Positive Parenting Solutions: The BEST GIFT you can give your child this Holiday Season!


Connie Henriquez H.H.C. is a Teen Life Coach who teaches kids & teens how to overcome anxiety, self-doubt and improve  their self-esteem. For more information, call (516) 340-0378 or check out her website at startlovinglife.com. 
    December is here and it came quick! It makes you realize how quickly life goes by if we aren’t paying attention. Many parents go through days, weeks and months consumed with routine (or rat race of life), they neglect to actually enjoy life!
    I see this often when working with kids and speaking with their parents. The parent wants what’s best for their child, but most of the time they do it at their own expense. They end up getting bogged down and exhausted along the way because it becomes impossible to keep up. You as the parent weren’t meant to keep up, you were meant to love life! And I am going to show you how…
    The first thing you must do is give yourself a break! As Long Island’s Teen Life Coach, I am constantly on the phone with parents who are concerned about their children. Whether it be anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings or lack of self-esteem, these concerns are very common and usually the result of plain-old childhood pressures. However, when speaking with parents, there is often a tone of guilt in their voice as if they did something wrong to cause their child’s concerns. It breaks my heart when I hear this, because it isn’t true. AND, even if it was, it doesn’t even matter. 
    Without a doubt, every child has the ability to be happy and confident regardless of their surroundings, and that includes you, the parent. In fact, that’s what I teach the kids in my program.  Happiness is an inside job and kids should never depend on anyone, including their parents, in order to feel good. This is important because parents are HUMAN. Parents aren’t perfect, nor were they ever meant to be. So, stop putting undue pressure on yourself to be the perfect parent– it doesn’t exist. More importantly, you don’t want your child to think that it does. By doing so, you are doing a disservice to you and to them.
    Above all, raise an independent free-thinking child who knows that their happiness is JUST as important as yours. Happiness is an inside job for you (the parent) too, and shouldn’t be dictated by your child’s behavior. Yes, we know that the kids of today tend to be temperamental, but do your best to stay true to you. Appreciate yourself and know you are doing the best you can, AND that is enough! Because as a parent, the best example for your child, is finding your own happiness and teaching them to do the same!