A parent’s number one fear is making mistakes while raising their children. “What if I’m doing it wrong?” is often a question I get. “How do I improve confidence so they are happier? I’m tired of the long faces and grumpy attitudes.” “I need help. Please help me.”
I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve had over 23 years as a parent and a high school teacher. As a teacher, I worked with one of the most disadvantaged populations of teens there is. My students made plenty of bad decisions. Most of them were involved in gangs and drugs. Many were parents with multiple children. About 98% of the students were in state custody. All of them were at risk of never graduating. I learned a great deal from them that I apply to my own life today.
It is so important that we improve confidence and personal value in those we love. Here are a few little, low cost steps that will make a world of difference in your relationships with others.
- When you are away and heading back home, stop at the convenience store and buy their favorite candy. Leave it with a note that says, “I love you and missed you today.”
- Put a sticky note on the mirror where they will see it first thing in the morning. Put a smiley face, a thought for the day, your favorite quote or word, or a few words telling them how much you love them.
- Make their favorite food for dinner and then whisper in their ear, “I made this just for you because I love you the most.” You can tell each of your loved ones you love them the most and it will build them up. It doesn’t matter that you say the same thing to all of them because it is true. Your love for each one is just a little bit different. Let the love you feel fill them.
- Spend time together every day just connecting with each other. Shut off the TV and all other devices at meal times. Talk to one another about the day and what is going on in each other’s lives. We love to spend time each week talking about our dreams, past vacations, and the next family vacation we’re planning. You need to have fun and enjoy one another.
- Once a week spend a few hours playing a board or card game. They give you time to talk in depth about what is going on. We like strategy or brain teaser games. I think the best skill you can learn is how to solve a problem because that is what life is about – making things better.
- Everyone should be responsible for something that needs to be done– a chore list if you will. To build confidence, you need to be responsible for something. When you do something well that is needed, it just feels good. Let your loved one know that by taking out the trash they are helping make the home a better more enticing, aromatic place.
- Send them a card in the mail. I don’t always mail it – I just place it in the mailbox and ask them to get the mail. Make sure you put it in after the mail carrier comes not before. Just some advice I learned.
- Say goodbye every time you leave the house. Give them a kiss and a hug. Tell them where you’re going and when you expect to be home. When they start driving and going out, they’ll do the same for you.
- Tell them how beautiful or handsome you think they are and how glad you are to be their parent.
- Come up with something you know they’ll like and just do it. Trust your instincts and show your love.
Go spread the love today.
Talk to you soon,
Enter-to-win a copy of Jeanie’s book: Bully Proofing You: Improving confidence and personal value from the inside out.