Last updated: September 16th, 2016
We as parents can change the world.
Our kids are the future husbands and wives, doctors and lawyers, judges, police force and politicians. And we – parents around the world – are the ones creating this next generation.
It’s an incredible responsibility, as well as a phenomenal opportunity.
Think about it. If we teach our kids to have empathy and compassion… and if we teach our kids to believe in themselves and realize their potential to the fullest… in 30 or 40 years, our society will be so much better. And we will be able to solve so many of today’s problems.
Fewer people would be angry and depressed. More people would contribute to society in their own unique and creative ways. And who knows – there may even be less conflict around the globe!
At Parenting Pod we believe in key principles which help our children grow into happy and confident adults.
We know that these principles encourage children to contribute to others. They can help change the world for the better.
Principle #1: Parenting starts with you – the parent
Gandhi said: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
This is true for parenting as well. If you want to see a change in your kids… if you want to make them better people… you need to change yourself first.
When you change yourself, you change the way you think, and you change the way you think, act, and interact with your kids.
This in turn will change your kids. Not only because you will be seeing your kids in a different light. But because the change within you will cause you to react in ways you couldn’t have before. And in return – will allow your kids to be who they couldn’t be before.
Principle #2: Every child (and parent!) is unique
Your child is amazing!
Often parents focus too heavily on what they perceive as flaws. At the other end of the spectrum, you have parents who ignore any sign of weakness altogether. Instead, they convince themselves and their child that they are perfect.
We believe in turning traditional thinking about negative traits on its head. Every flaw and weakness can be seen as a strength.
A disorganized child may be extremely creative. They may also be able to make connections between ideas that other people can’t see. This person is likely to be in demand for their ability to be innovative. They may even end up running a successful business as an entrepreneur. Or finding a cure for cancer.
So although it is the parent’s job to give this child the tools to survive in every day life (like creating lists and setting reminders)… that’s not all that it is important. This also needs to be done in a way which empowers the child and not in a way that makes them feel bad for being who they are.
It is absolutely essential to make sure they know they are unique and incredible.
Without self-confidence, our children will struggle to live up to their fullest potential.
Lastly, don’t forget that every parent is amazing too! The right parenting will respect your needs and unique strengths as well as your children’s.
Principle #3: There is no such thing as a bad child
Children have a natural inclination to please their parents and do the right thing. They want to fit in and make their parents and teachers happy.
Unless there is a medical condition involved (see a doctor if you are concerned that this might be the case) aggressive or difficult behavior is usually the consequence of particular needs not being met.
Your child might shout and scream because they don’t feel heard. Perhaps they are not learning at school because you are pushing academics too much at home. Some children might be rude or violent because of a food sensitivity, exposure to online content, or not enough sleep.
Find the need and you can address the negative behavior.
Principle #4: Teach your child to see problems as challenges they can solve
A large part of success in life comes down to your ability to problem solve in an effective way. Many people see problems as stumbling blocks, instead of challenges to be overcome.
Teach your children to problem solve. And teach them to be independent. It can be hard to sit back and let them fight their own battles. It helps to remember that this is how they learn problem solving techniques for the future.
Even when your child is afraid, try to resist the temptation to ‘save the day’ or take away the problem for them. As long as there is no danger involved, facing your fears is an empowering experience. Here, children can learn what they are capable of.
Principle #5: Communication with your child is key
It may sound obvious, but talking with your child is the most important thing you can do.
This is not about removing your own boundaries. Your children aren’t your friends, and you shouldn’t want them to be!
However, you want your children to communicate openly with you without holding back. This will make them feel safe and confident. And it will allow you to support them and provide them with the help they need.
It will also allow you to reinforce your own moral values and share stories and insights from your life.
Make sure that they know that they can tell you anything and you’ll always listen first without judgment.