Dads: 4 Tips on Raising Responsible and Confident Children
These four tips will help you raise responsible children and enjoy fatherhood!
1. Model Mistakes & Good Problem Solving
As a dad, it is okay for your children to witness small mistakes. This shows them that you are human and also gives you the chance to model good problem-solving skills. For example, on a short hike, you may purposefully leave your own snack at home and say to your kids, “Oops! I forgot to bring my granola bar. I’m hungry. I definitely won’t forget next time!”
2. Give Your Children the Chance to Make “Affordable” Mistakes
Consequences of mistakes grow costlier the older children get, which is why it is important to allow your children to make plenty of small, or “affordable”, mistakes while they are still young. For example, you may say to your kids, “We are leaving in 30 minutes for a short hike. You get to be in charge of putting together the snacks you would like to take.”
3. If a Mistake is Made, Show Empathy While Holding Your Child Accountable
The most loved and respected dads are the ones who deliver firm consequences with a strong dose of empathy. If a child forgets to bring his/her own snack on a short hike, instead of getting frustrated with them, say something like “This is so sad. You forgot your snack, and now you’re hungry. We can’t drive all the way home to get them. Hang in there, I love you.” Using an empathetic delivery allows children to stay accountable for their mistakes, but know that you still love them.
4. Give your Children the Same Task Again
Later that week, you may say, “We are leaving in 30 minutes for a short hike. You again get to be in charge of putting together the snacks you would like.” When you give your children responsibility for the same task again, without nagging or reminding them of their previous mistakes, this sends a very powerful message: “You are smart enough to learn from your mistakes.”
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