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How to Raise Kids With a Passion for Life

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When I was a little girl, I would literally jump out of bed in the morning. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I would spring into the air. I had a passion for life. Now part of that enthusiasm might have been my natural disposition (I tend to be an optimist), but the other part was that I felt safe and loved in my home and free to focus on loving life as an exuberant kid.

If we want our children to have a “life is great” attitude and outlook — whether they show it by jumping out of bed or not — we need to meet three of their essential needs: acceptance, affection, and affirmation.  When we can meet those needs consistently (there will be days we fall short; it’s just a fact of the mom life), our children will feel so safe and secure that they will be able to embrace life and all it has to offer. So for help meeting those needs, take a look at how to raise children with a passion for life.

In the book Parenting at Its Best!: How to Raise Children with a Passion for Life, the author says that these three needs — acceptance, affection, and affirmation — “determine your child’s well-being more than any other factors.” They also are what give children the ability to cultivate a passion for life.

How to Show Acceptance.

every interactionEvery interaction with our children gives us the opportunity to show we accept them and that means we accept them as they are in that moment, not as we hope they will be one day. Even if we do hope that our children will change their behavior and attitudes, we must always be ready to accept them as they are – the good with the not so good. This acceptance is the foundation of love between mother and child. It says I accept you because you are my child. Period. Always.

As you interact with your child, run your words through this filter: Do they send the message that I accept my child, understand my child, and honor him? Here are exact phrases you can say to show your child acceptance. When your child feels accepted, he will feel confident to move into the world with passion.

How to Show Affection.

To show your children affection beyond just I love you, they need to “hear” through your actions and words that you treasure them. Make a point to really connect with your child so you can show affection. It can be as quick as shooting them an intentional smile when you both hear something funny. Or, when you have more time, it can be sitting down next to them on the couch while they’re watching TV and rubbing their back or giving them a kiss on the cheek. Showing  intentional physical affection can start with something as simple as hugging your child more. Here’s a fun way to do that.

You’ll want to be aware, of course, of the kinds of affection your child is open to based on his age and the setting. My 11-year-old son will let me muss his hair at home, but I would never do that in front of his friends. But no matter your child’s age or sex, they need your affection.

How to Show Affirmation.

Think of affirmation as a seal of approval. When you give this to your child, they hear, I think what you’re doing is great. I believe in you. You can do it. Affirmation is buying into your child 100 percent. That doesn’t mean you’ll love everything she does, but it does mean that you show her that you are convinced of her value and that you think she is a good person.

Having your affirmation will give your children a solid base from which to fend off the doubts and failures that come with living. They’ll be able to have a passion for life because they won’t have self-doubt eating away at them. This printable will help you express to your child that you are proud of her.

So try, every day, to show your children acceptance, affection, and affirmation. By meeting these needs, your children will feel safe and secure enough in themselves to see life as a great adventure, not something scary or harsh. They’ll be better able to have a passion for life.

Let’s Talk: Do you model for your kids how to have a passion for life?


What are you most passionate about in your life?

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