Respect Yourself. Love Yourself. Have Some Confidence.
Dr. Bernie Kuester, Ph.D, is a professional development counselor in Florida, and hosts the radio show, “Building Confidence…Building Character” for Local Progress.
By Dr. Bernie Kuester/Digitized Media for Local Progress
Sometimes we work with children, we learn a lot of knowledge about them that we wish we hadn’t. And this is just one example. We also work with them on leadership and responsibility, and we have to learn a lot about them that we wish we didn’t.
Parents need to know their kids and their strengths, and I think you should think about what things you’re not really clear about, so that you can build a relationship with your child that is strong and supportive as they go into their teens and adulthood. Now, we do know about them, but they need you to know about them to help them be sure that they have a healthy understanding of themselves, which they do, of their strengths and abilities, and, most importantly, of the people around them.
The other thing that we must never let go of is that you need to know what they’re trying to learn and understand, and that sometimes it’s hard to understand because they don’t even know how to talk about themselves. Parents, for the most part, have put in a lot of years of parenting and raising children, and this is not their first go-around. So this should be nothing that they feel rushed about, or unprepared for.
(Photo courtesy of engtonn.org)
Parents should try to be confident in their understanding of their child’s strengths and their level of education as well. In our culture, we’re taught that “yes, you have to know what you’re asking for, but you don’t have to know what you’re going to get.” We’re brought up that there is a place for who you are, and yet these days there’s a huge gulf between who you are and who you think you should be, and this is when we have our biggest trouble on things like character development or success because we come in thinking, “Well, it’s not about the person that he is, but about the persona that he needs to present to the world.”
(Photo courtesy of buckleupgalaxy.com)
Instead, we’re sending an image of something. You should try to lead by offering a model, a lifestyle, or a way of being that fits who you are and matches who you want to be.
If you’re parenting a teenager, you’re dealing with a world where those images and the habits and behaviors of the adults around them are very much being influenced by you, so it really is important that you model something that your child can look to and say, “Wow, that was my parent’s example, that was my parent’s mindset, that was my parent’s language, that was my parent’s social skills.” That’s what you want. It’s a high praise thing.
Dr. Bernie Kuester has been recognized as a Primary Resident Leadership Alum of the AARP. Dr. Kuester has been the Director of Psychological Services for the Tampa Bay Area Baptist Hospital since 2002. In 2015, he joined the board of the Spirit Communication, as well as the board of Hennephalt Psychiatric Center.
Contact Dr. Bernie Kuester at [email protected] or (813) 451-8000.