About Claire Adams: Claire is a regular contributor to Growing With Gratitude. She is a personal and professional development expert, and a proud aunt of 5 precious, little gems. Being an aunt of 5 with a strong desire to have her own little darlings one day, she has been quite immersed in the whole child care story and is quite familiar with the most common challenges parents are facing daily.
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Parenting is probably the hardest job in the world, yet it is the very cornerstone behaviour of most biologically complex living beings. As a matter of fact, there are so many parameters a parent has to take into consideration when raising a child, it can easily be called an art form, and true parenting “virtuosos” manage to simultaneously juggle countless aspects of preparing your child for life. One of these aspects is reflected in the question of how to encourage children to be independent and resourceful?
Don’t lay it all out for them
If you want to teach your children to be independent and resourceful, you have to let them make that extra step towards the goal all by themselves. From the very early on, try not to guide them by hand and don’t lay it all out for them. It’s about “coaching”, not “controlling”. Even though you might feel compelled to help your child out or guide them if they appear confused, you should definitely hold it back and let them find the solution. Even if they fail, it is a useful lesson in and of itself. Try not to be disapproving of the failure, but encourage them to pick it up where they left off and try to find the solution or improve matters.
In the modern age
Resourcefulness in the modern age of multimedia and the internet has become quite a complicated, multidimensional matter. There is a great debate over whether we should expose our children to these powerful “windows” into the oversaturated online land from the early age, but it is definitely true that they should learn how to adapt to the variety of tools in this environment as quickly as possible. After all, most careers of the future will exist in the digital realm exclusively. Still, this doesn’t mean that you should, for example, expose your children to the demanding programming apps from early on. They can learn the ropes of swapping content through websites like Thinkswap and realize the value of information on the internet.
Photo by Sasint from Pixabay
Be a role model
We are all familiar with one fundamental truth – children learn by example and the greatest “models” of virtue in their life are their parents. Therefore, if you want your child to adopt certain habits, like resourcefulness, you will have to serve as a role model of this trait. If you are not particularly resourceful, try to show them what you are best at and work your way from there.
Self-encouragement is the key
While you should encourage your child to pursue its goals, you should also teach your child the importance of self-encouragement. It can be something as simple as little mantras or something more integral, like a confident “web” of beliefs and rules of engagement that will make your child beam with integrity. However, you cannot expect your child to be a CEO of a big company from the very early age, especially because they will still look at you for encouragement. Just make sure that they have the confidence so they can find the solution for each situation all by themselves.
Photo by Lenkafortelna from Pixabay
It’s about the road not about the destination
However, your children will not only seek encouragement, they will thrive on your approval. While, on the one hand, they will pursue many goals in the beginning in order to satisfy you, you should teach them that it is not about the destination – it’s about the road. In other words, if you show that you value effort and not perfection, you will increase your chances of raising a child that is much more patient, less anxious and ready to engage with things that truly make them happy. This is by far the best case scenario for any developing child.
A parent wants nothing more than to “arm” their children with the necessary tools to engage life. The best case scenario is not only to raise children to be the best versions of themselves, but to turn them into more consistent, better people than you ever were. One of the most important aspects of arming your children with necessary tools is to teach them how to be resourceful and independent. Don’t protect them from failure.