How To Teach And Encourage Your Kids To Be Themselves 2009: Jobs Daunting

How to Teach and Encourage Your Kids to Be Themselves

Few jobs are more daunting than raising well-rounded, happy, confident kids.
On one hand, you adore what makes your child unique: your daughter’s all-consuming love of science (she’s bordering on nerdy!) or your son’s quiet disposition and curious spirit. On the other, you worry that being too “different”-too shy, too short, too tomboyish (or, in the case of boys, too sensitive), too anything-is a sure path to unpopularity and isolation. What’s a conflicted parent to do Urge your child to succeed within socially prescribed boundaries Or let him or her break the (unspoken) rules and risk being labeled “weird” First, stop fretting, says Robin Fisher Roffer. Your hand-wringing desire for your child to “fit in” is surely borne of love, but it’s also misguided for an age in which diversity is celebrated. Even if your child does face a few bumps in the road, learning to be herself (or himself) will pay off in the long run. “We are living in an era that celebrates uniqueness-not for its own sake but for the tangible benefits it yields throughout life,” she adds. “There has never been a better time to be yourself. Embracing and nurturing your inner ‘fearless fish’ brings far richer rewards than conformity ever could.” In her book, Roffer explains how your unusual personality, outlook, appearance, or background-really, any attribute that sets you apart-is not a liability but an asset. Being different gets you noticed, whether it’s in the office, at school, or at home with your own family, and that is the first step to gaining influence with those around you. When you refuse to hide or downplay your uniqueness, it makes you more authentic-and people gravitate toward those they like, trust, and believe in. Take Barack Obama, for example. His entire campaign celebrated his differences and used change as a cornerstone for his message. Today, he’s the President of the United States because voters saw that he was authentic and true to himself, and they were drawn to him. Today’s kids are growing up in a time of exhilarating change, an era in which they face more opportunities (and yes, more challenges) than any group before them. Read on to learn how to help them navigate the road before them by being a fearless fish out of water (just like you!): Be a truly fearless leader. One of the most effective ways of teaching our kids is to lead by example. Our children look up to us and mimic the behaviors they see in their parents each day. If they see a person who is comfortable in her own skin, who dares to go against the flow, and most importantly, who is happy, they will learn to do the same for themselves. If this doesn’t describe you, well, it’s time to take a look in the mirror.
“Your children are watching you, and usually when you least expect it,” warns Roffer. “If you are an authentic person and you live your own life as a fearless fish, your kids will see that and it will serve as a powerful lesson for the people they will become. Make sure to be who you are wherever you go-at work, at home, at your children’s school-and when they see the confidence you exhume and the respect you command, they will follow your lead.”

Event Date and Time:
Starts at: