Judy Bartkowiak is the author of Understanding Children and Teens and Empower your kids! Both titles are available now.
With Easter upon us and the break from school, how about using these two weeks to guide your child or teen to a more empowered way of responding to challenges they face?
1. Instead of answering their question by offering solutions, instead ‘bat it back’ with a
– what do you think?
– what are the options?
– what would you like to do?
– what’s another way of looking at it?
2. Sometimes they get stuck in a binary mode -do it/don’t do it, yes/no, right/wrong, agree/disagree. Open them up to possibilities by asking ‘what other options are there’ or ‘is there another way of doing it’. In NLP we talk about how having more options gives you more power to connect with people and ultimately get what you want.
3. If your child/teen has exams coming up, they may be feeling anxious and pressured. Here are some ways to reduce the pressure
– get outside in nature/ go for a run
– take regular breaks, revise in short bursts, a topic at a time
– focus on what are doing not what they are not doing
– feed them!
They can get overwhelmed by how much they have to do but lose sight of what it’s all for. Remind them of how they’ll be feeling in just a few months time when they are on the next stage of their journey to a fulfilling career/job/apprenticeship
Empowering your child means that instead of doing things for them, you encourage them to do more for themselves. By becoming more independent, they gain confidence and rely less on you. This can be difficult for some parents as they feel they may be becoming less important in their child’s life but you are simply becoming important in a different way. It is vital that children feel they can make decisions for themselves, even if sometimes these may not be the best decisions, it is how they learn. Can you find ways this Easter to give your child more responsibility for their own choices?
Here are some ideas.
– instead of giving them a job to do in the house, ask them what they think needs doing
– involve them in the cooking, ask what they’d like to cook for dinner and leave them to it
– maybe they’d like to rearrange their room, declutter, put up some posters
Children don’t always realise how they’ve changed and how much they have grown up. Get out some photos of them when they were younger and chat about how proud you are of how they’re growing up, mention things that really have impressed you. We don’t always have time to connect with our children but it is so important and it is a good opportunity to talk about what their next steps might be in taking more responsibility.