Seven Self-Empowerment Tips and A Great Book Recommendation
Seven Self-Empowerment Tips for Raising Our Kids…Lifting Them Up
Self-Empowerment Tips: #1
- Read true stories about people who’ve accomplished great things or overcome adversity
I’ve recently ordered volume one of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and I’m so impressed. I recommend these books for any child, tween or early teen who would be interested in true stories about heroines from history until now. Check out Volume I and their colouring book, poster, and temporary tattoos. (*Idea* These could be a great Christmas present…)
(*If you buy through the above links, I will receive a very small commission from Amazon at no extra cost to you. I only ever recommend a book that I have read and highly recommend. Any money generated from these links goes toward the running of this blog/website. Thank you for your support.)
The back of the book states:
“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls reinvents fairy tales,
inspiring children with the stories of 100 heroic women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.“
Each woman’s story is summarized on one page and although the stories are simply written. I’m personally loving reading each and every inspirational story. (In my current Self-Empowerment groups, I’ve just started reading these stories to the 7-9 year olds and 10-12 year olds and they are enjoying them too.) These are also great stories for boys too.
Just to give you a sample, on page 16, there’s a story about a young Canadian woman, named Ann Makosinski, who at age 15, invented a flashlight that runs off body heat. She won the Google Science Fair and her dream is to make these flashlights free to everyone in the world who can’t afford electricity. Isn’t that amazing?
Self-Empowerment Tips: #2
- Social Communication:
First, take the quiz… If our social communication is made of three parts: body language, tone of voice and words, and I told you that most research agrees that one of these makes up 55% of how we communicate, another makes up 38% and another makes up 7%… which would you assign to each percentage? Take a minute to answer and test your family members over dinner 🙂
We need to teach our children that non-verbal language (which includes body language and tone of voice) is the most prominent form of communication, not the words we say.
The standard percentages that research seems to agree on for how we communicate are: 55% for body language, 38% for tone of voice and 7% for words spoken. We need to teach our kids how to give a firm handshake and look someone in the eye as they greet him/her. We need to show them the difference between standing tall vs. hunching small.
Self-Empowerment Tips: #3
- I Messages: We need to model the use of “I” messages and encourage our kids to express themselves this way too.
Which would you listen to more openly? “You totally embarrassed me when you said I was….” or “I felt really embarrassed when you said I was…”
With our kids, we can remember this when we’re losing our patience as they procrastinate about getting ready for bed.
Instead of yelling and saying “You make me so mad when….” , we can speak from a more grounded place and say: “I feel really frustrated when you take so long to get ready for bed. I want to have cuddle time with you before I fall asleep.” (Sometimes it then works to go and lie in their bed. For younger kids, start reading a story to the stuffies, and for older ones, lie in their bed and begin a meditation app. They will hopefully not want to miss out on their special 1:1 time with you, and will come and join you.)
Self-Empowerment Tips: #4
- We need to show our kids that they have a voice that counts!
We can start this really young by offering choices, such as “Do you want your red cup or your blue cup?” We can ask for their opinion. We can ask them how to solve a problem. When they want to do something a little out of our comfort zone, we can ask them for a proposal as to how they see this working. Family Meetings are also a great way of empowering kids and teens and providing a forum for collaborative discussion. (Read my previous article on Family Meetings to Increase Democracy and Develop the Four C’s)
Self-Empowerment Tips: #5
- We need to show our kids that we believe in them!
If they have a problem, we need to trust that they can figure out a solution. If they need our help, then we give them some support in the form of “scaffolding” but we don’t solve the problem for them. If our children are upset, we don’t jump in and rescue them from their tears. We let them know that life does have ups and downs and they can handle it. This is how we build resilience.
Self-Empowerment Tips: #6
- We need to teach our children self-advocacy skills.
Last Wednesday night, The ABLE Clinic and Dyslexia BC hosted a showing of the award-winning documentary, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia. Seventy parents and kids attended the event and stayed for the post-film discussion led by Cathy McMillan of Dyslexia BC and Dr. Glen Davies of the ABLE Clinic. The film and Cathy and Dr. Davies’ stories were all about people with Dyslexia who have advocated for themselves and gone on to achieve amazingly well. You can purchase the film here. If you wish to show it to a bigger group, you can contact Cathy McMillan through the Dyslexia BC Facebook page, which is also an excellent resource.
Unfortunately, there is still a myth, that if you have a learning disability, such as Dyslexia (which makes up 80% of learning disabilities), that you have lower intelligence. This is simply NOT true. Just because someone has a difficult time reading or comprehending what they’ve read, does not mean they have a lower intelligence. It means that their brain processes information through other channels, in a much more efficient way. For example, through auditory channels (audio books, someone teaching a lesson orally etc.) or through visual channels such as pictures, diagrams, models, videos etc. When the information is presented through a Dyslexic person’s stronger “channels”, they are capable of being on the Honor Role, becoming surgeons, lawyers, entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson and Charles Schwab, and many other fulfilling careers. Read my previous article on What Is My Child’s Brain’s Learning Style and The Importance of Assessment.
Self-Empowerment Tips: #7
- Create an Environment Where Children Can Thrive at Home and at School
As Dr. Dorothy Nolte said in her wise words:
Children Learn What They Live
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte
In essence, our words and actions to and around our children, become their internal language.
In closing, some wise words from Dr. Shefali Tsabary:
“You don’t “fix” your child, You create the conditions for them to rise.”
PS. Both of my upcoming Parent Education Events, being sponsored by Brockton School on November 21st and November 27th, have sold out. If you were hoping to attend, please contact Brockton school to see if they have any cancellations.
PPS. If you enjoyed this article, please share with friends or family members who could benefit and via social media. Thank you!
**For members of my Toddler to Teen® Online Parenting Community/Course, we will be having our next monthly Q & A on Wednesday November 29th at 9:30am. Please submit your questions/concerns via the link on the home page of the course.
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