I have noticed lately that many adults around me don’t know how, or feel embarrassed about asking for help. It’s my belief that these adults didn’t suddenly unlearn how to ask for help, they were probably never taught as kids.
Think about how important it is to ask for help. We can’t possibly know how to achieve or create everything we want completely on our own. Also, asking for help builds community, which is so important for our sense of wellbeing. Asking for help benefits those asking and those receiving and this applies to every subject in our lives. For example: it may be as simple as asking for directions or help with a project.
This brings me to our children. Feeling independent is important in our children’s growth process. Feeling they can create tasks and accomplish them helps build their sense of self and self esteem. Knowing they have everything inside of them to have the life they want, or simply just get through their school day is one of the principle truths I taught my own kids.
We want our kids to feel independent, not solitary, which can happen if they think they must do everything themselves without relying on others.
Everyone benefits when we ask for help was a phrase I often used with my children. I wanted them to realize that if they asked for help, they would get what they wanted which was the knowledge they were looking for or physical help with something. I also wanted them to see that this process works both ways, in that each of us has the opportunity to feel special when another has requested help from us. I showed them examples of some of the great leaders in our history that asked others for help.
Not receiving the help we’ve asked for can be a good thing in that it can greatly encourage us to try a little harder to get what we want. The objective is to ask for the help we desire, but knowing we don’t have control whether another will give it to us. We don’t want to ever stop asking.
Teaching our children that asking for help is a sign of strength and not of weakness can help them foster a strong sense of independence and leadership in their childhood and into adulthood.
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© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.