How to Encourage Your Child to Reach Their Full Potential
Guest blog post from Brigitte Evans a Cosmetic Skin Care Consultant and an editor for highstylife.com
There’s no question that all parents want what is best for their children. Since before they are born, we imagine them as star athletes, doctors, scientists and people who will shape tomorrow. But just wishing that for your child isn’t enough, and neither is pushing them towards it. There is a lot that goes into how a child develops over time, and it’s important that you, as a parent, know how to allow them to reach their full potential from day one.
Take yourself out of the equation
The biggest mistake parents make is putting themselves in front of the child, without even realizing it. Perhaps you have dreams that didn’t come true for you when you were a kid and you want to see them happen through your child. Or maybe you see some amazing opportunities for them that you don’t want them to miss out on. But if these are just your dreams and not the dreams of your child, then they are not the right thing for them. You can always tell them what you think is the best option for them, but pushing something that you want on them might just make them want to turn the other way around.
2. Give them plenty of options
You can’t know what you want until you try it all. Some people find their calling and happiness very late in life, simply because they haven’t had the chance to experience it in their youth. This is why you should allow your child to bounce from activity to activity and encourage them to try things that seem completely foreign to them. Even if they have a favorite activity that they want to devote a good portion of their time to, they should still be exploring other options. This will both nurture their curiosity to seek out new things in the world around them and it will give them a wide range of basic skills and interests. Support them in trying out new things and don’t be afraid of trying them yourself if they need you there.
3. Develop social skills
We live in a very connected world and the best thing you can do for your child is to make sure that they have excellent social skills to go with whichever other talents they may have. This can best be done by interacting with other children their age since early childhood. Find a playgroup in your vicinity where they can spend some time, develop new skills and be with their peers. Humans are social beings and the sooner they can learn to connect with other people and start developing communications, teamwork and group dynamic skills, the better. On top of that, the home needs to be a place where their social skills are nurtured as well. When they are upset, you have to teach them to explain their problems, compromise and come to agreements from an early age.
4. Learn when to help
If you over-assist your child when they are young, they will grow up lacking the sense of accomplishment they would normally get from overcoming those obstacles by themselves. Everything from taking their first steps to finishing school assignments counts towards them feeling independent and self-sufficient. Furthermore, if you push to help them when you see they are struggling, but they didn’t ask for your help, you risk making them feel incompetent, losing faith in themselves and feeling like you don’t have any faith in them. This is a delicate balance which is hard for many parents to achieve, but you have to let your child push through it themselves until they ask for help. Once they do – you must help. Make sure your child never feels like they can’t count on your help and support. Keep in mind that helping doesn’t mean doing the entire task for them, but simply assisting them to overcome the struggles they have.
5. Teach them emotions
We all feel emotions at every moment in our lives. Some are easier to pinpoint than others but it’s important that we know how to recognize our emotions and deal with them. Children feel a lot of things, and you must never dismiss them as childish things, because those emotions matter and the sooner they can name them and explain them, the better. If they are having trouble communicating their feelings, try getting a wheel of emotions which can help them identify what they are feeling, or try to get them to identify through a character from a book or show.
Raising your child should be one of the top priorities in your life, but it shouldn’t be your only one. One of your tasks as a parent is to provide a role model for your child to look up to, and that should be a well-rounded person who is in touch with a lot of aspects of their lives, so make sure you’re looking after yourself as well.