Ivette J. Russo MS in Clinical Psychology
Children and individuals need to be empowered to make good choices and wise decisions through the use of their strong will and personal power. Developing a strong sense of personal power is a necessary element in becoming a nurturing individual. Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities.
5 Ways To Empower Your Children
- Make an effort only to correct your children when it is something major – don’t nitpick and constantly correct them. They will begin to believe that they are not good enough and can’t do anything right.
- Give them the power to make their own decisions – about what they wear, eat, or what activities they want to take part in. This is especially hard for most parents because we like to control things and are often times on a schedule. But the things children are the most proud of are the ones they choose and execute all by themselves. Rarely do they enjoy the things we make them do.
- Stop using the word “NO.” It is overused everywhere in our society – and the word “DON’T” is also negative and a confidence buster! It is as simple as changing the way we phrase an answer… “Yes, icecream for dinner sounds awesome, the only issue is that our bodies need vitamins first!”
- Be careful what you are imprinting on your kids. For example, saying things like “You are so ____” or using the phrase “You are just like your Dad” can be empowering or disempowering depending on the context you are using it in. If you are going to label your kids this way – make sure it is a good one! (i.e. the ways they are like their Dad are ways that you like – not similar in the things you don;t like about him!)
- Pay attention to your kids. This seems like a no brainer so let me give you an example – DO you look into your child’s eyes when they are talking to you – or are you just listening out of one ear while doing 10 other things? This type of behavior sends a strong message to your child that what they have to say is not important and can be very disempowering to a child of any age.