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Have you had some kind of unexpected glitch in your travels?

Have you kept traveling along the path to see where it leads?

We all have things come up in life that may surprise us, but they don’t have to derail us. I’mproof of that myself!

And what I’ve experienced is, the more stories we hear about turning an obstacle into an opportunity, the more empowered we are to transform our own lives and have confidence that when life DOES surprise us, we’re capable of getting through anything.

In this week’s Why Not Wednesday weekly feature, I’m honored to introduce an amazing Detourist – take it away, Eric!

 Raising Strong Kids

My name is Eric and I am a Detourist.

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A strong child

A strong child is ready for the world challenges, can bounce effectively from failure and cope competently with hardships. They don’t suppress emotions or act tough. They don’t treat other people unkindly nor are they stubborn.

Developing mental strength involves teaching kids to replace negative ideas with more realistic ones. It involves teaching them to control their own emotions and how to be productive despite the circumstances. Mental strength builds resilience and helps kids get the confidence and courage to reach their potential. Raising kids that are mentally strong is tough though.

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My experience being brought up by a single mum

Being brought up in a single parent family, I was left to do most things on my own. I was forced to mature fast since my mother was busy working. This made me a strong kid. She made time for me though and she wasn’t a bad parent.

One day at the age of 6, I stayed behind in school as the other kids went home. Mum was working late but she would soon come to pick me up. I stayed with my class teacher but when it was time for her to go home, she took me with her. I stayed with her family that night. I remember playing with her kids and I did love spending time with them. Mum came for me in the morning since she couldn’t make it the day before. We went home and she made up for it with my favorite breakfast, bread and eggs. This experience was one of the important ones in my life. I learnt that my mum would not always be there for me. I learnt that my neighbors, my friends and acquaintances would have to come through for me every now and then. I learnt that things don’t always go as expected.

I used to go to my grandfather’s farm when we closed school and I got to spend time with my cousins. There were a lot of activities at the farm from looking after the cattle to looking for firewood. We were left to do most of the work on our own. Not only did I find my cousins fun to be with, being away from home made me stronger.

Practical tips

  1. See success together

Helping your child believe in himself will help achieve success.

  1. Don’t shield kids from reality

When constantly protected from reality they learn that rules apply to others and not them and neither does reality. They instead come up with their own rules and expect others to accept them.

  • No coddling

Protecting kids from everything leads to them suffering in the end. Kids that are used to rules being changed grow up knowing that people don’t believe in their abilities or their abilities don’t matter. Hardship gives kids the chance to grow.

  1. Get inspired

You should engage in something inspiring so as to light up your child. This builds their confidence.

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  • Don’t tell kids that they are great all the time

The response from parents should not always be the same; otherwise kids won’t learn what is and what isn’t great. Kids used to this learn that there is no need to try since it doesn’t make a difference.

  • Play

Play leads to happy kids and therefore strong ones.

  • Come up with an uplifting space

Making a space that feels good to a child helps them realize that the world supports them and their dreams are valid.

  • Build confidence daily

Doing small things over and over again builds a child’s strength e.g. saying affirmations on their way to school.

  1. Exercise

Eating right, physical activity and a night’s rest are key to a child’s sense of confidence.

  1. Organize a confidence building activity

Whether its soccer or singing lessons, seeing themselves succeed builds their confidence.

References

  • How to raise the strong-willed child by Robert Williams
  • Less is more by Shanice Myers

 

Conclusion

Come up with a plan of how you intend to bring up your kids to be strong outstanding individuals. Think of everything you have done before that has been detrimental to their well being and start from there. It’s obviously work in progress and you will get there a day at a time.

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That’s why I #LoveMyDetour!

The author is the creative energy behind nairobiTechie. He loves being caught up in the rain and he is happiest with a cup of tea on his side creating content and innovating. Contact him on kyaloeriq@gmail.com.

 

Thanks Eric – and now, Detourist, it’s YOUR turn…

How can you share your detour?

I’d love you to contribute!

So write me about your detour here, or use #LoveMyDetour on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

 

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