If you want to raise a happy, healthy child, it’s not enough to provide food, shelter, and safety. A sense of purpose and direction is just as important. This lesson shows you how to develop a sense of purpose in your child and build a meaningful life.
Build a sense of purpose in your child
A healthy mind needs direction and motivation just like the body needs food and exercise. Here are some tips to give your children in creating a purposeful life:
1. Know your goals
If you want to build a sense of purpose in your child, you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish first. You need to set goals for yourself as well as for your child. Knowing what you want out of life will help motivate your child.
Ask yourself what you want out of life—not just right now but in the future too—and write down your answers on paper. Then ask yourself what kind of person you need to be to achieve those goals, and write down the characteristics that will help get you there too.
You’ll also need to develop a positive attitude and good people skills, but you’ll figure that out as you go along.
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2. Build confidence
If your child doesn’t have confidence in his abilities, he won’t have the courage to take risks or reach for his goals. That means you need to encourage him, boost his self-esteem and teach him that he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to.
Let him know that he can succeed if he tries hard enough and never gives up.
3. Set examples for your child
Your child will learn by watching what you do more than by listening to what you say, so set a good example for him by working hard and reaching your goals one step at a time.
Let her see how much satisfaction it brings you when you accomplish something difficult or when you reach a goal that has been important to you for a long time.
Help him understand that failure is just part of the process of learning how to be successful—and even failure can be rewarding if it helps us learn how not to make the same mistakes again in the future!
Let him see how much fun it is when we’re trying new things and making new friends. It will build up his healthy self-esteem!
4. Teach your child to think for himself
If you want your child to reach his goals, he needs to learn how to set his own goals and figure out how to reach them on his own. Teach him how to make decisions and then let him make those decisions for himself—even if you disagree with them.
That way, he’ll learn how to make decisions based on the information he has at the time, instead of making them based on what you want him to do or what someone else wants him to do.
This will help build a sense of purpose in your child because it will teach him that his choices are important and that they can lead him down different paths in life.
5. Build self-discipline in your child
If you want your child to be successful, she needs the self-discipline that comes from learning how to say no when she wants something but knows she shouldn’t have it or shouldn’t do it at that moment.
Self-discipline is about being able to delay gratification until a later time when we’ll enjoy it more because we won’t be so tired or so busy.
For example, if your child wants to eat candy for breakfast, teach her how to say no and to wait until lunchtime. That way, she’ll learn that her goals are more important than what she wants right now.
6. Teach your child to respect authority
Children who respect authority have a sense of control and purpose because they know that obeying their parents and teachers will help them achieve their goals in life.
They understand that there are consequences for their actions—both good and bad—and they accept the consequences without complaint or argument.
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7. Teach your child about the world around him
Take your child on trips to see new places and new things so he can learn about the world around him and see how he fits into it. He’ll learn more about himself when he sees how other people live and what other cultures are like.
He’ll also develop a sense of purpose when he learns about how people overcome adversity in different parts of the world and how they deal with things like war, poverty, natural disasters, and disease.
Show him that there is hope for the future even though bad things happen now and then.
When he sees that bad things happen to everyone at some point in life, it will help him understand that he’s not alone and that he’s not the only one who has to deal with tough times.
8. Make time for fun
It’s important to have fun every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. Teach your child how to have fun without spending money or going out, so he can have a sense of purpose and direction without breaking the bank or running up your credit card bill.
Play games together and do fun things like go on nature walks, look at art in museums, make crafts together and read books together. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it together.
9. Give your child opportunities to serve others
Giving back is an important part of building a sense of purpose in your child because it teaches him that his actions affect other people in positive ways—and that giving is better than receiving!
Volunteer opportunities are everywhere, so find something that works for you and your family. You can donate money or food to homeless shelters or soup kitchens or volunteer at animal shelters. These activities will help your children to find meaning in life.
Help your child learn how to be a good friend by teaching him how to make friends with other children and how to work with others on projects and in games.
10. Let your child experience success
If you want your child to have a sense of purpose, he needs to know what it feels like to succeed at something—even if it’s just a small thing like learning how to ride a bike without training wheels or playing an instrument well enough for his friends and family members to hear him play at church.
Make sure he knows that it’s okay for him to make mistakes as long as he learns from them and doesn’t give up. Encourage him by saying things like, “It’s okay if you don’t get it right the first time—just keep trying until you do!”
Conclusion: If you want to raise a happy, healthy child, it’s not enough to provide food, shelter, and safety. A sense of purpose and direction is just as important. This lesson shows you how to develop a sense of purpose in your child.
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