“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we actually are.” - Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection.
We all want our children to grow up to have positive self-esteem and to love who they have become, inside and out. We want them to become the person they set out to be, and teach them that they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to. Authenticity is one key value that can help define these morals. Teaching children to recognize their true feelings, needs, and values can lead to enhanced self-confidence and positive relationships throughout their life.
Here are some tips for practicing authenticity with your children:
Allow your child the opportunity to find what they are passionate about by exposing them to as many types of activities as time (and your checkbook) will allow. After, try asking them questions about their likes and dislikes. What did they love? What didn’t they enjoy? How did it make them feel when taking part in the activity? This can provide you with information on which activities they are drawn to, while encouraging them to come up with their own conclusions on different interests they may want to pursue.
Encourage your children to focus on their strengths and what makes them unique, but also understand that embracing perceived weaknesses is critical in fostering a healthy self-relationship. Work on limiting negative self-talk, instead focusing only on positive affirmations.
Knowing yourself, and sharing that with your children is a great way to model authenticity. Be honest with who you are and be comfortable with yourself. Express your feelings, likes, and dislikes with your family, while encouraging your children to do the same.
Before your kids go to bed, take time to remind them of how amazing they are. Share reasons you are proud of them and celebrate the qualities that make them unique.
Being AUTHENTIC means being yourself! The real and true version of YOU. Be YOU no matter how others think you should be.
Share Unicorn’s message of Authenticity:
I am true to myself. I let my light shine. I can be who I am. That’s for me to define.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if my daughter never had to experience emotional distress and I could just take it away, poof, abracadabra? One of the hardest things by far about being a parent is seeing our children in pain and we could instantly ease it. Seeing them sad, hurt, or at the will of an overpowering feeling like anger or anxiety triggers great discomfort in most parents and causes us to spring into action and employ our favorite “fix it” response. . .