Lockdown: 10 ways to empower your kids now that they’re home with you

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  1. Communicate. Talk to your child and allow her to express her emotions freely. Feeling angry, hurt or embarrassed is not a crime.
  2. Choices and chores. For example, allowing her to decide which of two tops to wear will empower her, and being given household tasks to complete generates a sense of self-worth.
  3. You-and-me time. Give her your undivided attention when you can and find activities that you both enjoy. An attentive parent is priceless.
  4. Tell the truth. If you say you’ll fetch her at 3 pm, do it. Consistency breeds trust – don’t send mixed messages.
  5. Ditch the labels. Call a child “shy” and she’ll live up to her label. Rather use phrases such as, “Anna takes some time to think of what she wants to say in new situations.”
  6. Out and about. Use an activity reward system. Going on a playdate might involve rewarding your child with a trip to the zoo, for example.
  7. Watch your mouth. Become the person you want your child to be – polite, kind and non-violent.
  8. Red flags. Sudden shyness may necessitate a medical exam or psychological screening. Follow your instincts.
  9. Face the music. Avoiding shyness triggers won’t help your child. Gradually introduce her to situations that challenge her.
  10. Practice makes perfect. Using finger puppets to mimic an imminent stressful event, like a birthday party, releases tension and provides space to prepare. Talk about how many people will be there and the activities your child will enjoy.

 

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