In my previous blog, I talked about investing in my employees’ personal development. I’ve made this a priority, because I want to see my team have a fulfilling life. Also, something else that’s been weighing on my mind lately is investing in personal development for kids. I think you need to plant the seeds of personal development and self-improvement with children while they are little so it can help them when they are older.
I think parents should encourage their kids, not in a forceful way…but in a way that just lets them be aware of what personal responsibility is. Investing in kids at an early age is beneficial because their brain is still in the development phase and more receptive. You want your children to become their own person, so encouraging them to invest in their personal development is a great way to give them that freedom.
Why I’m Investing in My Girl’s Personal Development Early
Honestly, I wish personal development had been more of a thing when I was a kid. I wasn’t aware of this concept or the resources available until I became an adult. For me, I feel like we should teach kids this concept to give them a significant advantage. I want them to understand that caring about themselves is a priority. They won’t naturally think about this on their own…which is why I believe pointing it out to them is so beneficial.
When you create habits while you are young, they will carry into your adult life more effortlessly. Not only that, if they develop these skills while they are young, it will shape who they are…and the type of friends they attract. It creates a positive ripple effect that could significantly impact their self-esteem.
Here are a few ways I’ve been planting seeds in my girls to take their personal development seriously.
1. The Power of Association
While I’ve been doing a morning routine for several years, I got really serious about it when we went into lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, I’m going on over 6 months now of not skipping a morning for my routine. My girls see me doing it every morning…so it’s not even a thing.
Since my kids see me investing in myself every morning, it’s normalized this habit for them. They are going to be more likely to adopt a routine of their own in the future, because it’s what I’ve modeled for them each day. Children learn by example.
2. Encourage Positive Thinking
Every one of us has to fight against negative self-talk from time to time. For some, it is an even greater battle that requires more awareness and intention to speak positively to themselves. I encourage my girls to think positively and stop them if they speak negatively to themselves.
If I hear them saying things like, “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough for this” I help them change their language. It’s important for parents to help kids recognize this negative inner talk. While they are young, they will likely speak these things out loud, but when they get older, they’ll internalize it. So, addressing it while they are still little is very important for their future self-esteem.
3. Speak Daily Affirmations
Not only do I speak daily affirmations to myself, but I also say them to my girls every day. It’s funny…because it is so much of a routine now; they’ll actually finish the affirmation I say if I start it. Our favorite is:
Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.
Also, I take the time to give them a pep talk when it’s relevant. If I see that they are struggling with something, I take a few minutes to speak into their lives. Kids need us to recognize their emotions and give them tools (words of affirmation) to deal with those emotions. A child’s mistakes can weigh heavy on them, and we can help them process these feelings.
If you are looking for daily affirmations for your kids, check out Rachel Hawkes’ post on How to Use Affirmations With Children.
4. Read Personal Development Books Out Loud
I’ve made it such a routine to read to my girls every night that they come to me when I haven’t. I like to choose books that teach personal development in parables, because it’s fun and easy to understand.
Here are a few books I recommend:
12 Pillars by Jim Rohn
The Monk That Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma
The Wealthy Gardner – Life Lessons on Prosperity by John Soforic
Also, I read them the blog posts that I write here on Morning Upgrade. This website is a lasting legacy for them to come back to when they are older. I know they won’t understand a lot of what I share on here at their age, but I think exposing them to it now will give them an advantage when they are older.
There isn’t a formula attached to personal development for kids. It’s more a matter of helping your kids establish positive habits, mindset, and confidence. These are some of the ways I’ve done this. I hope it inspires you to create your own ideas of how to invest in your kids and what works best for your family.
- Introduce self-improvement to your kids when they are young
- Model the behavior and routines you want them to adopt
- Intentionally invest in them through conversation, playing games, and reading