Monday, August 13, 2018

Learn how to parent where children are like plants

Once upon a time, there were two neighbors living next to each other. One of them was a retired teacher and another was an insurance agent who had a lot of interest in technology. Both of them had planted different plants in their garden. The retired teacher was giving a small amount of water to his plants and didn’t always give a full attention to them, while the other neighbor interested in technology, had given a lot of water to his plants and looked after them too well.

The retired teacher’s plants were simple but looked good. The insurance agent’s plants were much fuller and greener. One day, during the night, there was a heavy rain and a wind due to a minor storm. Next morning, both of the neighbors came out to inspect the damage to their garden. The neighbor who was an insurance agent saw that his plants came off from the roots and were totally destroyed. But, the retired teacher’s plants were not damaged at all and were standing firm.

The insurance agent neighbor was surprised to see it, he went to the retired teacher and asked, “We both grew the same plants together, I actually looked after my plants better than you did for yours, and even gave them more water. Still, my plants came off from the roots, while yours didn’t. How is that possible?”

The retired teacher smiled and said, “You gave your plants more attention and water, but because of that they didn’t need to work themselves for it. You made it easy for them. While I gave them just an adequate amount of water and let their roots search for more. And, because of that, their roots went deeper and that made their position stronger. That is why my plants survived”.


This story is about parenting where children are like plants.

The expectation that other people will do for me, serve for me, get for me, entertain me does not really help us in raising our children the better way. Despite the best of intentions, some parents foster this kind of attitude in child rearing and by doing too much for their kids end up becoming their child’s slave.

If everything is given to them, they will not understand the hard work it takes to earn those things. They will not learn to work themselves and respect it. Sometimes it’s best to guide them instead of giving them everything they want. Teach them how to walk, but let them follow their path. In order to grow in the ways they need to grow, children have to take the lead, and sometimes that lead is usually away from us.

Children learn best when they experience success, which motivates them to tackle even more difficult challenges becoming competent in their lives.  They need to gain confidence from learning to handle things for themselves. The more practice children have in managing themselves and their lives, and overcoming obstacles to meet their goals, the more confidence and competence they'll develop.

So, where can we start as parents to build independence and self confidence in our children?

Teach them what the Bible says about them, and build self esteem in them God’s way

First start by coaching and stop the controlling: Coaches help kids develop skills, but kids play the game. Your job as a parent is to support your child so she can flourish and develop. It may be hard to hear, but there are times when your child is better off without you.

When parents take a coach-approach, they are able to: Teach Resilience, Motivate Independence, Inspire Kids to Overcome Obstacles, Help Kids Reach Full Potential.

Secondly, learn to appreciate their effort of trying: In order to appreciate our children as they are, we need great self-awareness and a willingness to look at them and their individuality with love and empathy. Take the time to ask questions that help you appreciate them more, most children just want a bit of our time and attention and to feel be loved, that’s all it takes to build and enable them to become independent in life.

Thirdly, Praise and encourage them: Praise, encouragement and kind words are an essential part of our everyday communication with our children across all ages, there’s nothing a youngster wants more than to get seen and accepted as an individual. When parents praise their children's effort, it builds resilience, which research shows contribute greatly to success in life.

And lastly, don’t compare them to anyone else: No two children are the same’ they have different talents, interests, develop at different rates and have different strengths. When you compare your child to someone else you can cause negative side effects such as lowers self esteem, lowers self-worth, shy away from social situations, Suppresses talents, and Distances from you.

If you want to help kids identify their strengths and motivations, celebrate their successes and get “unstuck,” then your approach makes a difference.

I hope this post empowers you on your parenting journey. You can continue learning more about parenting by visiting the PARENTING CORNER

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Because of His love on Calvary, I am forever a secure package
Chaow Chaow!

Rumishael Ulomi is a Freelance Christian Consultant, Life Coach, and Motivational Speaker in the areas of Christian Ministry, Business, Entrepreneurship, and Social Sector development residing in Moshi,Tanzania.


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