Here are four lifelong skills that will definitely help to mold your maturing child’s success.
3. Develop Strong People Skills
I consider myself to be outgoing and at ease when I’m in a social situation, be it a school function or a work-related event. But that wasn’t always the case. As much as I love networking and socializing, I’ve worked on my interpersonal and communication skills through the years so I will feel more comfortable when I’m in a public setting.
The majority of my kids find it easy to socalize in public, but I have two that are much more introverted and painfully shy. They can handle themselves fine in a small setting but would rather eat dirt than have to mingle among a large group.
Although I know that working the crowd may never be in their comfort zone, I believe it’s still important for our kids to develop strong people skills—the ability to behave well and interact comfortably with others so they can at least hold their own and build their confidence over time.
At the top of my list is using good manners. Words like "please" and "thank you" will never go out of style and always leave a good impression on others. Solid communication skills are also the foundation of building strong people skills and better personal and business relationships. I believe the art of better communication can be fostered at home. There are dozens of opportunities each day to teach your child how to develop empathy, to become better listeners, to practice patience and understanding. We even practiced role playing in our home, which was very helpful for our speech-delayed children who definitely had a more difficult time cultivating personal relationships.
In 6 Ways to Improve Family Communication, I offer examples of how you can help your child become a better communicator within your daily routines. When you combine the many occasions to work on social skills throughout childhood, you can definitely help strengthen this important and necessary tool. With the ability to communicate and interact easily with others, children will learn to surround themselves with like-minded and positive individuals both during school and as adults.
4. Cultivate Self-Care
One of the first podcasts I recorded as Mighty Mommy was 5 Ways That ‘Selfish Parenting’ Can Benefit Your Family. For years, I desperately wanted to become a mother, and when it didn’t happen right away, I vowed when the time came I would be the most devoted mother on the planet.
My wish finally came true when we adopted our first child at birth. It was miraculous and amazing—to this day I can still remember the sweet, newborn smell that I inhaled the moment I first held my daughter. Within four short years, I was the mom to four kids which even wowed my infertility doctors.
I stayed true to my promise and threw myself on the altar of motherhood, and those first few years were a total whirlwind.
Thankfully, I changed gears before baby #5 arrived and realized that taking better care of myself—in mind, body, and soul—was just as important (and perhaps more so) than sacrificing the sacred time I needed to replenish my energy and own well-being on a regular basis.
Ariana Ayu, author of The Magic of Mojo: The Creative Power Behind Success, shares her thoughts on cultivating self-care in Why Self-Care is Critical to Long-Lasting Success. She talks candidly about how self-care is often stigmatized in our society, and yet "the studies I've seen on productivity and efficiency all suggest that taking care of ourselves makes us better workers, because [...] we are part of nature. We are nature."
Ayu continues, "Practicing daily self-care is critical to your health and well-being. When you're out of your mojo, learning to relax and nurture yourself is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself; in fact, sometimes it's all you can do."
My children have grown up realizing that I have needs and wants that I must tend to on a regular basis. They see me head off to the library or my favorite bookstore so that I can refuel with a great read. They know I get up earlier than the rest of the family to enjoy early morning power walks. My friends are very important to me as well, and I have regular girls night outings, and even go grocery shopping kid-free just to spend time alone with my own thoughts.
The best part is that I no longer feel guilty about taking this time for just me—I’m totally comfortable making self-care a priority. I believe making time for myself every day (yes!) is what gives me the desire and stamina to enjoy the ups and downs of parenting, volunteer in my kids' schools and our church, and to be able to work full-time doing a job that I love as well as sustain a thriving freelance career in writing.
When we take care of ourselves rather than sacrifice our needs, we are setting our children up for great success due to our very own positive example.
What successful traits are you instilling in your children? Share your thoughts in the comment section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommyor post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. You can also connect with me on Twitter @MightyMommy or email me at email@example.com. Image © Shutterstock