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

10 Ways to Respond to Someone Who Is Depressed
One good thing that came out of Robin William's death is that we are once again talking about depression. Depression can be a silent killer and still has a stigma despite the numbers of people who struggle with it in any give year. We don't like to talk about it, mostly because we don't know what to

posted 7:51:57am Aug. 30, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Reason We Yawn!
It's late afternoon. You are sitting in a meeting. Three people at the table yawn and you do the same. Are you bored? Tired? Or what? Need more coffee? Need more sleep? Or maybe you need a nice cool air-conditioned room! Even though we do yawn more when we are tired, tired may not be the re

posted 7:00:09am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Teacher Tells Student What Words She Cannot Say!
Some things defy common sense...here is one of them. Be ready to be outraged! Maybe you heard the story last week. High school senior Kendra Turner was suspended in Dyer County Tennessee for breaking a class rule. You might be thinking, "OK, teachers need to keep control of their classrooms."

posted 7:00:54am Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Split: Telling All May Have Been Too Much
The gossip train is all a buzz with what looks like a split between pop diva, Mariah Carey and her husband, America's Got Talent host, Nick Cannon. The usual suspects, TMZ, People, Hollywood Life and others are reporting the spilt, saying divorce is a done deal. The six-year marriage that produced

posted 7:51:12am Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Withholding Friendship as a Weapon
I'll never forget the day my five-year-old came home and said, "No one will play with 'Sandy' because she doesn't do what they say!" I was upset and thankfully, my daughter thought it was mean. But the other girls excluded little Sandy and rejected her from their friendship circle. Would you be

posted 7:00:24am Aug. 20, 2014 | 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.