Disclaimer: I am a parenting expert and have counselled 394 parents, helping them make their kids’ poop gold! I don’t represent any demographic and I am just random-guy writing stuff on the Internet. (If you haven’t figured out by now).
Kids are cute, lovable and a pain-in-the-ass at times but the best gift one could wish for. Other than cleaning their soft bun-like stinky bottoms you must nurture them into responsible, independent individuals. In no particular order here are 5 ideas that could help you sculpt yours.
1. THEY ARE NOT SPECIAL
You love your kids and try to be supportive as best as you can. But at times when you try to encourage them, you’re often blinded by love. You tell them that they’re special and talented. And these poor kids unwary of your intents fall for that stuff. When pushed into the real world, they crumble like a sandcastle. Though the real intention is to be supportive, it fails to work in the long run.
Kids when facing the real world understand, they aren’t as special as they thought. They get lost as a toothpick in a haystack. It shatters their self-esteem and they think that the problem is with them. But we know who the culprit is, don’t we? What do we do instead?
Exactly the opposite, Tell them that they aren’t special and unique. And they have to work themselves off to get something they want. Something supportive and realistic. And if you’re kid isn’t old enough to understand this stuff, just don’t tell them that they’re special, that’ll do a great deal of good.
Be encouraging not a source of false hopes.
2. BEING OPEN-MINDED
The number of people an average person contacts every day reduces with age.
M.E. is the number of ideas/ perspectives you put your brain through rather than your body. Watching videos regarding minimalism when you’re a hoarder, having thought-provoking arguments, or debating whether kids should be paid to go to school or not, gives M.E.
A group of like-minded people avoid conflict but it’s a conflict that helps us gain M.E. This pack creates a cocoon that doesn’t allow new beliefs to enter making kids live their entire lives with a lack of exposure. Now what’s exactly is wrong with low M.E.?
I have already discussed this in another post, that false beliefs suck! Period. Its leads your kids to succumb to societies’ dogma, ending up chasing stuff they never wanted in the first place, making unsatisfactory but “safe” choices. For instance, People believe that more is better. More clothes, more money, more spouses? But it’s not often the case. So how do you take these joyous, hardworking and passionate kids out of their cocoon?
Expose them to a ton of things. Stretch their mind by gifting them simple books on various philosophies (Check resources). Watch documentaries about different cultures together. Take them to a church, mosque and a temple. Travel to foreign countries(assuming you’re rich enough) to mix with the locals and to be a part of their culture. Encourage them to learn a new language. This kind of exposure sheds a different perspective on life. 90% of what you do is gonna fall flat on its face, your children will ignore you as a dumbass, but it’s worth a try. But there could be something that hooks your child in and makes them go crazy (in a good way).
Start by sharing your life-experiences, how you got bullied in school, your love story, your funny moments, ways you came over your obstacles in life. When you open up they open up too. They start treating you more of as a friend rather than a big hairy brute. Vulnerability paves way for honest relationships creating a deeper bond between both of you, providing a much richer perspective on life.
3. SOMETHING WORTHWHILE TAKES A LOT OF TIME
Rejecting 15 people on tinder is easier than grooming yourself for a date. Ordering food is much easier than preparing one at home. The rise of social media and smartphones have rewired our brain for instant gratification and your kids expect fast and overnight results adding the fact that much of these kids didn’t know the world before pocket devils. It’s often traumatizing.
Keeping them off social media won’t help. Explaining things about dopamine(rewarding chemical) does. Dopamine makes you happy when you get a text or when you choke yourself with fifteen pancakes at the same time. But starting a youtube channel or pursuing astronomical physics doesn’t. It provides deeper levels of satisfaction in the long run rather than shallow pleasures.
Regardless of whatever they are building themselves: a date, passion, or anything worthwhile in life, it’s going to take a whole lot of time. Teach them the power of consistency and patience. It’s something they lack the most.
4. HELPING THEM BEING THEMSELVES
I don’t need to give a 3000-word essay on how schooling is. Intimidating bullies diagnosed with narcissism and filled with a ton of juicy drama. With popularity as a currency among schools, every kid wishes to be the most popular. And when your 13-year-old kid thrushes his head into his pillow, crying to be someone else he isn’t, you jump in.
Teach them to accept their flaws, be okay with them. Help them realize that everybody has imperfections and help them work on the same, hone them. Help them be their imperfect self and wear their flaws as a badge of honor. Guide them to discover the power of being themselves, they would be glad you did it.
This won’t solve all their high-school drama but will help them understand that it’s okay not being the popular guy in the room all the time. They need you.
5. PREPARING THEM FOR YOUR DEATH
First things first, it’s going to be downright uncomfortable and awkward. The mere word death twists your stomach. But it’s death that gives life meaning.
Ask yourself, If you were to lose your kid (like right now), how would you feel? The grief of a parent who lost their kid is unfathomable. Don’t you think that’s the same way your kids feel too? Do you want our kids to drown themselves in pain and misery when you die? Do you? Studies show that several people might indulge in binge drinking to cope up with their parental loss.
Death is the best tutor of gratitude. When you do breath your last it becomes much less painful for your kids to let go off you, to move on. Isn’t that you want? To see our kids happy and contented even when you aren’t there, isn’t that the reason you strive your entire lives for?
Being a very sensitive topic, it takes a kid at least 20 years old to place existential pressure on them, not when they’re watching loony toons, splashing around their puddle of pee. Make sure that they’re in an absolute state of calmness or serenity. I wrote a sample of how I would do it to give you an idea of how you should approach your kids. Feel free to skip the following section if you get the idea.
Me: Hey! Have you ever thought of a life without me?
My Daughter: Dad, what’re you talking about?
Me: I know this sounds hard. But you know one day that I’m not gonna be with you.
My Daughter: Stop dad, don’t talk like that.
Me: It’s hard I know but hear me out. When you lose me or your mom, things would feel insurmountable, the entire world feels hostile. A pain always lingers in one part of your heart that you can’t get rid off. And it’s okay. Sometimes you would feel impossible to move on, but do you know what we both want? Get on with your life, that’s what we want to see. I am not telling that it’s easy. But always remember even though when we trod in our own separate ways, we will always live inside your heart. Take good care of us in there. And for that fact, Don’t you even dare to ask rent for living there. Always with you, in both times of fortune and misery. If you ever want us, just look inside you, we’ll be there. I will always love you no matter what.
When you do breath your last, they would be happy for that tiny talk you had with them.
Work on these ideas if it makes sense. Be encouraging, supportive, let them suffer(when they need to), don’t be for them always, let them rise on their own, but most importantly (this probably goes without saying) love them for who they are, not who you want them to be.
Be their best-friend, that’s what every child expects their parents to be.
Feel free to criticize my ideas. Do you have any different take? If so what would it be? Share your thoughts in the comments. I will respond to them ASAP!
- The literature on the existential school of thought: The Stranger, Metamorphosis
- Thought-provoking philosophical movies: Paterson
- The average number of contacts per person by age
- Death of parents and Adult Adult Psychological and Physical Well-Being: In terms of alcohol consumption (measured as the number of drinks), Umberson and Chen (1994) found that father’s death was associated with a greater increase in alcohol consumption over a period of 3 years than not experiencing a father’s death