A wise person once said “The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” Because that’s the goal of parenting, right? We all want to raise compassionate, independent young adults, who have the courage, confidence and desire to reach their potential. But how do we raise children to be this way: resilient and confident?

Self-confidence, for the most part, rises out of a sense of competence – from a feeling that we can do things, big and small. This is why I wrote the book titled: 100 LIFE SKILLS – 100 THINGS EVERY KID NEEDS TO KNOW BEFORE LEAVING HOME. I thought it was important for parents to understand that they are raising the future adults of this world.

The bottom line is this: we need to equip our kids with the skills they need to survive and prosper in the real world.  Eventually they will leave home and we need to do what we can to guarantee their greatest chance of success in life.  The only thing is as a mother of two children, one with a degenerative neuro-muscular condition, I understand full well that not every child or young adult will be able to master all the skills I have written about in the book or even other skills that we hope they will achieve.




Under these circumstances, I think it is important that children start where they are, use what they have and do what they can. In my book THEY SAY I’M SPECIAL: 100 TIPS FOR RAISING A HAPPY AND RESILIENT CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS I identified numerous ways in which a parent could help boost their child’s confidence, especially when they are not able to do so in the traditional way.

You will need to identify your child’s strengths and work out what they are capable of doing. Can they help oversee and manage any activities? Can they assist in making decisions on meal-planning or purchases? Can they offer their opinions, ideas or thoughts on a subject matter? Can they become experts on a topic that interests them?

Every child has his or her own strengths and has something special to offer so you will need to tailor their personal tasks and skill-building exercises to their individual abilities.  Do not do for your children what they can do for themselves.

Remember every child wants to feel competent and smart. Even children with special needs have a desire to feel needed and valuable, just like everyone else.  Just as able-bodied kids grow confident when they gain new skills, children with special needs also benefit from the opportunity to assert their independence.

Parenting isn’t the easiest job in the world I know but it is easier when we understand that every child is special and has something unique to offer in this world. As Lady Bird Johnson once said: Encourage and support your kids because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them. Help them to see this truth too.

Look for different ways that you can make this happen as self-confidence is the foundation of all great success and achievement.  As a wise person once said, “The simple goal of being a family, of parenting our children, doesn’t really look any more complicated than this: Raise them well equipped to leave home and to establish faithful lives that are both fulfilling and self-sufficient.”


It’s not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings. Ann Landers


Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. Maya Angelou




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