As parents and guardians, we want our children to develop self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. We also want our children to grow resilient and respectful towards others. As adults, we know that the traits of determination and resolve are essential when we become responsible in our lives. None of it is complete without child empowerment.
Children are born with a blank slate. It is a scary notion, but it is the truth that in their early years, adults can mold children into what they want them to be. The children who have been told by adults that they are worthless and useless may believe it to be true for themselves. On the flip side, a child who is nurtured and brought up to believe in him or herself encouraged to take risks in life, is continuously given positive affirmations, has a growth mindset, and will indeed become empowered.
And yes, as children grow up, their friends and teachers also play an important part in developing their personality. Still, parents are to ensure that a positive foundation from an early age is concretely in place.
To build stronger foundations of self-worth and empowerment in your children, you need to understand what child empowerment is, why it is important, and how you can make your child empowered.
What Is Child Empowerment
The literal definition of empowerment, as described by Oxford, is: “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.”
People over the world are getting aware of the need for training and researches on Child empowerment, and the role it plays in improving future lives.
Child empowerment is about making children feel valued, capable and making them realize their worth in this world. It does not mean that children should make unsupervised life decisions and have a say over everything. Of course, their development needs to learn to work within rules set by their parents, teachers, authorities, etc.
By empowering your kids, you enable them to make informed choices for themselves, take responsibility, and realize the consequences of their actions. Every child should be free to engage with the world around them and have first-hand experiences.
Why Is Child Empowerment Needed?
1. To Grow Self-Confidence
Having self-confidence and self-esteem is essential for children to stay happy and comfortable with who they are and have the courage to try new things in life. If they have confidence in themselves, they will likely manage their own behavior.
2. To Encourage Independence
Children need to make their own life decisions to some extent. Having a say in their lives will help your kids to become independent. Developing a sense of independence in their personality from an early age will help your children in their later life.
3.To Build Resilience
To deal with the unpredictability of life, a person needs to be resilient. Empowerment in child builds resilience, allowing them to overcome whatever obstacle life throws their way.
4. To Develop Self-Respect
Self-respect is a critical thing that completes the personality of a person. When children start believing that they are influential creators in their own life, they build a sense of self-respect inside them. This sense of self-worth enables your children to respect and value themselves and others.
5. To Make Them Better Learners
When your child becomes confident and realizes the self-worth he or she possesses, the chance of becoming an effective learner and getting successful in life becomes higher.
How Can You Empower Your Kids?
1. By Allowing Your Kids to Take Risks
Trust your child to explore their environment without any fear of failure, and this means allowing them to take risks. If possible, don’t stop them from everything that you think will harm them. By stopping them, you will minimize their chances of observing and experiencing life as they should. Trust your kid to climb up that ladder, go down that giant slide, and swim a lap on their own. Taking these small risks is important for your child’s self-confidence and to empower your child. So, please don’t hold your child back and let them explore the world around them freely.
2. By Giving Your Child Choices
From a young age, permit your child to have a say in decisions that directly relate to him or her. For instance, you can allow your children to choose between fruits or cereal for breakfast; blue, pink, or yellow toothbrushes; checkered T-shirts, or a plain T-shirt. Letting your children select their own outfits is always interesting. Just as people say, choice and voice always go together. Including your children’s opinions in these small things makes them value their judgment.
3. By Listening to Your Child
Children are always not transparent about everything. Therefore, paying attention to the things they say and the things they don’t say is important for parents. Spend time with them, play games with them. Not only listen to your kid’s voice but also focus on their mood when talking to you. When you ask your children how school was, really look for an answer instead of just asking for the formality. Stop whatever you are doing and engage them in conversation.
Figure out what they find upsetting and what gives them joy. Ensure that nothing is off about them and let them know by your actions and words that you are there in case they want to tell you anything. And if you notice that your child does not like certain someone or does not wish to be around them, listen to what they have to say. This advice is not to scare you, but this is a possible sign that may indicate that a child is sexually abused. Be a good listener for your child’s empowerment.
4. By Teaching Body Safety to Your Child
There Is nothing more empowering than teaching your child necessary body safety. By doing so, you will empower your children, and they will know about their personal boundaries. A child educated about body safety at an early age is more vigilant and realizes when touched inappropriately. This way, the children familiar with body safety are less likely to become victims of sexual abuse.
5. By Using Wise Words
Please encourage your children by using words like unique, creative, talented, etc., in your daily conversations with them. Especially with daughters, try to divert their attention from physical appearance and focus more on their talents and creative pursuits. Whenever you have a conversion with older kids, keep in mind that whatever is said can not be unsaid. As your child goes to bed, try to tell them something positive about the day’s activities. It is a sign of child empowerment when a kid drifts to sleep feeling safe and loved.
6. By Allowing Them to Follow Their Interests
It may happen that your child’s interests do not sit well with your interests. But if your child likes to swim or play football, try to encourage them and give them all your support to empower your child.
7. By Discouraging Gender Stereotyping
Always encourage your children to believe that they can achieve the things they strive for in life and nothing is impossible, no matter what the world says. Avoid all kinds of gender stereotyping and discourage when others do it. Respecting all genders and making your kids realize the same is important for your kid’s personality. Living in this society, you can only empower your child when they learn to respect others.
8. By Encouraging Resilience, Integrity, And Perseverance
Life is not always like roses, so teach your child to keep on trying until they succeed. Teach your kids to be persistent until they achieve something, but at the same time, also teach them to deal with loss and failure. Failing but still getting up and trying will always hold them in good stead. Therefore, model and encourage integrity, perseverance, and resilience through conversations and daily activities.
9. By Allowing Your Children to Greet Others in a Way They Feel Comfortable
When at gatherings or social events, allow your kids to greet others by a handshake or high-five if they are not comfortable getting kissed or hugged. Just because your kid is a kid does not mean that they don’t have personal space and can be forced to show affection. Forcing them will only make them feel that their comfort zone does not matter. It is your child’s choice if they want to be hugged or kissed, and all the adults should respect this.
10. By Teaching “Pirate Stance” to Your Kids
This is an exciting and empowering activity that you can try with your children. Get your children to stand still for thirty minutes a couple of times a week. Have them stand with their legs apart, their shoulders back, and hands placed on their hips. Studies have shown that the pirate stance is incredibly empowering for children, especially young girls. Must try this with your kids.
Children’s emotions are fragile, and what they experience throughout their childhood significantly affects them in their adulthood. Therefore, as parents, work on your child’s emotional health. Listen to them and get them to trust you with their affairs. For your child empowerment, try to give them your trust by allowing them to make their own choices and become future leaders.