Author of the book Count on Me 123, J.B. Frank, shares their tips and recommendations for becoming a reliable person. They also share how you can help your children become someone you can count on!
Worth Counting On
“The only thing worth counting on are people you can count on,” according to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the thirty-fourth President of the United States. And he was right. As a former major general, he knew the value of having someone you can count on. This is an intangible quality we would want to teach our children. We would want our children to grow into people that others can count on.
Do you have someone you can count on? Does your family? How can we help our children so that they develop into a strong and secure person who believes in themselves and encourages others to do the same? How can we help our kids become people that others can count on?
When children know they are loved for who they are, they begin to realize that they matter. Children deserve to be loved and to know they are loved. The more you love your children and show them they are loved, the more they are able to love others. They think good things about themselves—they believe in themselves. Their self-esteem grows and they feel liked and accepted. They are proud of what they can do and, in turn, they begin to see the good in others and respect them for who they are. The more they love themselves in a healthy way, the more they will give and love others.1
When we count on someone, we know they’ll be there for us when we need them. More importantly, the people you can count on are the kind of people that keep at it and get back up when they are knocked down. Through these experiences, they develop a strength of character that helps them make it clear they aren’t going to settle for less or take “no” for an answer. They’re mindful of others and care about their welfare.
This gumption, this stick-to-it mindset, starts to develop when one learns to believe in oneself. It’s important that children believe in their abilities to make decisions and to move toward their goals and dreams. Children already must count on the adults around them to help them learn what they need to survive. They need to learn what the world is all about and—most importantly—to begin to understand themselves and the community around them. It’s not just about their needs and wants. They begin to realize that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. And they seek to be a part of the world.
To help young people achieve positive self-esteem and become someone that people can count on, adults in the kid’s sphere of influence need to be aware of their role and the simple things they can do to nurture these qualities—empathy, compassion, gumption, and confidence. Some supportive activities include:
- Foster children’s curiosity by asking questions rather than providing answers.
- Communicate and listen to young people with love and respect.
- Set boundaries in positive ways, without shaming or blaming.
- Encourage kids to ask for help when they need it.
- Play, laugh, dream, and have fun together.
- With compassion, hold children accountable for their actions.
- Work hard, make decisions, and solve problems together.
- Give kids time in their day for personal reflection.2
These reinforcing activities can help a child develop a positive self-image and true confidence. As a byproduct, this can also create a strong family identity—regardless of how the family is defined—and can deepen the love in those relationships. And who doesn’t want that?
Count on Someone
Counting on someone—or even thinking we need to count on someone—can make any of us feel a little vulnerable. We don’t want to be disappointed. But when a child feels strong in their own skin and in their own solid foundation of who they are, this helps to build a secure bridge out into the world. Despite the outcome and despite disappointments, they keep going. They keep on striving. And with this striving—dusting themselves off and continuing forward—comes the rewards of a life spent helping, encouraging, and supporting others and themselves. And they and everyone will know: They are someone they can count on!