For those of you who are parents, the new school year brings about the same questions: How much should you rescue your kids and how much should you allow them to stumble and fall?
So what are the answers?
Here are some recommendations: Support them as they make their own decisions. Encourage them to solve their own problems, only helping them when they need it. Allow them to spread their own wings, catching them if they fall. Set them up for success, giving them accolades when they do something well. Believe in them. This will instill confidence and carry them a long way.
What qualities can you instill to help your kids succeed?
Kids need to know if they are dishonest, people won't trust them. When they learn that honesty is rewarded and dishonesty has grave consequences, they are more likely to choose truthfulness.
Numerous studies have shown that when children believe there is a power greater than themselves they feel a responsibility to honor themselves and others. As they become adults their spirituality can give them comfort during times of stress (this is why 12-step programs have been so successful).
If young people are taught to examine how others may feel in a given situation, they can successfully bring forth this quality in adulthood. And regarding teachers, even if your kids don't like a teacher, how you handle this situation can make a huge difference in how they deal with an "impossible" person in their future. My view is unless they have been grossly misunderstood, or overtly slighted, then they need to learn that there are people in this world that they won't necessarily agree with, but who must be respected because of their position.
Wow, do I hear a lot about this one! "Why don't my teens value money or their things?" Well, if you buy them new things every time they break something, or hand them money every time they ask for it, there will be no incentive for them to be responsible.
As your children start school, remember; encourage, support and praise. Then use every example you can think of as valuable "life lessons."
Dr. Kristina Welker is a licensed professional counselor in private practice and a member of the Ahwatukee Behavioral Health Network. Reach her at (480) 893-6767 or firstname.lastname@example.org.