People who know me, have worked with me, or have been clients of mine all know.... I believe in parents being in charge and kids understanding their role in the family. Having said that; I also believe that kids need to be raised feeling empowered and believing in the divinity within them.
So, how do you raise empowered kids but don't lose control? It all starts when you give birth-literally. Bonding with your baby has started in the womb, but that bonding continues as soon as they are born. They get a sense of your love from the energy you project toward them. Then, as soon as your child can see, they need to know that you unconditionally love them and that they are worthy in your eyes. Your baby should always see loving eyes looking at them when they look into yours. Talking to them in a regular voice, holding them, being attentive to their needs and responding to their cries reinforces your bond and begins the first step in the relationship-trust. Once your baby can trust you, then they are open to listening to your instructions and will take their cues from you as they grow.
As your child grows, how you speak to them and what you say will be crucial. You can empower your child by giving them choices, validating their efforts, and reminding them that they are perfect being themselves. As the parent, you will control the choices your child can make, but empowering them to make choices from what they are given by you will help them feel capable and empowered. The more choices you can give your child and the validation you give them when they make those choices the better.
Validation needs to be honest. Don't tell a child who just broke a cup by dropping it on the floor that he did a good job carrying the cup! It is okay to praise him for trying to carry the cup, or for thinking of you and bringing your cup to you. Praising a child for their efforts gives them the message that attempting something is valued. Children lose their self worth when they feel the need to be perfect; but if they are taught that they are valued for trying and doing their best-not the outcome, your child will have the self confidence to do amazing things.
Your job is to raise an empowered child who will one day become independent of you. Really! Parents are available to answer questions, give feedback, and assistance for as long as their child is alive. Once your child is grown; however, you should have modeled for them how to make good decisions, be a person of character, be loving and compassionate to others, and lead independent lives. When you do that, the bond you created with your baby will last a lifetime and the relationship that develops will give you a sense of pride and ultimate joy.