Let’s be real! Raising children in this day and age is no easy feat. While every generation has its challenges, technology and the increase of accessibility can make it that much harder to connect with children.
As I navigate my role of “bonus” mom, I have been reading even more child psychology books, learning from other parents that I respect and admire, and also talk with my husband. there is nothing that is decided without both of our buy-in.
"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them"
While I am far from an expert, I do have a few tips I have picked up along the way to help in empowering children. Children really are OUR future and we as the adults in their lives have to be the best role models we can but also inspire, motivate and push them to strive to be the best them they can also be. So here are a few of my tips to empower children.
LISTEN. Yes, listen. As adults and parents we always want to speak and impart our wisdom on children. We talk and talk and forget to really listen. Remember the old saying “you have two ears and one mouth for a reason”. Listening to your children when they speak to you and listening to them when they speak to others can offer so much insight to who they are as a person and that knowledge can really help you guide them without lecturing.
Be aware. Open your eyes and observe. Sometimes we think we “know” children and are blinded by our assumptions. It is important to watch to notice their interests. For the last few months, I have noticed that my middle bonus daughter loves to spend time in my shoe room looking at the clothes and shoes, when we shop she always gets excited to put outfits together for me that fit my aesthetic and she plays games on her phone wear buying outfits and building a life for a character are the theme. For my birthday we were having people over for a game night and she was ecstatic to pick out and ensemble for me. She gave me 3 different options and laid them out on the bed for my choosing. She even explained the thought process behind each. That’s when I asked her if this was an interest to her and she said yes. Because she is such a tomboy my husband and I just assumed that clothes and fashion weren’t her thing but by opening up my eyes I was able to see a passion of hers that I can help hone.
Spring Items that caught my eye
Don’t use that baby voice. Any child over the age of 6 does not usually need or want the baby voice. Speak to them in your natural tone and use your body language to offer them love and nurturing. When a parent is looking to get something done, explain the challenge and then offer a solution. I have been trying to not come to my bonus kids with a problem without a solution. I also have been trying to remind my husband to not just yell without a proposed plan or reasoning behind the ask. Preparing children for the real world is a key way to empower them.
Having this photoshoot was a way to empower my bonus daughter. Because she is hitting her teenage years, I know that feeling good about herself and being comfortable with herself may be difficult. With the abundance of perfection being portrayed on social media, I wanted her to have fun taking photos without added pressure. She had her outfit chosen and I did my best to match her.
At first she was shy and did not know what to do but my husband did a fantastic job of getting her moving and posing in ways that was comfortable for her. She loves to dance so teaching me the new dances also made her feel empowered. A 15 minute shoot turned into all of us dancing, posing, smiling, laughing and having a great time in the middle of the FedEx Field parking lot.
With her height and slim build, modeling is also something that she is interested in pursuing. so brands… if you are reading, let me know whats up 🙂
Presence > Presents
So for my parents out here…. what are your tips for empowering children? Let’s compare notes in the comments below.