by: E.B. Johnson
There is perhaps no job more simultaneously challenging and important than that of a parent. When you bring another life into this world, you become responsible for harboring it and teaching it how to live. If we want to raise healthy children who build a healthier world around them, then we have to teach them how to say “yes” to life despite its challenges and setbacks.
Happy adults are those who embrace life.
Life is a rollercoaster ride that’s filled with all kinds of ups and downs. No matter where you are in your own respective journey, you still have to be willing to embrace things as they come and say “yes” to new opportunities and new connections. Happy adults are those who learn how to embrace the fullness of life, and they get there by being raised by parents with the right vision.
Just as you teach your child to tie their shoes and brush their teeth, you also have to teach them how to live a full and happy life. This comes with its own challenges, but it’s important to stay focused on as your child grows. They look to you for nourishment and support, but they also look to you to understand how they should build their own futures.
Teach your child to say “yes” to life, no matter what disappoints them or gets in the way. If you want them to have happier relationships with their environments, you need to teach them to question things and live creatively in line with their truths. Make it safe for them to ask you questions and make it safe for them to live their own lives out authentically in the open. Raise a child who embraces life by showing them how you embrace your own.
How to teach your children to say “yes” to life.
It’s time for you to teach your child how to create a life that is both fulfilling and deep. Make it safe for them to question the world, encourage them to ask for what they want, and above all else teach them the value of living authentically. Then, they will find the courage to say “yes” to life and everything that comes with (ups and downs included).
1. Make it safe to question things
Our species was given a great gift when we were given brains that were able to learn and reason. That is how we were able to shape our environments and build the societies we see today. We questioned things, but questioning is not always encouraged in the family household. That’s just where we have to take things, though, if we want children who love their lives and love them fully.
Make it safe for your child to question things. Allow them to ask you questions about anything and don’t show upset and frustration. When you — the primary power figure in your child’s life — teach your child it’s not okay to question you (ever), you teach them to do the same politically and in their intimate lives.
We have to constantly question the world around us. We have to constantly question ourselves and the lives and relationships we’re building. That’s how we stay aligned with our values and our deeper truths. That’s how we piece together relationships that bring us love and support. By teaching your child to question everything, you will hand them a life in which they never stop growing.
2. Encourage creative living
To live creatively is to take action and take control of your life in a way that is both powerful and transformative. When we insist on creativity, we find new and more authentic ways in which to realize our needs. We also build fuller lives and open avenues of success that we may not have imagined previously. Truly want a child that thrives? Encourage them to live creatively.
It’s essential that you encourage your child to live creatively if you want them to succeed and embrace life as it comes. By teaching your child how to be creative, you teach them how to see different opportunities where others see rejection. This encourages bravery and teaches them to rush toward life with their arms wide open.
That’s because your child will come to realize that there is always another path. Look for a different way to do things and you learn to think differently about everything in your life. Encourage your child to be a success by creating, doing, and being all the things they want to be. We find our place in this world by making it for ourselves…and that requires creativity.
3. Cultivate honest asking
When we move through this world failing to ask for what we want or need, we get stuck with the leftovers and a life which is both unfulfilling and unrewarding. For our children to have a better existence than we did, we have to show them that we are responsible for asking for what we want and what we need — both from our partners and our environments in general.
Your child needs to know that it’s safe for them to ask for what they need. It’s the only way they can comfortably come to embrace a “yes” lifestyle. Beyond that, it’s easier to steer a child toward the right decisions when they’re honest about asking us for what they want, need, or are interested in.
Cultivate a home environment that is safe for your child in all respects. Make it safe not only to ask questions, but to ask for the emotional and physical needs that they have. This way, your child learns to commit to this same pattern of honest asking in their adult relationships and life experiences. To get what we want, we have to learn to ask for it and to manifest it intentionally.
4. Help them understand emotions
A big part of teaching your child how to embrace a life full of “yes” is teaching them how to process the complicated and (sometimes) difficult emotions that come with that lifestyle. No matter how much we might say “yes” to life, it can (and will) often say “no” to us. Those are the moments that are important to highlight for your child as they grow to understand their world.
Help your child understand and manage their negative emotions and thereby how to deal with rejection and the difficulties of life. Teach them that all emotions are equal, and none of them are “bad”. Allow them to see you deal openly with your own (age appropriate) issues as a mature and level-headed adult who thinks through their feelings before reacting.
The more you help your child understand their emotions, the more confident they will become in who they are. It will also help them to enhance the way they communicate their needs, and their level of emotional intelligence. All of these things add up to living a more authentic life in adulthood, and one that is emotionally honest in word and in deed.
5. Live life out in the open
As parents, many live with the pressure of needing to be something they aren’t. It’s understandable. You don’t want your children to make the same mistakes that you did. Living this type of lie, though, only teaches our children to lead the same insincere lives in the future. Want them to be happy? Want them to embrace a life that leaves them fulfilled? Be honest with them.
Live your life out in the open and stop trying to pretend that you are someone that you aren’t. Your children know when you’re scamming them. Don’t tell your child to keep secrets or engage in lies that protect your image or the family image you’re trying to cultivate.
Instead, show them what it means to be a kind, compassionate person of integrity. Be candid about challenges you’re facing, and demonstrate the ways in which you come to your decisions on life (and, to a limited extent, love). Teach your child that a happy life is not one devoid of hardship, but one in which we persevere and remain true to ourselves despite that hardship. Teach them too personal accountability and what it means to take charge of your own life.
Putting it all together…
There are few other lessons more important than teaching your child how to embrace their life with authenticity and fullness. By saying “yes” to life, we say yes to opportunity and yes to a sense of meaning. Do you want your child to have a life that is blossoming with love and passion? Teach them how to be brave enough to say “yes” to life every day.
Make it safe for your child to question things. Allow them to ask you questions about anything and don’t show upset and frustration. Push them to live creatively and show them that there is always another way to get where we want to be in life. The more creative you are, the more opportunities you’ll have in life. Teach your child too to ask for what they want, and to ask for what they need. No one is responsible for securing those things but them, and that starts with communicating the things that are important to them. Help them understand their emotions — both the good and the bad — and live a life that is open and honest, so they can do the same. Little-by-little you will show your child that their life can be a beautiful one when they learn how to say “yes” the right way.