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Supporting each other is one of the foundational constructs of family life. As parents, it’s important that we teach them how to be good humans on every level.
Part of that is, of course, teaching them right and wrong through rewards and consequences. However, another part of it is teaching them that supporting each other is the key to good relationships both at home and in the world.
6 Tips On How To Teach Our Kids the Power of Support
These tips can help you raise children who understand the importance of supporting each other. You’ll teach them how to listen, understand, and be empathetic. You’ll also show them that with love and a great support system, the world works better, and that’s what we need much more of.
It’s so important that we be solid support systems for our children and show them that we are their allies in this world. By doing that, we show them how to be allies, and with all the injustices still going on out there, that is crucial for a better tomorrow.
The Power of Listening
Listen to your children, don’t just hear them and really process what they are saying. Listening is absolutely vital to supporting each other. Children can have a hard time expressing their feelings. It’s our job as parents to let them get their feelings out as best they can and be a safe place for them.
Children who experience the power of listening, learn to listen to others. That’s a key skill in the world, especially in the world we’re living in now. Children who learn to listen, learn to understand. They learn how to support others in their lives.
The Power of Understanding
Understanding is another key part of any relationship, including the parent/child relationship. When we let our kids see that we are truly trying to understand their problems and emotions, they begin to see us as true allies and friends in addition to parental figures.
As our children go through life, learning what being understood feels like, they learn to better understand those around them. Understanding leads to empathy, and empathy leads to truly caring about what others are going through.
The Power of Empathy
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that there seems to be a lack of empathy out there. It’s important to remember that empathy is learned, not taught. It’s a scientific fact that humans are born as selfish, self-centered creatures. It’s a survival mechanism that’s not conducive to supporting each other.
When we show our kids empathy – really try to put ourselves in their shoes – they begin to understand what a powerfully hopeful and uplifting thing it is for another person to try to understand them in a real, concerted way. It brings us closer together as parents and children, and it shows them the importance of being empathetic towards others.
The Power of Seeing Differences
One of the worst things we can do as parents who are trying to show our kids the value of supporting each other is falling into what I call “the blind” trap. The idea that our kids don’t see race or sex or any other differences in people around them is just not true. Don’t assume that because you show no prejudices that it’s enough.
We have to understand that color-blindness and other blind traps are just that – traps. Instead, we should teach our kids how to celebrate differences. Black and Brown skin is beautiful in a different way than white skin, but they’re both beautiful. Our LGBTQ friends and family are so brave to be true to themselves.
Whatever it is, from big differences to small ones, it’s about seeing them as the wonderful things they are, not pretending that we’re all the same.
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The Power of Standing Up
There’s a power in standing up for what’s right. There’s a sense of strength and courage when we focus on supporting each other. Listening, understanding, and seeing are all wonderful, but it’s important that we take action, as well. We can teach our children about the power of standing up and taking action by being their advocates.
If your child has a problem, even if it seems so small and illegitimate, take action to help them solve it. Stand up for them. Stand up with them. At times, you’ll even have to stand up and tell them that what they’re doing or saying is wrong.
Through it all, your child will begin to understand the power of standing up for what’s right. The power of being there for their fellow humans. It leads to an adult who is always willing to support and defend those who need it, and we need so much more of that.
The Power of Being an Example
Finally, one of the best ways we can show our kids the power of supporting each other is by being the example they need every single day. When we listen, understand, empathize, and stand up, we are being the example for our kids.
Children learn what they live, and we are the strongest influence in their young lives. By being examples of strength, determination, love, emotional endurance, and supporting what’s right, we raise children who do those things, as well.
Supporting Each Other is Learned, and We Can Teach It
Supporting each other – real support – is something that is learned. It’s important to teach our children how to listen, understand, empathize, and celebrate the differences we all have while showing them that we do the same.
When we practice what we preach, we raise humans who understand the importance of supporting each other through our ups and downs, and that is something the world needs now more than ever.