Awesome-ifying your children is an imprecise science.
It involves a delicate balance of guidance (aka brainwashing), exploration, experience, genetics, and not knowing what the hell you’re doing trial and error.
Even if you’ve got all of this, and the stars align, success could still be out of your reach.
However, with proper guidance, continued dedication, commitment to excellence, and desire to have a really good time, pretty much any human can be brought up awesome.
Here are some tips to draw it our of your little one:
How To Make Your Child Awesome #KidSwag
1. Let them have fun. The power of play is underestimated in today’s society. Kids need time to build forts, and play dress-up, and daydream. They need to time to pretend to be Batman and Janet Jackson (what? I was all over Rhythm Nation). It builds character and everyone knows that character is the key to awesome.
2. Make them try things. Like, outside the box type things. Sign them up for an art class, take them clamming, make them count their money out and pay the cashier on their own next time they want to buy something. Never mind that they are shy, or scared, or can’t count to save their lives. Might they be a little uncomfortable? Probably. But, being uncomfortable is just part of life. Gives them grit. Grit=awesome.
3. Teach them to laugh at themselves. People who take themselves too seriously are generally NOT awesome.
4. Talk to them. Like they’re humans, not like they’re babies, sometimes not even like they’re children. Encourage critical thinking in your discussions. Ask them their opinion and make them justify it. Disagree with them. Teach them how to stand by their words.
5. Encourage creativity. Buy crayons and markers and paint and Play-doh (I will not be liable for any they ingest or get stuck in your carpet). Let them at it. They don’t need a Pinterest-inspired craft project EVERY time.
6. Dance with them. I taught The Dudes how to twerk. Miley Cyrus ain’t got nothing on these Dudes.
7. Tell them why they’re beautiful. So they know it has nothing to do with the attractiveness of their faces or the coolness of their hair, but everything to do with bigness of their hearts.
8. Don’t let them quit. Fortitude is a dying attribute, but honestly, you can’t be awesome without it. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up!
9. But, let them fail. Then you can tell them that it’s okay, it happens to everyone, and it’s the only way you can truly learn how to succeed.
10. Forgive them when they’ve done something wrong.
11. Let them hang out with old people. They know stuff and they say funny things that will sound even funnier when your kids pick them up and use them on you later.
12. Be present. Not always on your phone, not always involved in another task. Just sit, listen, look, touch, sniff their heads, lick their faces if that’s your thing. Just be with them and let them feel you.
13. Leave them alone. They don’t need you up in their grills micromanaging their awesome. It will grow and flourish if you step off a little.
14. Make sure they know who Madonna was in the 80s, who Justin Timberlake is now, and who Michael Jackson will forever be in our hearts. There aren’t awesome people who don’t know these things.
15. Give them faith. Whatever that means to you. They may need it one day.
16. Let them dress themselves, express themselves, and love themselves even more than you do (totally not possible, but you get what I’m saying). Let them believe they can fly, just remind them not to jump off of the top bunk to test the theory.
17. Make them believers. Tell them they’re awesome. At least once a day. Some times 5 times. The more they hear it, the more they’ll believe.