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How to Empower Your Kids This School Year

Teaching Children to Solve Their Own Problems

As parents, it's tempting to react with advice and solutions when our kids share their feelings and fears. This tendency is especially attractive during the school year, when problems with peers, teachers, schoolwork, and more all start to manifest.

But, we can't raise empowered children if we don't help them find their own resiliency in the face of life's adversities . Here's how to empower your kids this coming school year so that they're ready to tackle their problems with self-created solutions.

Offer choices

Amongst teachers, there's a phrase called “choice and voice.” Essentially, when a child has more choice, their voice is amplified. They have more control over their life, and that's empowering for all ages.

For younger children, it could be as simple as choosing between oatmeal and eggs for breakfast. For teens, you might work together to choose curfew times or homework schedules. No matter what offering choices looks like in your family, the goal is to provide a safe, structured environment for making decisions. Your child might even make a bad choice every once in a while, but that's part of the process.

Encourage calculated risk-taking

While we're on the topic of bad choices, remember this: Mistakes are an integral part of learning and growing. It's (very) tempting to shield our kids from the fallout of their mistakes, but that's not how you empower a young person.

Try trusting your child to take more risks and see what happens. Whether it's choosing their outfits or trying a new sport, offer the space needed to explore and discover. You'll be amazed by how much self-confidence can come from seemingly simple risks.

Speak your child's love language

I love this suggestion from the blog Momenity , because it's an easy way to help anyone feel valued and heard, even our kids.

Here's what this looks like in action, based on one parent's experience, “I have two children that really enjoy getting hidden notes that I leave for them; one child needs me to bring him back something every time I leave, even if it's just a rock; and the others really love when I am constantly praising them and telling them positive things I like about them. I find if I try to meet my kids love languages every single day, my life is less stressful because they're happy and feel fulfilled.”

If you visit the website , you can take a quick test to discover your child's love language.

Be mindful of your words

Our kids are attuned to everything we say and do, and a seemingly innocent comment can cause years of emotional harm and self-doubt. That doesn't mean we shouldn't talk to our children about self improvement, but do so in a way that motivates and increases self-confidence .

Don't overbook your child's schedule

It's easy to feel powerless when our schedules control us. Us adults can feel that way about work and life's obligations, and kids can feel similarly about their school schedules. To avoid burnout, keep a close eye on after-school activity schedules, homework burdens, and other responsibilities.

Besides, when you give your kid time to be a kid, they'll have the mental clarity needed to learn from all of the empowerment lessons you're providing.