Written by Salina Jivani
Our dream as parents is to see our children become wildly successful. So what do we do? We prod them, encourage them, hover over them and try to get them to be the very best, most intelligent, perfect, wise little humans they can be. But in the process of making them their best, could it be that you’re doing the worst? Here are three signs that indicate you’re crippling your children rather than helping cultivate them into leaders.
You praise them too easily
We’re so eager to encourage our children that sometimes, we just don’t know when enough is…too much. Yes, praise is important—when it’s well deserved. But when your child does simple, ordinary things that aren’t truly praise-worthy, you’re really setting them up for failure by lowering the standards of how much harder or smarter they need to work to elicit a true, well-deserved praise from you. Don’t let praise come too easily, or they’ll expect it just as easily from everyone else or will not work as hard to earn it.
You don’t let them take chances
While it’s important to set guidelines for your children (no monkey bars—you’re too young!), let them sometimes venture beyond the boundaries you’ve set to take reasonable risks on their own. They’ll only know what they’re capable of when they spread their wings to try new things…even if you’re not quite sure they’re ready to go without training wheels just yet. Let them try…they might surprise themselves—and you.
You save them too quickly
It’s tempting to swoop in like a mother hen and save your child from difficult situations, tough kids, even from eating that French fry that you know is too hot. Because sometimes the most effective lessons come from experiencing our own mistakes and no matter how much it may break your heart to do it, sometimes you just have to let them learn on their own before you go rushing in to embrace them.
Leaders are trained young, so make sure you focus early on leadership skills if you want to foster these skills in your child and see them benefit from them much later down the road.