The greatest lesson I have learned in parenting is nothing earth-shattering and yet, it makes a universe of a difference to a child.

Effective Parenting
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I have a friend who is a successful entrepreneur. She has 2 girls and has hardly ever taken care of them the entire life I have known her. It was always the maids who took care of the girls. They have grown up to be smart, super confident high achievers. Many of us have wondered how, in her absence, she gets her children to turn out so well.

The lesson I learned is something I have observed in parents of confident children. And they are not plenty, only a handful. The friend talks highly of her children, having confidence and trust in their abilities and intelligence. Whether she is talking to her girls or talking about them to others, it is with such pride that she speaks; so much so, that her girls can only think of themselves the way the mother believes about them.

This is something I have observed in the parents of confident children, the parents are proud of them, talk highly of them, and trust them to be intelligent.

What do ordinary parents do? Criticize so that the kids get better! Scold and put them down to mentor them; tell them that they are good for nothing. Many of us grew up hearing these things and these are the very remarks we pass on to our children. Many may ask ‘how do we trust our kids when they make so many mistakes?” Well, they do not trust themselves to make the right decisions because we do not trust them to do it. How can they be confident about their decisions, their skills, and talents when we do not feel that way?

How do we change so that we can bring up confident children? First is to recognize that we ARE doing the damage. It has nothing to do with our child. How are we correcting our child? Does our child really need a correction or is it merely our perception of what is right? Times have changed. What we thought was right may not be completely right for our children now. Know how times have changed. What are our words, actions, and facial expressions when we speak to them or speak about them? Do we double-check even if we say we trust them? Children can easily see through all of that.

We have turned out fine. Most people do, ultimately. Trust that our children will do too. Whenever we catch ourselves doubting our children because of our lack of ability to trust them, stop, take a 360-degree turn, and trust them.

Most of us parents function out of fear rather than love. What if they don’t turn out well? Will my kid get college admission if he doesn’t write the alphabet when he is 4 years old? What will people think of me as a parent if they don’t do well? All these fears dictate our actions and words. There are only 2 ways to respond to anyone, either from fear or from love. Both responses are as different as day and night. So, check from where you are functioning, is it from your fears or from the love you have for your child? The responses, dear parent, will be totally different and will make a huge difference.

Sajitha Rasheed is a relationship workshop facilitator and the Founder and Chief Mentor of Mind Mojo.

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