Back to school and healthy lunches are the hot topics to write about this month. I have another parenting topic that I think is equally important for the emotional well being and confidence building for your children – take some time to participant in their passion. Let them take the lead in one of their favorite activities and teach you about it. Spending a few hours learning about your child’s world can help boost their confidence and esteem as well as open the door to increasing their ability to share their concerns and conflicts when they arise. A few weeks ago I witnessed the beautiful act of a mom letting her son lead during a volunteer session for the presidential campaign in Northern Virginia. I had decided to participate in canvassing and I was paired with a mother and 15-year old son from Maryland. While we were walking I learned that the son had participated in canvassing and voter registration in the last campaign in 2008, at age 11, with his aunt, uncle and cousin. He said it helped spark his interest in community organizing and the political process. He enjoyed it so much that now at the age of 15 he wanted to campaign again. Now he is learning about the government and how it works in his studies in high school and he wanted to get more hands-on experience in the field. His mother realized his interest and decided to support his initiative and bring him to campaign even though she had never participated.
It was quite heart warming to see this young man’s eagerness to campaign and his patience as he read his mother the information about what we were about to do. She did let her son lead her through the process. It was clear that the mother’s support built trust and rapport in the parent-child relationship. It built confidence for the child that the mom cares about him and perhaps in the future it will allow him to come to his mom to ask advice before making a bad decision in the future.
As our children head back to school and get excited about different subjects can you get involved in their passions? Can you create time and awareness to let them be the one that is teaching you a new lesson? It builds confidence and esteem to feel like an authority on something. Will you give your child the chance to have that great feeling?
What activities have you shared with your children and learned something in the process?
Dr. Daemon Jones
[box type="info"]Dr. Dae maintains a private practice and sees patients as a naturopathic physician. If you are interested in becoming a patient, know that Dr Dae also offers services via Skype and through phone consultations. Her office phone is 202-248-1907 or email her with questions drdae@ healthydaes.org.[/box]