Are You Raising a Child Who Can Thrive in the Real World?

“I should like to see in her eyes that strength of character which has enabled her to stand firm in the face of difficulties.” What Helen Keller would like to see when looking in the mirror from Helen Keller in “3 Days to See”

Does your child have a sense of responsibility? Do they have a sense of entitlement? Do they accept the consequences of their action? Can they “stand firm in the face of difficulties?” If your answers to these questions cause you concern, read on for some tips that will make a difference.

As a family coach, I often hear “What is the matter with kids these days?” The truth is kids haven’t changed all that much but the idea of a parent’s job certainly has.

“What do you think has gone wrong? It’s not just the children it’s the grownups too. Some people are growing children, not raising children, and there is a big difference. What do you mean? Well, people grow hogs, you give them a place to live, give them all the food they need to keep growing and make sure they don’t get sick on you. With children, you got to rise them. Of course, you feed and clothe them. But a parent needs to take the time to teach them right from wrong. A parent has to discipline them. And a parent has got to be there to listen to them, help them solve their problems. I think most do their best but there are some parents these days growing children not raising children.” The wisdom of George Dawson at age 101. From Life Is So Good, and autobiography of George Dawson.

here is a new term making the rounds, “Lawnmower Parents” it’s referring to parents who mow every obstacle out of the way for their children. While those lawnmower parents might be well-intentioned the consequences are far from desirable. In mowing every obstacle out the way, they rob their kids of the ability to learn to solve problems when stakes are small, deprive them of learning the connection between effort and results and that, yes, they do have the fortitude to work thru a challenge and develop the pride of doing so.

So how does a parent raise a child that can stand firm in the face of difficulties, doesn’t have a sense of entitlement and does have a sense of responsibility?

To help your child grow up to be able to thrive in their world try these 3 simple steps.

1. Let them contribute to the family by being responsible for chores, without pay. When you let them contribute it eliminates that sense of entitlement. Knowing that they have something to contribute to their family they develop a sense of self-worth. They also develop a sense of pride and they learn to take responsibility.

2. Don’t jump in to solve their problems for them. Let them struggle some and learn how to work thru problems and grow their confidence and resiliency as a result. That doesn’t mean abandoning them it means just don’t jump and solve it for them. And when appropriate, offer to help learn how to solve their problems.

3. Set thoughtful boundaries and hold your child accountable for honoring them. When you do so it helps a child learn to accept the consequences of their actions and develop a sense of responsibility.

Coach Len Founder of The Family Coaches. For more information on raising happy and responsible children reach out to coachlen@thefamilycoaches.com or go the thefamilycoaches.com.