Show Your Kids That You Rely on Them

Children rely on us in many ways, including almost everything when they are still babies, and still almost everything when they become “little children.” But, according to one psychologist, an easy way to help them develop resilience and self-confidence at the age of six or seven is to rely on them for a little help and support.

Organizational psychologist and writer Adam Grant provides his favorite parenting advice in this video produced by the World Economic Forum :

“You must feel that other people are relying on you; I think parents often overlook this when it comes to children, ”he says in the video. “We feel our job is to educate them, protect them, take care of them. And we never give them a chance to build up their resilience by helping us solve problems. So, I think one way to put this advice into practice is to ask our children for advice from time to time. “

One of the ways that Grant says he does this is by talking to his kids about his nervousness, say, about an important speech coming up. He asks them how he should deal with this anxiety, and they may offer suggestions to him, such as taking a deep, soothing breath or practicing speaking several times to get used to it.

Relying on your children for help or advice will show them that you trust them and that they have a lot to help others. According to him, the next time they feel anxious about something, they may remember their own advice on how to get through it.

I do this a bit with my own nine-year-old son, and I’ve also seen how it can help kids develop their problem-solving skills. Back in November, when he and I were shopping for a new Christmas tree in a crowded store, we found that there was only one style left of the style we wanted – and it was on the top shelf, out of reach. I looked at it for a moment and then looked around to see if there were any store employees nearby. Without losing a single pause, my son said, “I will stay here and guard him while you find someone to help us deal with this.”

It was a conclusion that I would probably have come to myself in a few seconds, but he was confident in his problem-solving ability and did not wait for me to figure it out. And I remember how proud he was when I said, “Great idea! Thanks buddy, I’ll be back soon.

So the next time you’re thinking about a work presentation that makes you nervous or trying to figure out how to do two things at the same time, ask your children. They may have ideas.


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