Raising our children to be their best selves is one of our most important responsibilities as a parent. Enlightened parents believe we are guides who allow our children to become happy, self-confident people who remain true to themselves. To get into the mindset of enlightened parenting, check out these ways you can partner with your kids to let their own true light shine!
Accept your child “as is”.
As much as we see our kids as little versions of ourselves or our partners, they are individual souls and we need to support them and elevate them to become their best, authentic selves. One of the easiest ways to figure out your little person’s uniqueness is to listen. He or she will develop their own opinions and see the world through their own filters. Ask them what they’re feeling, seeing and understanding without imposing your filters, judgment or criticisms on them. Let them know that everyone’s uniqueness, be it skin color, language or physical traits are what makes the world interesting and colorful; encourage them to see “different” as good and should be respected.
Awaken your child’s passion and self-expression.
Nourishing your child’s passions show them the world can be a joyful place. The process of discovering their interests stimulates creativity and shows them that following their passions is a rewarding process. As a parent it’s our job to grow new interests too so we should expose kids to new possibilities and options, knowing some will fuel even more passion.
Teach and model self-care.
Kids learn by mimicking us. Show your kids that we are responsible for our own welfare by taking good care of our own bodies and minds. Eat healthy, flavorful foods and explain how they fuel our bodies to make us strong. All kids have certain taste preferences so let them choose their own fresh fruit and vegetables at the store or farmer’s market, or help them grow their own favorites. Be positive, meditate and handle anger or frustration in a productive way so your children see how to develop a healthy attitude and mind. Encourage playtime outside (and join in with them!) to help them understand how good physical activities can feel.
Strive for minimal media.
We’re in a tech-centric age and constant exposure to the internet, cell phones, social media, and video games is a reality. Unfortunately, these games and social media are not often based in reality, but in fantasy worlds. Encourage your kids to explore the real world by spending time with them in different environments outside your immediate neighborhood like parks and wilderness areas, the beach and new city neighborhoods. Seeing and talking about these new surroundings and interacting with new people is a better education than most of the media outlets can provide.
Nurturing your child to become his or her best self takes patience and the willingness to let them experiment. They grow by experiencing ups and downs, they need space to explore and make choices independently. If you partner with them, are patient and a safe presence for them, you’ll see they have more self-confidence and become the best person they are intended to be.