As parents we love our children from the second we first lay eyes on them. We feel a primal desire to protect them, to give them the best life possible, to do whatever it takes to help them succeed in life. We look forward to all the lessons we will teach them and the values we will instill in them. But then reality steps in, we realize how short the days are and how fast the years go by – and we ask ourselves… how? Not to mention, none of us ever feel like we know what we are doing.
By Mariza Halliday

We constantly ask ourselves how to help our children live good and balanced lives — to be both happy and successful and to use their gifts to make the world a better place. What can we as parents do to ensure that our children grow up with a positive self-image and help them understand that integrity involves much more than what teachers and friends believe about them? How do we go about giving our kids the values and skills to succeed as adults?

The most fundamental element in building trust is honesty. By using manipulative words and actions we only place doubt in our children’s minds which makes it difficult for them to trust us. With the state of technology today, information (and a lot thereof) is immediately available and as a result, parents are constantly afraid and second-guessing themselves. Our
fear manifests in our children, they mirror it. They become afraid too — afraid to be who they are, to take risks and to stand up against injustice. Trust has to start with us. When we trust ourselves and have confidence in the choices we make as parents, we can then trust our children to take important and necessary steps toward empowerment and independence.
By leading them and guiding them, we can then trust that they too will be able to practice good judgment in life.

Every child has a unique personality. They have a gift and it is a gift to the world, and it’s our responsibility as parents to nurture and help develop that gift, whatever it may be. This is the exact opposite of dictating who our kids should be, what profession to pursue, choosing what their life should look like. It is showing them respect by supporting them as they
identify and pursue their own goals and create their own lives.

Independence cannot be achieved without a strong foundation of trust and respect. Truly independent children are capable of constructively coping with adversity, setbacks and boredom, all unavoidable aspects of life.

Real kindness involves gratitude and forgiveness, selfless service toward others and an awareness of the world outside yourself. It’s important to show our kids how exciting and rewarding it is to make someone else’s life better. Don’t forget to lead by example.

Ask any parent what they want most for their children, and self-esteem will likely top the list. We cannot “give” a child self-esteem, but we can support the practices that will lead a child to it, and abstain from the actions that tend to undermine a child’s self-esteem. Our ultimate goal as parents is creating self-responsible people in a self-responsible world. We are not just raising children, but building the foundation of the future of humankind. We’re evolving human consciousness, and we’re doing it faster than ever before. With your trust, guidance, and respect, your child will become exactly the person they are meant to be.