There are 5 life lessons you can teach your kids that will help them build resilience and other critical life skills.
What if I told you teaching your kids how to fail is an important life lesson?
Growing up, my favorite superhero was Wonder Woman. As an adult, I’ve dressed as Wonder Woman for Halloween (also one year as Zombie Wonder Woman 😊). It’s so easy to jump in front of our kids like Wonder Woman, arms up, bracelets on, deflecting anything challenging or unpleasant that comes their way to protect them from failing or feeling bad.
We’ve gone from helicopter parents (over-involved and hovering to keep an eye on them), to lawnmower or snowplow parents (mowing/plowing a path to remove all the obstacles in their way…even into adulthood).
Such good intent, but the impact on kids who have not had to face and manage challenges and discomfort, is difficulty managing real life in adulthood. Failure helps build resilience and character and in turn set us up for success throughout life.
5 Life Lessons You Need to Teach Your Kids:
- There are things you can control, things you can influence, things you can’t control. Focus first on the things you can control – like your behaviors, how you manage your emotions, how you treat other. Don’t spend energy on the things you can’t control.
- Some of the best learning you’ll have will come from failure. Learning how to fail, discover the lessons in failure and recover from failure with grace will encourage your kids to experiment and explore, use their curiosity and creativity, problem solve and innovate.
- Feelings aren’t good or bad, they’re normal and they carry important information. (Read More: Are you Talking About Your Feelings?) Teach your kids to notice how they’re feeling, name and talk about their feelings, and practice healthy ways to manage them. Emotional intelligence is a stronger predictor of future success than academic achievement.
- Who you are is awesome. Your job is to help your kids discover who they are – NOT who we want them to be, identify their special gifts and explore ways to share those gifts to contribute their talents and realize their potential. (NOTE: We’ll be exploring discovering and nurturing identity and personal gifts in December…stay tuned!)
- You matter! With increasing use of social media at younger ages, this lesson can be more difficult. It’s so easy for kids (and adults) to compare themselves to best parts of others and unrealistic standards, especially when they feel different from the norm (what is normal anyway??). Helping them feel special and know they matter to you and to the world (see #4 above), is an important part of helping them build strong self-esteem.
Every home is a university and parents are the teachers.
What Kind of Teacher for Your Kids Do You Want to Be?
What lessons do you want to teach your kids? Be intentional about the parenting style you choose. Instead of being a helicopter, lawnmower, or snowplow (or tiger, dolphin or free-range) parent, consider being more like a hummingbird who helps your kids really experience life as it is and as they are. As they grow, guide them, help them build resilience and other critical life skills, and then more and more start to step aside. Their ability to become high-functioning, emotionally mature, independent adults depends on it.
Feel Well. Be Well. Do Well.