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  1. #1

    Default Raising Strong Children

    I'm interested in peoples thoughts on raising strong children. Strong in the sense that they know themselves. They know their own strengths and talents.

    What are you doing in that regard?
    What are your thoughts on finding talents through tests?
    How much emphasise do you put on developing strengths?
    Any other thoughts and resources you have found useful.

  2. #2
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Quite a lot of people take the "censorship" road in parenting. The one where they believe that, by controlling what their kid is exposed to and carefully censoring their lives as they see fit, they'll instill in them the "right" mentality.

    I've never held with that, personally. The results I've seen of it so far are that kids emerge quite unequipped, mentally and emotionally, for the reality that hits them when they leave home.

    I go the opposite way. I try not to shelter them from the realities of life, and rather err on the side of over-exposure than bubble-wrapping. They'll stick with good decisions much better if they make them for themselves, through their own understanding that's come from experience, than if I make them for them and they're just doing as they're told, not understanding why. At least, not from experience, which is the best kind of understanding, says I. Let them make their own mistakes, as early as possible, and learn from them.

    And besides, it's better they get things out of their system while they're young and have little to lose and very little money to blow on it. I've seen people who were sheltered as children really screw their lives up by trying to compensate for it when they've got money, jobs, families, homes and much more to lose.

    (Edited the previous thing cos it really was far too long!)
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  3. #3
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    I'm interested in peoples thoughts on raising strong children. Strong in the sense that they know themselves. They know their own strengths and talents.
    Hmm...
    From the earliest of ages, let them hear different languages, genres of music, experience different cultures and people, expose them to a wide range of activities and environments.

    Support them in the things that they are drawn to. I think the best way to do that is to follow their lead from birth and act more as knowledgeable tour guide in a strange land, versus say, a judge or police of character and deeds. I think it's also important to remember that they frequently know more than we do. The healthy baby knows when they're hungry, tired, and ready to walk and talk. Their signals prompt us to act. Their protest give us some understanding of who they are and what they dislike.

    We are our children's mirror. In us, they see themselves. If we trust them, there is a better chance that they will trust themselves and others.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    What are your thoughts on finding talents through tests?
    I think test could be useful, but I think that they are less than necessary for a child that has been trusted and allowed to explore and experience in a safe and secure environment.

    IMO, most of us need test to discover our talents and desires because we have been following the lead of others since birth in a way that we didn't choose. We were told that we couldn't be trusted to know the most basic things about ourselves. We don't know when we're really hungry or full because we've been eating on someone else's schedule. We don't know what sparks our interest because we often had to put those interest aside to meet the demands of our school. As a result, we don't really know ourselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    Any other thoughts and resources you have found useful.
    Good blog by Dr.Peter Gray about children and emergent skill development.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn

    I especially like this article in relation to your question:https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...ies-not-coerci
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

  4. #4
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    I'm with Proximo.

    I am very honest and genuine with my kids. I do not have a "Daddy Filter" so I am the same with them as I am with anyone else. I am very consistent.

    I tell them the truth about whatever we are experiencing together and whatever they ask me. We've talked about "bad strangers" who would try to take them away from Mommy and Daddy and how to avoid getting into situations where that is likely to happen.

    I've taught them that they are to be kind and good, but not to take shit. They are smart and creative and funny children. I will not pump their young minds with a distilled BS version of the world only to let them re-learn everything later. That is a waste of their time and mine.

    They know that there is a time to play, and a time to do as they are told because a certain amount of things must get done each and every day. We work first, and play later. I let them wrestle with me, we draw pictures, we play music, we sing songs. Life is fantastic. I love being a Father.

  5. #5
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Work first, play later? What kind of SP are you?
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Work first, play later? What kind of SP are you?
    One that wants to get homework, bathtime, story time, and bed time completed by 8 PM, so that I can play with Mrs. Hall.

    Duhhhh.

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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    I agree with Halla and Proximo. I have always been honest and consistent with my children. No matter what the subject, I've always promised them I would give them truthful answers and if I didn't have answers for their questions it I would certainly find them. Children will do what they observe and are taught in so many ways and this promise for honesty has let them absorb that virtue into their own core values. You're their first teacher as a parent and you have to take that seriously.

    I've always taught them to be their own person but that they always have a responsibility to themselves and for their actions. As much as we as parents want to keep the hurts to a minimum it's not smart to do that. I also subscribe to the not censoring idea the vast majority of the time. I don't see how keeping them shielded then expecting them to be able to handle real life when they're sprung from the nest is indicative of good parenting. I do encourage their talents, strengthening weaknesses that they have and the ability to make decisions for themselves, taking charge of their own lives. So far, I'm very pleased with the young men they have become.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I agree, it is important to be honest with your kids. Also, thanks for the links EnFpFer.

    I found these two books very interesting...
    Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education
    Your Child's Strengths: Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them

    Also, I think that it is inevitable that kids will be in an environment that pushes them in ways that they are not suited for. How would you say it is best to give kids a strong sense of self?
    By example? Knowing and speaking honestly about your own strengths and weaknesses.
    Pointing out to them the good they have done?
    Building an environment where the strengths you perceive in them can flourish?

    I think I have gone and answered my own question but I'm really interested in anything you have to add.

  9. #9
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I hope it doesn't sound awful (and I promise I'm a really nice mom and my kids aren't traumatized at all) but I think an important element is being honest with them about the things they're not as great at as well as what they're great at. I think self-esteem is really, really important. However, I think it doesn't really work if it's not genuine. If your kid trips over her own feet on the way to the bathroom, then I really don't think telling her she's the most graceful ballerina you've ever seen is going to be all that convincing.

    At the same time, it's important to be positive when they try things outside their comfort zone. For example, my kid's fit, but not very athletic. On the soccer field she can often be seen looking for oddly-shaped clouds. But we encouraged her to try soccer anyway, and basketball, and Aikido. And she enjoyed them all, without feeling like she had to be the best at them. I'm not telling her she's a soccer star but I'm expressing geniune pleasure that she's so gung-ho about plunging into new things. The emphasis is on how much she enjoys them, not how good she is at them. So, with the aforementioned clumsy ballerina, emphasizing her hard work and willingness to try things is preferable to praising her actual dancing.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Another, non-sports-related example: I often tell my daughter that people's faults are the flipsides of their best qualities. Originally I did this to encourage her not to demonize kids who are hard to get along with at school but it has turned out to be useful for helping her learn about herself as well. She took it there herself- I didn't say "And what you suck at is X, which is the flipside of Y!" She remarked (in kid-language) that her sensitivity is what she loves about herself, but that it also means she can't always control her emotions and is vulnerable to teasing. I thought that was pretty self-aware for a kid. Heck, it's more self-aware than many adults I know.

    Bottom line- I guess teaching them the value of introspection and accepting themselves as they are (rather than being down on themselves OR having an unrealistically awesome and therefore fragile self-image) would be my approach.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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