As parents, we often impart aspects of our personality onto our children. While it’s never a problem to share your beliefs and values with your child, it’s also important to teach children how to be individuals. Your child might be just a child today, but is tomorrows citizen, and game-changer. As parents, we have a unique opportunity to nurture our child’s distinctiveness. Our job isn’t to construct a personality for our child, but rather to nurture his/her inherent individuality.

1. Challenge them!

One of the hardest tasks children encounter is simply trying to figure out who they are and what they want to become. Although identifying interests takes time, it is never too late to make them learn about their strengths and weaknesses especially when they are young.

2. Slacking off leads to nowhere

Teach them that earning and learning are more important than the natural gifts they were born with. Many times, teachers or parents will get trapped into praising kids with the usual, “you’re so smart!” While it’s important to praise a job well done, “being smart” isn’t always about the intelligence that we’re born with.

More importantly, what makes the difference in learning and achievement is good old-fashioned hard work. Teaching your child to develop a strong work ethic is paramount to their success regardless of their IQ. This helps kids build important character traits while exploring their potential for success, fueling their interests.

3. Encourage interests before they fade

Does your child take an interest in sports or theater? Maybe it is something else. Well, there is no better time to encourage your child to take up these interests. Provide them with the time and opportunity to put effort into their interests and you will see them learn new things and grow.

Furthermore, encourage them to pursue their academic interests as well. Let them take up tests and figure out what they want to pursue as a career. Children learn better when they grind through what they love over something that is forced onto them by us.

4. Make way for assertiveness

One way to avoid self-esteem issues later on in life is to make sure your child knows how to stand up for themselves. This involves supporting their interests and pursuits while teaching them to express who they are without feeling bad about it. We, as parents, should make our children understand that it’s okay to be different, unique and to chase the goals your child might aspire to.

5. Overprotectiveness must be controlled

It’s only natural that we want to protect our children. But sometimes when we go overboard, we end up taking away valuable, teachable moments from them. Children need to learn that success only comes through hard work, multiple attempts, and often, failure. This will help them build a strong sense of motivation and desire. This will help them to develop persistence and determination, allowing them to follow their dreams. In turn, children will grow into adulthood with a healthy sense of self-respect for doing the things they love.

There are many ways to build a sense of individuality within a child, but the best ways are those that also teach them to respect themselves and their interests while building healthy character traits to help them navigate through their lives. It’s never too early to teach kids to follow their dreams and find their passions, and with the right amount of guidance, you can be confident that you are teaching your children to find their passions and live the life they dream!