How parents can raise empowered, thriving children

As a parent, learn to gift the success of your child and spur them on. The joy of any child is to be motivated and empowered. PHOTO/iStock.

Beyond every iota of doubt, child upbringing is one of the toughest experiences parents face.

As in the words of Maria Shriver, a journalist, “Having kids- the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings – is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”

With the fragility of the children’s attitudes and approaches to issues, parental presence in different facets of the parenting process remains an all-time requirement.

Technology has even made parenting a slippery slope by exposing children to all sorts of filthy yet addictive content.

Cases of children burning schools, disrespecting adults, murdering one another and defecting from home and family are no longer visitors in our ears.

However, it remains possible and realistic to raise empowered children who are well-equipped to thrive.

This signals to every parent to feel and bow to the need to redeem this generation from the pangs of violence, disobedience, indiscipline and neglect.

Informed parents can balance the boat by upping their game in these few areas:

Show the child that you care

The joy of any child is to be shown concern and love. Many parents miss the mark by failing to express their love and concern through actions and words.

Listening and appreciating children are the two magic words here.

Listening to your children goes many miles into understanding them and what they need and expect from you as a parent.

It also exposes to the parent the child’s attitude and worldview towards certain aspects of life, such as teenage relationships, education and sports.

If anything is bothering the child, take it seriously and act.

Parental appreciation sparks the life of children, spurring them on. It helps them feel their worth, raising their self-esteem.

Remember you’re the parent. You cannot afford to live as one of the child’s siblings, neglecting the need to appreciate the young soul.

Occasionally, buy them a gift, take the child out for an escapade or pat them on the back and encourage them.

Invest your quality time in child upbringing

Quality time is the currency for the success of any relationship and warm co-existence in a family.

As a parent, “create memories through spending quality time by doing various activities, talking and connecting with each other,” says Priyanka Upadhyaya, a private practice psychologist in New York City and New Jersey.

“Children won’t remember what latest phone you got them. They will remember how they felt when they spent time with you,” she adds.

Children crave quality time with their parents. Their attitude may not suggest it, however. This quality time should be spent through conversations, playing together, and solving problems facing the child, among other important engagements.

Keep technology away; quality time is not for watching TV together or keeping a close eye on the child while attending to work calls and emails.

Lead by example

Children copy more of their parents’ actions than words. The best version of a parent you can ever be is being an example.

Nurture your child by doing and being what you’d like them to be.

You cannot afford to be deep into drugs or violence yet claim to be the counsellor to your child.

You cannot even disrespect your spouse in the child’s presence, who is also the child’s parent and crave to have a respecting child!

Lemon trees will never yield apples.

Often, parents get it wrong by yelling at their children. Discussing the matter with the child and showing them the right way is more effective than shouting at them, which only instils fear in them. PHOTO/Milkos.

The child is a reflection of the parent. Let your character be the one you wish the child could steal from you on their journey to greatness.

Empower your child

An empowered child is an empowered generation and an empowered society.

To the child, avoid imparting limits, impossibilities and fears concerning the child’s ability.

Encourage the child to aim higher, surpass society’s expectation curve and move life’s boundaries.

Point out to them what you think fits them. However, don’t determine their every move and approach, making them live your life instead of theirs.

Expand their worldview and change their attitude towards life.

Set them on course towards victory and success. Raise the child’s self-esteem and redeem them from timidity and shyness.

This helps them realise their value and change their attitude from fearing you to working towards making you proud.

Support your child academically

Parents often think they don’t have a significant role in their children’s academic life, apart from paying fees and providing material requirements.

Interestingly, any child would enjoy the assistance of a parent in their education, especially the young kids.

Help them with assignments and cheer them up. Bring out the successful version in them.

Help the child find value in academics and avoid success examples of the uneducated, which demeans education and risks the child to embracing complacency.

Education is the best and strongest weapon we can use to change the world, as were the thoughts of Mandela.

Offer them psychological support

Appreciate their success and gift them for victories. Monitor improvements while addressing areas the child is slacking off.

Provide extra assistance, such as employing a tutor when need be.

As they age, as a parent, responsibly expand their freedom. Don’t just lock them up all through because they equally need to experience life elsewhere and gain from the exposure.

Anybody will understand you when you stipulate practical boundaries and burst the bubble on your expectations for your child.

As they age, however, lifting some boundaries proves wise.

Allow the child to attend a friend’s party nearby, go skating, visit a relative during holidays or even go window shopping.

Parents get it wrong by hemming their children in from every corner and being harsh watchdogs.

Extreme limitations on children deny them the freedom to learn from others and expand their worldviews.

Also, when they’ll get out of sight, be it in campus or elsewhere, they’re likely to use that “away time” to do what you’ve been inconsiderately banning them from doing.

That’s why many children defect from discipline in their high school and campus life.

This doesn’t encourage a laissez-faire parenting, but rather encourages a responsible expansion of a child’s social life.

Foster responsibility and independence

While children may need assistance many times, don’t do-it-all for them. Let them be responsible and worthy of counting on.

Let them make independent choices, while not neglecting your role in guiding them.

A child’s life can be shaped by a parent through “equipping and letting be”.

This brings out a stand-alone and responsible child, able to chart the right way forward, while appreciating your efforts in moulding them.

Showing respect to your spouse is a way of parenting by example. At all costs, parents should solve their differences away from kids. Remember you are shaping a future generation, they understand what is happening. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Let children be human

Many a time, parents expect too much from children, leaving no room for mistakes, failure and sinking low. Children are humans, too.

Allow them feel low and broken sometimes. At the same time, don’t be ignorant of what is making them so.

You must know how to connect the dots, you see!

Sometimes, leave some space for failure, in exams and in expectations.

This doesn’t imply you tell the child there’s such space but in case they fail, don’t disown or stultify them. It’s human.

“In the long-term, the best way to make sure they’re able to handle mistakes—and heal from those bumps and bruises that come with them—is to let them ‘dust themselves off and come back’ from any slip-ups,” says Dr. Vinay Saranga, M.D., child psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry in Apex, North Carolina.

Dear mom and dad, if you find yourself identifying with any of these behaviors, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Learn, get informed and remember that parenting is a gift.

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Mr. Makau holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, Media & Communication from Moi University, Kenya. He is a Columnist and Editor with Scholar Media Africa, with a keen interest in Education, Health, Climate Change, and Literature. His contact:


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