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Empowering Kids

Empowering Kids

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Published by Daisy
www.growinghappykids.com
www.growinghappykids.com

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Published by: Daisy on Nov 15, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/16/2012

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34
Pure Inspiration
©istockphoto.com/Ramona Heim 
Em po we r i ng K i d s
 b yM a u r e e nH e a l y
 
Pure Inspiration
35
Like the acorn that has the latentpotential of the oak tree within,every child holds his or her great-ness. It is “believing in” this great-ness, nurturing it, and empoweringyour child to become his or her bestself that marks this new age of par-enting. Gone are the days when par-ents wanted their kids to get a “good job”—now we want them to haverewarding lives! It is a shift of epicproportions.
Such a shift begins with empoweringchildren, literally helping them gain a senseof self-trust, confidence, courage, and belief that they can successfully face whatever lifepresents. It is helping children gain a senseof real power,
inner
power, establishing aconnection to their unique truth.Inner power is the ability to perseverewhen obstacles arise, as they always do,especially in childhood when confrontedwith bullies, poor grades, rejection, andbruises. It is a knowing that you are valuableand can make it. Such inner strength alsoencourages a child to courageously risksharing his or her talents with the world.And in today’s world, we need everyone’sbest.
Empowering Kids
Empowering literally means to “put in” or“to cause” power, as derived from its Latinroots. The act of empowering children is aprocess of instilling in them beliefs and feel-ings that they are powerful now, as well ascreating optimum conditions that mirrorback to them these concepts.Most simply, it is why Wonder Womanwas my favorite television show in the sev-enties. It made me feel powerful. I was aseven-year-old girl and Linda Carter was myhero. She could beat any bad guy, using hergolden lasso, tiara, and bullet-deflectingbracelets. It made me feel that I could do ittoo!And that is what Harry Potter andNarnia do for kids today.Such imaginative worlds are not onlyplayful, but also serve a very real purposefor children, helping them envision them-selves as powerful creators.And the “real world” is also an essentialplace to help children appropriately harnesstheir energy and potential. Owen, age five,lit up when his father told him he was “socreative” and “talented” in his paintingclass. It’s almost as if you could literally seeOwen looking more confident and strong.This is a great example of a child beginningto own his creative abilities.Unfortunately, well-intentioned parentssometimes do the opposite as well. Olive,age eight, was dancing with friends andplaying with her hula hoop in the park. Itwas just good old summer fun. Her mom,Jenny, told Olive that she looked like shehad “two left feet” when she was dancing.Jenny’s friend laughed. To me it seemedhurtful. Olive looked a bit sad and didn’twant to dance anymore.Children such as Olive need a highlytuned-in parent who can honor, as well asnurture, her exceedingly creative, sensitive,and intelligent nature.And I believe Jennycan be that parent. Empowering your childisn’t rocket science, but it does take effort,mindfulness, and awareness. It really is askill that can be learned.
The act of
empowering
children isa process of
instilling
in them
beliefs
and
feelings
that
they are powerful now.
 
36
Pure Inspiration
Empowerment 101
Being able to recognize an opportunity toempower a child takes awareness. I believe par-ents need to decide to make every interaction asimportant and powerful as possible. Children sodeeply want, need, and wish to feel fully sup-ported here on earth—and it’s up to you to real-ize that you are the perfect person in the perfectplace at the perfect moment to do it.Learning to empower children isn’t compli-cated. It really takes the same effort you apply toany goal with enthusiasm, dedication, and a will-ingness to “set aside” your own ego, emotions,and limited thinking.Achild so wholeheartedlywants to believe that his or her dreams can cometrue, so it is up to us, the adults, to support thisnotion (whether it makes sense to us or not!).Like little Joe, age three, who told me he isgoing to be a spaceship repairman. I said, “GOFOR IT.”As you gather your emotional and mentalforces to focus upon empowering your child orchildren, there are two techniques that can helpyou consciously empower them. They are:
Mirroring
– It is the process of serving asthe reflection of a child’s abilities, skills, andqualities, so they begin to “see” themselves asthey really are—highly valuable, talented, andcapable right now.Owen’s father (from above) mirrored toOwen his creative strengths. The effect wasnearly immediate as you could see Owen feelingmore positive and confident.
Encouragement 
– It is the act of literally“putting in courage” or belief in your child.Such support enables them to “see” themselvesas they are—skilled, competent, and able
right now
.Madeline, age six, recently had her trainingwheels taken off. She was excited and terrified.Her mom, Sam, came to her side and said, “Youcan do it! I believe in you,” and with a littlepush, she did it! Such words of encouragementmade all the difference.Encouragement and mirroring may seemextremely simple to you. I agree. I also believethat many things
are
simple, but not alwayseasy. For example, riding 100 miles on yourbicycle is conceptually easy, but the practicebecomes a whole lot harder.
Empowering Words
Words have power. Selecting just the rightwords and saying them to your child with mean-ing and enthusiasm can fuel his or her best life.Mother Teresa captured this sentiment when shesaid, “Kind words are short and easy to speak,but their echoes are truly endless.” I know thisto be true.One event stands out in my mind. In 1998, Iwas at a fancy dinner with my father, overlook-ing the Grand Canyon. He leaned over the tableand said, “You are my
biggest 
accomplish-ment!” I was surprised and delighted. He passedon later that year, but his words still sing inmy soul.Children are the same. They listen with theirminds and hearts to every word their parents,caregivers, teachers, and friends say. Words shapetheir world.
Selecting just the right words and saying them to your child has the power tostrengthen them
, and in today’s world, every childneeds to be strong from the inside out.More specifically, I believe words spoken withthe intention to instill a greater level of confi-dence, courage, self-trust, optimism, and connec-tion are essential words of empowerment.And tohelp you, the interested adult, I have included mydefinition of such inner qualities along with sam-ple sayings below to get you started.
A
child
so wholeheartedly
wants
to
believe
that his or her
dreams
can come
true
, so it isup to us, the
adults
, to
support
this
notion.

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