Empowering Children: Raising Mentally STRONG Kids
By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara, EdD PMHNP — Sometimes it can be difficult to feel like you are empowering your children. It always feels like there is so much to do, and you just need your kids to cooperate. Unfortunately, right when you need them to listen, they start getting upset, overwhelmed, or even throwing a tantrum. This, in turn, leads to you getting upset and feeling overwhelmed. In these situations, it is important to remember that your child is a person. They have feelings and emotions, and sometimes don’t know how to control them. An effective way you can help your children learn to control their emotions, is by learning ways to empower your children in a positive way.
When your child is acting out, try sitting down and asking them why they are upset. For instance, have you ever had a child kick something across the room when you ask them to pick up their toys? A healthy way to resolve this problem is by empowering kids to tell you why they are frustrated. They might feel overwhelmed by the task you gave them, but do not know how to express their emotions. By letting them know that they can talk to you and helping to identify those feelings, you empower them to feel like they are part of the decision-making process. If getting them dressed in the morning is a struggle, they could feel like they don’t have any power over what they get to wear. Letting them know that they can communicate those feeling to you may help solve the problem. It also allows them to gain a small amount of control over their lives in a positive way, which benefits both of you.
Being a child is hard because they have very little control over what is happening to them. They are told when to eat, when to go to school, and what time to go to bed. If they are feeling frustrated, and like they are always receiving negative reinforcement, it can present as negative behaviors, which then receives a negative reaction. Finding small ways to empower your child to make decisions and name emotions will help them manage their behaviors. Making sure they understand that you want them to succeed helps build trust between you and your child. This trust building empowers your child to open up to you about how they are feeling, and express those feelings in a way that makes them mentally stronger. The “Raising Mentally STRONG Kids” course teaches you how to use the Mentally STRONG Method with your child. It has several Choice Opportunities that help kids visualize and identify ways they are reacting negatively, and how to turn those situations into an empowering and positive reaction.
Want to learn more? Register for our online course: Raising Mentally STRONG Kids