It’s important that your kids are strong and healthy…but what about a child’s emotional skills? Is that something that you need to teach them?
When I look at my (now grown) children and their current situation, it makes me so proud to say they are intellectually very smart, and they put in lots of effort towards their careers. Overall, they are just great kids.
However, what I have experienced overall within my sphere of friends and family, as well as with my clients, is that a lot of kids are not well adjusted, and it’s because they are not emotionally resilient.
Look at how many kids are unable to have stable, loving relationships in their adult years. They cannot find relationships that fulfill them.
Many are not able to cope with the complexities, and many are very unstable emotionally.
Some families struggle so much that their children turn to bad, addictive habits such as drugs.
Parents play an important role in motivating their kids to get good grades and to study hard so they can get into good colleges.
However, where parents run into trouble is they don’t teach their children the emotional skills to navigate this complicated world.
It starts with the fact that a lot of parents don’t draw appropriate boundaries for their kids. The parents are focused on being pleasing parents and wanting to be friends with their kids.
This is a wrong strategy.
When kids are growing up, parents must draw boundaries and create situations where kids can learn and develop emotional intelligence.
I come from the “old school” where my father and mother did not care whether their son liked them or not. They wanted a better outcome for me and my future so they gave me a lot of love and very solid boundaries, and then they made sure I complied.
We have a culture of parents who want to be pleasing parents instead of pleasant parents with rules and boundaries.
It is essential you stay a parent versus becoming a friend.
Our kids have lots of friends, but only one set of parents. We have to step into our role as a parent and guide them to their potential. This will help create adults who have great values and purpose in life.
Now, creating boundaries and staying firm does not mean creating a dictatorship, or not caring about your children. It means setting boundaries that you expect to be respected, and providing gentle but firm reactions when those boundaries are not met.
For example, when your kids make a wrong choice, try not to yell, get angry, and punish them.
Instead, give your children time in their room alone to think, and have them come out to talk with love when they are done.
Talking about situations with your children is essential. When you talk about mistakes and wrong choices, you help your children learn.
I came to this country when I was 22 years old and got married at age 25. We had our first child when I was 26 and we as a couple made a decision that my wife will focus on nurturing and guiding our kids to great values and education.
Now I have two great kids, aged 40 and 33. They have done well in their careers and have great value.
Parenting in this way takes time and effort, and there are no shortcuts.
But if you parent in a way to teach your kids emotional skills, you will all see the results.