Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


How to Empower a Child

posted by Linda Mintle

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.

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.

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

Mean Girls or Is It Mean Boys?
Perhaps you've seen the movie Mean Girls. If so, you remember the popular clique of girls who ruled the social scene by backstabbing and being verbally mean to anyone they didn't like. The movie reminds most of us of those one or two girls in middle school who could use their verbal aggression to

posted 6:58:47am Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Could Visualizing Food Make You Eat Less?
You are on your way to work and feel hungry. The morning rush caused you to skip breakfast. You pass the bakery as you walk to your office. The smell of freshly baked croissants is tempting. As you look in the window, those croissants are lined up in a row, oozing with chocolate and inviting yo

posted 6:00:56am Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Treating Binge Eating With Medication?
Every day Sally vows she will not eat herself sick. But today is no different. She is distressed, eating past full and feeling as if she has no control. Sally suffers from Binge Eating Disorder (BED) which has been recognized as a psychiatric disorder. To date, there are no medications approved f

posted 6:00:35am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Is Binge Drinking Just College Fun?
In the throws of January, college students begin dreaming about Spring Break. Those plans often include partying on a beach with nonstop drinking. Binge drinking is "a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for w

posted 6:00:57am Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Does the Cold Make You Catch a Cold?
My mom used to tell me to put a hat on my baby when the weather was cold. I used to argue, "Mom, babies don't catch colds from the cold. They get them from viruses. I'm not putting a hat on the baby." But now it seems that my mom could have been on to something. Could the cold weather actually p

posted 6:00:36am Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.