5 ways parents can encourage kids to #BeYou
MADISON, Wis. — “Just be yourself,” is something you might say to yourself when preparing to meet new people or sit down for a job interview. We might also say it to our children as they grapple with fitting into social circles.
No matter the situation, it seems like this piece of advice is the definition of something that’s easier said than done.
SSM Health Wisconsin President of Operations Damond Boatwright wants you to just #BeYou! Join us and News 3 Now in encouraging kids to embrace what makes them unique. Apply to be a #BeYou ambassador today! https://t.co/eCb6TKIxhY pic.twitter.com/Fbh1dj6voI
— SSM Health Wisconsin (@ssmhealthwi) April 15, 2019
But parents and caregivers can help their kids be themselves through a variety of ways. SSM Health psychologist Dr. Kathleen Hipke and therapist Britt Coolman worked together to come up with five tips that will guide your children to be comfortable with their uniqueness.
Observe: Simply paying attention to your child will show them that you are interested in what comes from them and who they are.
For younger kids, watch and comment on what you see as they use their imagination and play.
For older kids, take notice of their interests to show that you’re paying special attention to their lives and well-being.
Listen: Some parents feel they have to be the ultimate source of wisdom. But there’s power in listening, and that power grows inside your child. They’ll be more confident if you let them share their perspective on things before you jump in to teach or advise.
Be a student yourself: Flip conventional roles and really try to be a good learner. Ask your young ones to teach you about their favorite books, movies or music. Ask plenty of follow-up questions that will validate their unique interests as of value to you.
Honor choices: Does your kiddo want to be an athlete or a musician? You, as a caregiver, may have your own hopes for their interests. Those should not stand in the way of your child’s aspirations. They’ll be happiest when they choose their own route, so it’s best to support the activities and friends they wish to pursue.
Model self-acceptance: Some of the most influential teachers a child will have in his or her life are those who raised them. If you embrace your own unique characteristics, kids will take notice. This makes them more likely to do the same as they grow up.
— Dannika Lewis (@DannikaLewis) March 25, 2019
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