How To Build Competent Kids Right Now!
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Written by Katherine Saltzberg
In the wake of the college admissions scandal of 2019, I found myself wondering why we were all so captivated by it. We couldn't help ourselves. But, take away the means and many of us have a lot in common with those moms and dads. We are just as anxious about how our kids are doing in school, and this anxiety is driving us to do for them what they should be doing for themselves. If you saw the WhatsApp texts flying back and forth between the moms at my children’s school, you wouldn’t know whose homework it was. I was that mom, and I still feel that anxiety. I just don’t act on it for their sake.
Besides wanting your kids to be happy, you also want them to be responsible, resilient, capable, and self-confident. Do you know any truly happy grown-ups who still live on their parent’s couch or get to college and text their mom about how to do everything? No, you don’t. And if you don’t have money to buy their way into college or into a career or hire them a personal assistant then it’s time to change course. If you are that parent who is hunting for your teen’s homework and calling the teacher weekly (who doesn’t really understand your child’s unique needs) and fighting battles on the playground that your kid should be doing for him or herself, then read on.
If you want to raise a capable kid you need to start right now.
Keep it simple: Pick one thing that you know they are capable of doing (age-appropriate of course.) If it’s their laundry, taking out the trash, or doing dishes, teach them how to do it right and watch them take ownership and grow that self-esteem and soar.
Do not be critical: Focus on what they have done well. If your little one has made the bed, don’t expect hospital corners. If your middle schooler is just going through the motions making his then, yes it’s ok to expect it done better. But even then, do not criticize. Tell them you know they are capable of doing it better and that’s why you expect them to. Acknowledge what they’ve done well but don’t have a “good job, I’m going to alert the media" party. Not too much praise.
If you are waking your pre-teen or teenager every morning: Stop. Get them an alarm clock and make them responsible for getting themselves up.
If your child is saying things like “No one likes me “ or “ I don’t have any friends:” Listen to them and empathize and let them know how capable they are at making friends. Do not buy into their drama - that’s what a lot of it is. Have an open heart to hear their feelings but do not indulge them. Say, "I hear you, and I know that you are very good at making friends. What can you do about it?”
Feel overwhelmed and baffled by how to accomplish one or all of the above? You can hire me. I needed coaching myself and that’s why I do what I do.
Or if you just want some tips on how to head that direction shoot me an email now.
Leadership Parenting Coach