Give your children the building blocks to find balance

Give your children the skills they need to navigate their way in the world.

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Our children are growing up in a different world to the one in which we experienced as youngsters. They are faced with an overwhelming barrage of media, are under enormous pressure to perform on multiple platforms and have to deal with a more fluid family structure. Equipping our children with the skills to navigate their way through this world is one of the best gifts we can give them. Marlinie Ramsamy, CEO of FranklinCovey South Africa, shares four key tools to help them identify their best path (and stick to it).
 
Confidence
Confidence comes from young people being able to ask themselves questions, identify answers, and have the strength of character to act on those answers. This gives them the tools they need to identify the tasks, opportunities and obstacles ahead of them, and to plan a strategy to address them all. It also allows them to identify what is important and what is not.
 
Resilience
Resilience in children comes from them having confidence in themselves and in their family life; being able to trust that the future will be fine and that their family provides a backstop for all their decisions. Take the time to create a mission statement for the family, with each member contributing. This ensures that everyone knows where they fit and what they need to do to support one another, in turn giving everyone the resilience they will need to face daily challenges.
 
Emotional intelligence (EQ)
Emotional intelligence comes from being secure in who you are and what you stand for – and it’s not just children and teenagers that need to learn EQ. Parenting requires emotional flexibility and the ability to realise that some of the rules that we grew up with, such as children being seen and not heard, are no longer relevant. Our children have strong opinions and need to be given the space to share them in a respectful way. A society – and a family – with a high level of emotional intelligence knows that everyone has the right to their opinion, but that they also must be cognizant of others’ needs. Simply, they need to learn confidence and assertiveness, without being arrogant.
 
Self-worth
Self-worth is a state of mind. It includes being comfortable with what you look like and who you are, and it forms the basis of learning responsibility at every level. This could be for something as basic as understanding a timetable and packing bags accordingly, or it could be responsibility on a deeper level, relating to decision making and choosing friends. It also extends to how children manage their time – or at least finding a sensible balance between academic, sporting and leisure activities.
 
These four tools are built in the principles of the 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey and Stephen R Covey.

Comments

Michelle Schoon wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

This is a great article, thank you. We cover all of the above in our courses for children.

At Kids Who Can Community we run courses for children aged 6 to 14 to teach them coping skills for life. 

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