Children are amazing creatures. They are part sponge, part scientist, part actor/comedian and part superhero, but they are still afraid of the boogey man – and a bunch of other things. The greatest impact you can have is to help them learn to be successful. Here are some ideas that might help.
Show No Fear – You need to jump in and try things, even when you don’t know what you’re doing, in order to communicate that it is okay for your child to try. Remember, you are their number one role model, and fear (in its many forms) is their biggest enemy.
Don’t Panic – You will almost always be able to do whatever you are trying to do better than your child. And, if not, you can always pretend you let them win.
Praise Something – Make an effort to find something positive to say. Children learn by experience and they learn in small pieces. What gets rewarded is what they learn most quickly.
Let Them Fail – Children often won’t accept that something won’t work until they try it themselves (several times). The only real failure is not trying.
Offer Them Help – Be prepared to be turned down. Children are generally sure they know how to do almost everything by themselves. After they have failed a few times they may be more receptive to your help.
Stay in Control – Of yourself, mostly. Having a child requires you to play several different roles. The hardest is leading them while letting them think that they are in charge. Remember, you are smarter than they are, but they are very good at pushing your buttons – try not to let them.
Prepare to Be Amazed – Children are very perceptive, and they can immediately incorporate what they learn into what they are doing. The result can be humorous, scary, or embarrassing – but the sheer ingenuity of it is amazing.
Treat Them Like Small People – Children tend to act the way they are treated. Treat them like babies and they will act like babies. Treat them like people and you will find that they are capable of incredible and unexpected things.
Be Happy/Enjoy Life – Tell your child it’s OK to be happy - and mean it. Your enthusiasm will be contagious. Besides, you spend a lot of time with your child., if that doesn’t make them happy, it’s probably not your child’s fault.
Your child will be grown up and going their own way before you know it. Enjoy the time you have with them and remember, one day you will be a grandparent and will get to watch them deal with all the things that drove you crazy.