Cultivating Confidence – Part 2

confidentTo promote confidence in children needs us to avoid wrapping them in cotton wool. Instead, we want to shape some healthy people skills in an age-appropriate way. It is often helpful to have your children’s friends around (or to find ways of helping out at their school or sports club) so that you can hopefully see first-hand what they are facing. But that’s not always possible, so here are some more suggestions for what can be done at home to assist in making kids more resilient. Continue reading

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Cultivating Confidence – Part 1

confidentOne of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is confidence. Though it often takes maturity to ensure this doesn’t become arrogance, it is incredibly important for children to be comfortable in their own skin and to have a healthy pride for who they are, along with the ability to defend or assert their rights without abrasion. Bullying often targets those who are least resilient in the face of life’s pressure moments. Here’s a few keys that I have found helpful for shaping resilience in children. Continue reading

‘Can-Do’ Spirituality with Kids

bible dadIt can often seem as if the task of providing spiritual leadership to children is daunting for Christian parents. When time-poor mums and dads are a little hazy on some classic stories of the Bible and feel ill-equipped to step up, it is simpler and less awkward to back off and then understandably hope that others will fill the gap. What I have found, though, is that self-imposed expectations of grand discipleship plans are not realistic or achievable, anyway. It is better to look at what we can do than to be side-tracked by what we can’t do. Here are a few tips that work for me. Continue reading

Father’s Day

Caucasian father with pre-teen on shoulders on beach.The role-modelling of men and their responses to life will generally influence the family atmosphere quite significantly, irrespective of any stated intentions. This in no way negates the importance of any leadership that mothers provide to their children or even their partners in such environments, but so many problems with relationships in families and within marriages come in response to the positive or negative leadership that men provide.   Continue reading

That Affirming Touch

Hug 2As kids grow older and increasingly strong-willed, it is easy for parents to become more authoritarian and assertive. In the ‘rightness’ of their actions, some parents commit the inadvertent wrong of being less affectionate. It is important to remember that the pull-back can be a payback from which there might be no comeback! Relationships can be ruined by the withholding of affection when it becomes awkward and seemingly unwelcomed. The damage can then be almost  irreparable as kids unwittingly hear the message that love is conditional and that they are somehow less important than they used to be. Continue reading

Speak No Evil

speakIt is easy to speak and not think. It is sometimes wise to think and not speak. Of course, this is true in our dealing with adults where we sometimes need to be prepared to lose battles in order to win wars or where we need to consider whether something really needs to be said or what damage might be done. However, it is sometimes even more important with children. We can easily be caught off guard with our own kids, because of the power gradient that sees us cracking the whip with their unacceptable behaviours. The problem is that not only are not miniature adults with a sophisticated sense of right and wrong, but their immaturity makes them easily bruised emotionally, despite the appearance of resilience. Continue reading

Positive Parents

Caucasian father with pre-teen on shoulders on beach.I haven’t met too many people who think that they are not positive. A real test, though, might be to assess what we are like under pressure and then also when we’re under no pressure, too.  I’ve posted previously on the fact that who we are at home and when we are off-guard will often give a better measure of what we are truly like. Having ‘grace under fire’ does not mean that we merely have the appearance of being self-controlled in public. It also means that our words won’t betray an inner hostility or negativity in the privacy of our own homes. We need integrity of character that, as this term suggests, is consistently displayed at all times. Continue reading