Tips on how to raise children to be extraordinary people.
As a single mom one of my biggest fears, when my husband left, was that our divorce would ruin our children. Raising your kids as a single parent doesn’t me you’ve ruined them each of them can grow up to be someone who make the world a better place.
Here are the tips I’ve learned from over 30 years as a psychotherapist, reflecting on extraordinary people I know and raising two sons who are both extraordinary people.
Many people in the world were not raised by both biological parents living in the same house as they did for the entirety of their lives went on to accomplish great things and your children can make a positive impact too. President Barack Obama, Mariah Carey, Michael Phelps, Adele, JK Rowling are just a few examples of famous people raised by single parents.
What makes an extraordinary person?
A few weeks ago I asked the moms in our private Facebook group Empowered Single Mom Tribe to describe someone they thought of as an extraordinary person.
Here are some of the traits they listed: inspirational, adapts easily to new decisions, patient, good friend, resilient, have an abundance of love. perseveres in the face of difficulty, taking responsibility forou his/her own situation, loves God.
When I think of an extraordinary person I think of someone who has a sense of purpose, a calling to use their gifts to make the world a
How do I raise my children to be extraordinary people?
If you want to raise your kids to be extraordinary people your chances at success will be much greater if you are intentional in your parenting. Think about the kind of person you would like to raise, focus on developing those traits in yourself and giving your kids opportunities to develop those characteristics.
1. Encourage their unique gifts and talents
Everyone has things that they are curious about, things they are naturally interested in and that takes less effort to learn and practice. Encourage your children to pursue those things. Don’t push your children to live the life you wish you would have.
Encourage them to be fully themselves and explore their interests. I’ve noticed a pattern in my years as a therapist. People who are good at their vocation and enjoy it have work that fits their personality. Some people are people people others prefer working with things or ideas. Some people are detail oriented and others are good at seeing the big picture. We need all kinds of people.
If your teens are looking for ideas on what to do you can find ideas in 15 Productive Activities for Teenagers (Plus a Bonus for High School Seniors) and 61 Plus Fun Activities for Bored Teens.
2. Teach decision making and problem-solving from an early age
The process of good decision making is thinking through what the effects of a particular solution will be not only for you but also for everyone your decision will affect.
When you empower your kids to make good decisions and solve problems in a way that takes everyone’s interest into account you are laying the groundwork for them to make use of their full potential and be leaders.
3. Teach them to respect themselves and others
Respect covers many things caring about others, sensitivity to giving everyone basic human dignity, and considering how our decisions and behavior affect others. Respecting yourself minimizes dangerous decisions and behavior that could have long term negative effects. “Respect the mother” was the most important rule in our house when the kids were growing up.
4. Teach them to take responsibility
Too many people blame others when things do not go their way. When you take responsibility for your life and your decisions you focus on what you can influence. When you look for others to blame you are not focused on what you can control.
Mistakes will happen it is how we handle them that makes the difference.
Chores are an opportunity to develop responsibility. Chores can be divided into personal work and family work. This teaches personal responsibility and responsibility to the group.
5. Foster resilience
Mistakes happen, bad things happen to good people. These do not need to be catastrophic. Problems and misfortune can be an opportunity for growth.
Teach your children that they can come back from problems and misfortune.
6. Encourage a growth mindset
People with a growth mindset are many times more likely to reach their full potential than people with a fixed mindset. A growth mindset supports the development of grit and perseverance. There are several fun growth mindset videos to support developing a growth mindset in your children.
7. Build a community of support
There’s an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” As children being involved in group activities such as music, sports, or theater are excellent ways to learn to work in a group as a team. Developing a sense of family identity and teamwork is another way to develop teamwork skills.
Providing an opportunity for your children and teens to develop relationships with other adults is another opportunity to develop a community of support extracurricular activities and church or spiritual activities are all opportunities to develop supportive relationships with other adults.
Time with extended family is another opportunity to develop a community of support. Sometimes teens don’t want to listen to parents when they have a strong relationship with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older cousins there are more people available to mentor your children.
8. Raise Children with High Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence includes the ability to manage your emotions, be aware of your emotions, and handle interpersonal relationships with empathy. You instill this in your children by helping them to identify their feelings, express them appropriately, and develop an ability to not let their emotions control them.
People with high emotional intelligence are able to influence the emotions of others by de-escalating conflicts and being a calming influence.
Good emotional intelligence is a huge predictor of success because people with high emotional intelligence are able to manage themselves and motivate others.
Humor can be a tool to reduce stress and build connections if it is used in a way to draw people together not put people down.
Give your kids opportunities to practice these skills and model them. Kids are much more impacted by what we do than what we say. If you want your kids to have a certain quality work on developing that quality in yourself.
Hi, I’m Tamara the creator of Empowered Single Moms, a single mom, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and the author of Thriving a Single Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Positive Life and Thriving a Single Mom Journal. I have a solo private psychotherapy practice where I treat anxiety, depression, and relationship issues.
As a member of the Empowered Single Moms community, I believe you can stop carrying the weight of the world alone and build a life you love. Join my mailing list and get 5 Keys to Single Mom Success.