The Shift Network Blog

2 Keys to Raising Happy, Conscious, Confident Kids (And 2 Things to Avoid at All Costs)
Phil Bolsta
By Phil Bolsta
Shift Team Writer

It’s 1:00 am. Your teenage daughter or granddaughter is out having fun with friends. When everyone piles in a car, it’s clear that the driver has been drinking. Your loved one hesitates.

Whether or not she climbs in the car— whether or not she chooses to risk her life — depends on the question she asks herself in that moment....

And that question will depend on whether or not you’ve prepared her for such a moment.

(Below you'll find out what that question is, along with other key insights for raising happy, conscious children.)

How?

By putting into practice two of Shelly Lefkoe’s powerful keys to raising happy, conscious children....

Kids today are growing up in a very different world than we did. If they haven’t been guided to thoughtfully and consciously make their way in the world, they may unwittingly put themselves in harm’s way.

That’s why Shelly, founder of Parenting the Lefkoe Way, is so passionate about encouraging parents and grandparents to empower the children in their lives by actively and constructively shaping their thinking process and beliefs about themselves.

Here are 2 ways to do that:

1.  Ask the one question that will help them make the best possible choice in any situation….

Asking the question consistently — “What might the consequences be?” — is a powerful way to ensure that she’ll live consciously and avoid putting herself in dangerous or compromising situations.

In the example of the drunk driver, asking the wrong question may endanger your child’s life.

If her first concern is peer pressure, the question she’ll ask herself is, “What will my friends think of me if I chicken out and don’t get in the car?”

If you’ve done your job right by advising her since she was young to ask a better question, she’ll ask herself, “What might the consequences be if I get in that car?”


2.  Help your child feel powerful.

When you demonstrate that who your child is and what they say and want is important, you’re teaching them that they have the power to confidently and positively effect change.

How do you do this? Instead of resorting to “Because I said so,” ask for your child’s help. For example: “I need to leave for work in the morning by 8:00 but you don’t want to get out of bed early enough to make that happen. How can we handle this? I need your help.”


Of course, what’s just as important as knowing what to do is knowing what NOT to do....

Here are 2 things Shelly cautions you to avoid at all costs:

1.  Do not angrily pass up teachable moments.

When Shelly’s daughter was caught lying about staying at a friend’s house, she started sobbing because she thought she had damaged her relationship with her parents.

Shelly’s husband calmly asked her a series of questions, ending with “So what would you do differently next time?” Satisfied that their daughter had learned a valuable lesson, no punishment was handed down. Instead, the family went to dinner and a movie.

“The next day, I promise you, I had a different kid on my hands,” says Shelly. “It was like she grew up; something shifted in her because she was allowed to make a mistake.”


2.  Do not perpetuate limiting beliefs.

Think about what happens to a child who grows up in a household where others deliver the message through words and actions, “Why does life have to be so hard? No matter how hard I work, there's just never enough money.”

That child will believe that money must be scarce and hard to get. And he or she will become an adult with the same negative mindset.


And in the video clip below, Shelly urges you to acknowledge your child or grandchild for who they are, not for what they do or don’t do.

 


Ultimately, the best way to empower your child to live confidently and consciously is for you to model what that looks life.

And as Shelly teaches, the more thought and effort you put into your parenting, the more thoughtful and compassionate your children will be like.


PS - Enjoy the insights above? If so, parents, grandparents and beloved allies are invited to download Shelley Lefkoe's free hour-long audio, The Most Important Secret to Empowering the Children in Your Life: