Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

How to Empower a Child

mom and sonI was at Costco grabbing a slice of pizza and watched a mom, her older son, middle daughter and younger son get lunch. They looked like they were having a great time. The mom was about to go and get food for everyone and wanted the three kids to sit at the table and wait until she ordered and brought back the food. She looked at the kids and pointed to where she would be, noting they could see her. She was calm, firm and structured. The kids were very attentive and appeared to be quite obedient.

Advertisement

The oldest got all excited, raised his hand and asked, “Mom can I be in charge while you get the food?” The mom hesitated, looked uncomfortable and finally said, “No, your sister is more responsible.”

I cringed. You could see the hurt on the older boy’s face. He stared at the floor and looked like he could cry. “Inadequate” was written all over his face and my heart sunk. I hurt for him. I know the mom was trying to do the right thing but she missed an important moment to empower her son and give him responsibility.

A better approach would have been to respond to her son’s request with this, “OK what do you have to do to be in charge? Can you do that? Great, let’s give it a try since you are the oldest.” This would have empowered the boy and given him an opportunity to win his mom’s trust.

Advertisement

I know as a parent I don’t always respond the best way. After the fact, it is easier to see better ways to handle situations. But sometimes it is the small interactions with our kids that can leave big imprints.

Look for those moments when you can empower your child to take responsibility. Encourage him or her to try new things and practice their growing independence. It might make you a little anxious but the benefit to the child is worth it.

Previous Posts

What Isn't Discussed in Violent Shootings
Like most of you, I was shaken by the horrific events of this past week: the senseless shooting of two TV journalists happened in my backyard. Those reporters worked at one of the TV stations in my viewing area and not too far from the massacre ...

posted 9:00:29am Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Why Sex is Not Always About the Sex
If you watch most television shows, you would think that the most important part of any relationship is sex! But when it comes to what matters most in a relationship, it's not the sex. And if we focus  only on sex, the relationship won't ...

posted 7:00:42am Aug. 28, 2015 | read full post »

National Dog Day: Take Your Canine to Work!
In honor of national dog day... I feel blessed that I get to take my dog to work every day. Zoe, pictured here, is the comfort dog for the medical school in which I work. Every morning she greets the students and helps reduce their stress. ...

posted 7:00:18am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Baby Names: Helping or Hurting Your Child?
When Shakespeare asked,  "What's in a name?" the answer is, more than you think. Many years ago, I worked in a very poor school district and noticed a number of the children had unusual names. The most unusual was a girl we called Phamalie ...

posted 7:00:52am Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Angry? Do You Really Want to E-Vent?
John left the meeting frustrated, angry and ready to quit. He returned to his office and fired off an angry email. For the moment, he felt better, he got his anger off his chest. But did this behavior really help? Sarah returned from a ...

posted 7:00:43am Aug. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.