“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama
As a dad, I am always looking for opportunities to help my kids become the strongest, most confident and resilient version of themselves. One of the areas my wife and I have been focusing on helping our kids with recently is developing their intuition (aka – self-trust).
When I reflect back on my own childhood and parenting experiences I realize just how quickly we condition kids to “follow the rules” and to simply do something “because we said so.” Some of you may be thinking and saying to yourself but our kids need to learn to follow the rules to do well in school and at their jobs. But we all know that to succeed and thrive in any area of life we need to empower our kids with the skills so they can have a strong self-image, regardless of what’s going on in their external environment. I believe the most effective way to build their self-image is to empower our kids to trust themselves more.
We all want our kids to be able to make great decisions when we are not around because this is an important life skill. We want them to be able to make decisions that are aligned with their values, both personal and family, because they will need to be able to stand on their own two feet in the future. What decision will they make when there is pressure from the outside world? Has anyone ever felt peer pressured before? Are they going to make decisions based on their values or other peoples?
- How do you want your kids to respond when someone makes fun of them at school?
- How do you want your kids to respond when one of their friends wants them to skip class or a shift at work?
- How do you want your kids to respond when their heart gets broken for the first-time?
- How do you want your kids to respond the first-time one of their friends offers them drugs or alcohol?
As parents, we simply want our kids to have the strength and confidence to make a decision that is aligned with who they truly are so they can live their best life, right?
Here are two strategies that my wife and I use with our kids to help them build their intuition.
Lead the Pack – During our family walks my wife and I encourage the kids to take the lead by choosing the route we go on. We usually tell them if we want to go on a shorter or longer walk but they get to create all the paths, twists and turns that we go on. We get to spend as a family, to get outside in nature and to move our body which helps everyone feel great.
Mindful Eating – One of the expectations, we have as a family, is that we always do our best to fuel our body with the healthiest food possible because it helps us feel great. Since we have been home-schooling our kids during the last few months my wife and I have been finding ways to involve the kids more. During this homeschooling experience our kids (which are 9 and 6) have started to make their own lunches. They know that ½ of their plate should be vegetables/fruit, ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrate so they build their own lunches. They love the autonomy to choose what goes on the plate and we love having one less thing to think about during the day.
The most rewarding part of integrating these strategies for my wife and I is watching our kids continuously grow into the strongest, most confident and resilient version of themselves
About The Author – Justin Tsui
Justin Tsui is a consultant with the Proctor Gallagher Institute who has been helping people create the life they want and to fulfill their dreams. Justin, who is intensely growth and goal-oriented, helps individuals, groups and companies discover their deepest desires, reach their potential and achieve their personal and professional goals. If you like to create the life you've been dreaming of, join his Facebook community: facebook.com/groups/wineachday