We all want our kids to be happy and successful in their lives. Of course, finding a balance between letting them lead their own lives and helping them without meddling too much can be a bit tricky. You know more about the world than they do, but they are their own unique people. So, how do you use your experience to help your child set realistic goals and work towards achieving them? Well, we’ve got a few nice tips for you.

Be there to listen

If your child has something they want to talk about, always find time to listen to them. And listen to them with patience and understanding. If you mock them or dismiss the things they want, they’ll be very reluctant to talk to you again the future. Learn what your kid loves and what interests them, and then help them nurture those interests and stick to the things that make them happy.

Always be honest

It’s understandable that we want to spare their feelings, but our kids won’t always have us by their side to make decisions for them. You should encourage your kids in their goals, but you should also always be honest. If they want something, they need to be realistic and aware of what it takes to achieve that. Coddling them for too long, and telling them that they’re perfect when they have some problematic flaws won’t get them anywhere. They need to be aware of the problem so they could fix it.

Teach them how to take small steps

Before you make your dream come true, it’s a good idea to set up smaller, more easily achievable goals. For example, if your child wants to get into a really good college, they should first focus on getting through the school year as a straight A student. Or, even better, work from week to week, from test to test, help them get good grades and then give them small rewards occasionally. We really do mean small rewards. A piece of candy every time they get an A is a much better idea than just buying them a new PC, or giving them too many material gifts.

Teach your girls to be brave

Boys and girls are a bit different, mostly in regards to how the world treats each gender. We’ve come a long way, but our daughters will still face some judgement and obstacles that our sons may not, especially if they are intent on pursuing what is considered traditionally male interests, such as IT, engineering, sports, or a number of other things. Make sure your daughter knows her own worth at all times, encourage her, help her get high school scholarship for girls, do everything in your power to teach her that her worth is in her actions and her knowledge, not the society’s preconceived ideas of what she’s supposed to do.

Teach your boys to be patient

Boys come with their own set of troubles, and similar to girls, there are already some notions about what they can and cannot do because of their gender. Stereotypes are harmful to everyone, so if you son happens to really like dancing or something similar, be prepared to teach him how to defend his interests and stick to what he loves. Boys who are bullied can suffer even more than girls, so teach your son to be a kind, patient person, who still knows how to stand up for themselves. They need this if you want them to really do what they love, instead of conforming to some expectation and ending up unhappy.

Celebrate little victories with your kid, and make sure to involve the whole family and create a good support system that your child can rely on. They need to learn important life skills, and you can guide them through the tough times and reassure them when they are feeling insecure. Help them focus on what they want in life, and they’re bound to reach their goals.