Children are naturally curious and exploratory. They pick up on others’ limitations, worries, and doubts, especially their parents! Consider whether you are imposing your aspirations, expectations, restrictions, or worries on your child. Is it fair to ask them what they want, or am I assuming I know better? Be a guide, but always enable your children to lead themselves and pursue hobbies and goals that are different from yours. “I’m taking you out for a drink,” my mum told me when I turned 18. She didn’t try to stop me from drinking or make it illegal. I never felt the urge to resist her or sneak around since I had the freedom to chose. When you “forbid” anything, you give youngsters an easy route to rebel. Allow your child to experience life, even the unpleasant parts. Encourage kids to make conscious decisions for themselves by asking, “What will happen in my life if I select this?” Avoid labeling your child as right or wrong, good or evil for anything they are or do. Even if they get into trouble (and they will! ), kids will learn from the repercussions. Be there for them and don’t cut them off. “What did that option produce?” inquire. What awareness did it give you that you can use in the future?” Giving them the knowledge that they have the ability to handle and change anything that isn’t working in their lives is both generative and nurturing. Self-criticism and judgment are not. The greatest gift you can give yourself and your children is self-confidence. When it comes to parenting, listen to yourself and trust your instincts, and encourage your children to do the same. “If something doesn’t feel right to choose, even if it’s your best friend telling you to do it, trust yourself and act on that,” I tell my kids.