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How can we raise more empowered children?

Updated: May 3, 2023

Raising empowered children is essential in today's world.

Children who feel empowered are more self-confident, resilient, and have a sense of independence. They are capable of making some of their own decisions and standing up for themselves, and they are kinder to others as a result of greater self-esteem.

And with the rising rates of child mental ill-health, and youth crime and violence, as communities we all have a vested interest in raising empowered kids.

Of course empowering children is not a one-time activity. It is an ongoing process that requires the support and guidance of families, educators and communities.

Here are some tips on how we can all help raise empowered children.

Encourage open communication

Children need a safe place to express their thoughts and feelings. This means allowing them a voice and listening to them without judgment and acknowledging their emotions. When children feel heard and understood, they are more likely to be confident and assertive.

Teach kids how to problem solve.

Empowered children are those who can solve problems. Families coaches and educators can encourage children to think critically and come up with solutions on their own. This could be as simple as asking them questions to help them think through a problem, or as complex as helping them create a plan of action.

In the PLS Primary School Wellbeing program, we help educators teach children the PLS POWER problem solving principle which breaks problem solving down into a step by step process.

Foster independence

Children feel empowered when they feel they can take care of themselves. Encourage your child to make their own choices, such as picking out their own clothes or deciding what to eat for breakfast. Give them age-appropriate responsibilities, such as helping with household chores. When children are given responsibility, they gain a sense of competence independence, and self-reliance.

Encourage healthy risk-taking

Empowered children are those who are willing to take risks and try new things. Parents should encourage their children to try new activities and take on challenges. This could be as simple as trying a new food or as complex as trying a new sport. When children are encouraged to take risks, they gain confidence in their abilities.

Encourage exploration

Provide your child with opportunities to explore their interests and passions. Support their curiosity and encourage them to try new things. This will help them develop a sense of purpose and direction.

And finally, this is the most powerful thing any adult can do:

Model empowerment

Be a positive role model for the children in your life by demonstrating the qualities and approaches explored here.

Model confidence, self-esteem, and assertiveness. Show them how to set goals, take risks, and handle challenges when they inevitably arise.

Teach children that failure is a part of life and that it is okay to make mistakes, and encourage children to learn from their mistakes and try again.

And don't be afraid to apologise to young people when you realise you have not managed something well, especially if it has to do with your relationship with them.

"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." Albert Einstein

Raising empowered children is an ongoing process that requires patience, love, and commitment by all the adults in that child's life.

By encouraging independence, building self-esteem, promoting open communication, encouraging exploration, and modeling empowerment, families can help their children develop the skills and mindset they need to thrive in today's world.

Until next time,

The PLS team



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