Lucky Seven Family

Fostering Self-esteem

Recently, on a Lucky Seven Family ski trip, I found myself pondering how much independence was enough for all 5 kids.  How can I foster their self-esteem and build their ability to make informed, confident decisions?  What is the balance of providing direction versus being too controlling?

On this ski trip, we allowed all of the kids to go out on the slopes without us.  In the past, we have let the two boys (13 and 14 years old) ski alone while the rest of us were slowing waking up and donning our layers, gloves and hats.  This year, the younger girls (the oldest daughter is unfortunately injured and can’t ski this year — another post… what to do with her on a family ski trip!) were allowed to go out with the boys to ski without parents as well.  Granted, they have all been skiing since the young age of 3 so we have no concern about ability.  It’s really more about trust and putting my anxiety aside.  Trusting that they will make good decisions, watch out for one another and stick together.

Letting them ski alone is just one example of an opportunity for independence that provides our children with an understanding that their parents trust them to make decisions and believe in their abilities.  Often as parents we may think that being with them all the time protects our children, and it may in some ways, but it also may inhibit their ability to grow their own self-confidence.  Although it may be difficult to provide these opportunities to your children because of your own fears, give it a try and let your kids bomb the mountain!

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