believe in them and when we believe in ourselves, we can do difficult things. When our children face hard times, we don’t take it away from them, but instead stand next to them, give them the tools to cope with it, guide them and support them, but let them do it. When they see and hear you cheering them on and believing in them, they will keep trying, no matter how hard it gets and they will become strong adults that are capable to face the world and the troubles it often brings. 

Pay it forward

When we make a positive difference by the way we live, our children can experience it firsthand. When you buy or get new clothing, you can give away the same amount of clothes to less fortunate people. When your children receive new toys, you can teach them to give the same amount of toys away. If you know of a family going through a rough time due to sickness, death or financial reasons, you can support them by dropping off food with a note of encouragement. When you have extra food left after dinner, you can make food parcels to hand out to homeless people. When you go the shop on a warm summers day, you can buy a cold beverage for a security guard. These actions introduce our children to the big world out there and shows them that we all can help, because we want to and not for the recognition. When we contribute to society in a big or small way, we do make the world a better place and at the same time we make ourselves better people.

Taking care of nature

We can teach our children to appreciate and love nature by taking our children for walks, lying on the grass and looking at the clouds during day time or admiring the stars at night time, participating in recycling and re-purposing items, taking good care of our pets, making bird feeders to hang in our trees, showing kindness to the smallest little bug, stepping over a snail, appreciating the smell of rain, admiring the trees and flowers. By teaching our children to take care of their natural world, our children will learn to be kind to things that can’t defend themselves, because all lives matter and they will learn to admire the beauty around them and take responsibility for their environment. When we care and love what is around us, then we understand that life is sacred and we will protect and defend it.

Our children are precious souls entrusted to us. We need to guide them on this road of life and we need to make sure they are strong enough to face whatever comes their way. They are our legacy. Let’s make it count.

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