PARENTING: Help your child reach for the stars

09 April 2018

During our children’s formative years, we should do our best to help them realise what they are good at and what they enjoy doing, and the best way to achieve this is by letting them experiment. It’s only natural that we, as parents, worry that our children can go astray if we are not careful enough, but we have to keep in mind that being overprotective won’t do any good either. So, let’s take a look at the list of some useful advice on how to help the children fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams.

Teach them the importance of responsibility

Responsibility is definitely one of the core values and we have to instill it in our children from an early age. That’s clear, but the real question is how to achieve this? Well, you can start with your own example, explain to them that you have some chores which you do on a daily basis, whether it is washing the dishes or cooking. Then, let them see how diligent you are with these obligations, and show them how enjoyable it can be. Finally, you can start introducing some easy tasks which your children can complete on their own, such as setting the table before dinner. This way, you’ll help them understand that everyone should help around the household and be responsible for managing their own share of tasks. This may seem insignificant at that early age, but it will certainly help them later in life, especially during their school years.

Let them make their own decisions, but be ready to help as well

As we’ve already mentioned, worrying too much can lead to being overprotective of your children and not giving them enough space to develop their personality and interests. So, instead of giving orders, give them advice and even let them make mistakes since that’s how they’ll learn for the next time. Additionally, you should observe your child closely and try to determine when they really need your help and when not, and be ready to assist them when necessary without putting too much pressure on them. For example, teenagers are feeling often lost when choosing the right college and can find it hard to estimate what they are good at. So, if you notice that your child wants to get into University, try to be supportive and help them realise what qualities they possess. And, one of the best ways to do this is to help your child discover their potential and gain enough self-confidence to be able to decide on their own what they truly want.

Don’t be too harsh with criticism

Another common mistake that parents make is being too harsh with criticism since they think that’s the best way to make their child listen to them and not repeat the same mistakes. However, the results are usually completely the opposite of what you expect. Instead of teaching them to be more cautious, you’ll just hinder their self-confidence. Consequently, the next time when they encounter some issues, instead of learning and drawing conclusions which will help them in the future, they will feel incapable and will give up easily. So, if you want for your child to be able to fight for their dreams, focus on their positive sides and provide them with support instead of criticism.

Don’t make fun of them

This advice probably seems obvious to you, but sometimes even laughing about something that your children wear, say or something they like can still hurt their feelings, even though there were no bad intentions. Teenagers are particularly sensitive, so, instead of laughing about the music they’re listening to, you should learn how to listen to them and maybe find out what it is that they like so much about that genre. This is a small gesture, but you’ll show them that you appreciate their choices and interests. Finally, it doesn’t happen rarely that children come to us presenting their big goals of becoming pilots and movie stars. And, even though you know that these plans are not that easy to achieve or are even impossible, don’t crush their dreams. Give them some time instead, and they will realize on their own what they’re capable of.

All in all, children are quite sensitive beings, so you have to know how to approach them. We all wish the best for them, but sometimes this desire for them to succeed is so strong that we forget to think about their own interests and ideas. Thus, instead of putting too much pressure on them, give them some space to develop their personality, and rest assured that they will fulfill their potential once the right time comes.

 

Written by

Tracey Clayton / Author

Tracey Clayton is a mum of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids. She’s also passionate about traveling, fashion and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

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