Preparing children for the road

"We have to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child" - is quite a popular saying. Amidst all the daily mundane meltdowns and outbursts, how and when do we start "preparing" the child?

The prominent attractive feature of Positive Discipline tools is that they serve as training for both the parent and the child to demonstrate and learn critical life skills, while at the same time respectfully learning from their mistakes; even when experiencing daily life challenges. Some of the essential skills necessary for kids to develop into capable people are:

  • Strong sense of personal competence – the “I am capable” feeling. This includes the ability to be good at doing something, trying one’s hand at new challenges, going through the struggle of becoming competent at a skill, recovering from failure as well as reaching out for help.

  • Feeling belonged and significant – the “I am genuinely needed” feeling and the confidence gained from contributing meaningfully to others as well as the gratitude which comes along

  • Inter-personal skills – the “I matter” feeling. It is the ability to form connections and relationships with others through respectful communication, cooperation and listening.

  • Intra-personal skills – the ability to understand one’s emotions and to be able to self-regulate and develop empathy for others

  • Self-management skills – when people have a variety of healthy coping and adaptive skills, they tend to have a good sense of what is/ what is not under their control

  • Judgmental skills – a strong sense of right and wrong and a commitment to use wisdom responsibly

  • Self-perception skills – an awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses and the ability to utilize these to one’s advantage. This leads to a strong perception of their own influence on their lives

Like building a muscle, all these skills take time, effort and intentionality. As we raise children, let’s prepare them to be happy and healthy 25-year olds.