The opposite of “breaking down” is building-up. Children need their parents in so many ways. One of the most vital of our jobs is to help our children realize their journey and encourage and support them along that path. The critical foundational elements for this start here.
7. Create a System of Support
It is so vital for children to feel SAFE. Creating a network of family and friends around your child will allow them to grow and focus on becoming the successful person we know they will be! A stable environment that is nurtured with support, compassion, love and open communication will do wonders in helping your child focus on their strengths. And make sure to socialize!
6. Let them EXPLORE!
Sometimes, children’s greatest strengths don’t show up right away. It is very important to encourage them to keep trying new things and not shut themselves off to opportunities. Martha Stewart didn’t publish her first book until she was 41. Vera Wang decided she wanted to be a fashion designer at age 40. SO make sure to provide children with opportunities to explore as many different subjects and skills as possible, and even if it’s not right away, their strengths will reveal themselves!
5. Celebrate Uniqueness
This is especially important for children with siblings, but also important to remember about children’s peers at school. It can be very damaging to COMPARE children to their siblings or peers. Everyone has their own path, even children! Comparisons when it comes to progress, struggles, grades, success… they aren’t useful and they can hurt feelings and diminish confidence. Remember that the only person your child is competing with is themself!
4. Praise the process
Studies have found that praising the process that led to their success is much more motivational and effective than labeling a child “smart”. Letting children know that you see and appreciate the work they do lets them know that you are present and value their efforts, and encourages them to push themselves further!
3. Don’t forget to accept and nurture WEAKNESSES
A lot of parents are very discouraged by children who struggle. And there will ALWAYS be struggle in one form or another. Maybe it’s academic, maybe it’s social, maybe it’s on the field, remember that everyone has their weaknesses. Make sure to speak with your child about the fact that there is NO such thing as perfect, and working on those areas that are tougher than others is also important.
2. Let them CHOOSE
As parents, we always have “our” vision of how we want our child to end up. Some of us hope they become artists, or doctors or lawyers, or head the family business! But the best way to ensure your child’s success is letting them lead the way. Ask your child what they want to do, what extracurriculars they want to take, what they are interested in…the answers are not always the same! Children are much more likely to succeed when they are excited about what they are doing!
1. Support their Imagination!
Creative thinking is the catalyst to a child’s ability to achieve academic and personal success. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination is the door to possibilities.” This means, if they can dream it, they are much more likely to be able to do it. So, support their imagination by encouraging play with open-ended toys. In addition, provide them with supplies so they can create!
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