Children: nurture what is already there

1. They show interest.

Many parents misunderstand what it means to show interest and push their interests onto their children. Showing interest in your children is not telling them about your record collection or pushing them to play the sports that you liked as a child. No, it’s about finding out what interests them and being interested in their world. They ask their children questions about what they think and feel. Part of showing interest is to really listen. Authentic parents listen to their children to find out what interests them. They want to understand what it is like to be them and then support them in developing their interests.

2. They value individuality.

Authentic parents do not try to force their children to fit their expectations. They are curious and excited to meet an original person. They assure their children that they are loved for who they are, just as they are. They give their children the freedom to be themselves.

3. They let their children find their own path.

Authentic parents let their children find their own path in life. This does not imply passively looking on at all that they do, but getting involved practically, offering advice and being there for them emotionally. They understand that their children’s world is not their world. They try to get to know their children’s world, but they don’t go too far to try to enter it themselves. They know that the world of their children may be vastly different from their childhood world and that their children need to develop the skills to navigate the world of the future, not that of yesterday.

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