As parents, it can be all too tempting to shower our children with endless love and affection. After all, they are the apples of our eye, and no matter what they do, we will always fiercely love and protect them as best we can. However, this can often result in us turning a blind eye to our children’s faults or errors – despite being quick to point out the mistakes of others. While this is only natural, it’s important to recognise the fact that we will always be unintentionally biased in favour of our kids and therefore, we need to keep in mind the effect that this could have on them.
Our children are individuals – not younger carbon copies of their parents. While they may look like us or develop similar traits, they are unique people in their own right and should always be treated as such. Similarly, children should not be compared to siblings, cousins or school friends. Children develop at different paces and your child may well choose to go down a different path from those they are close to. Of course, this is certainly not a bad thing, and we should always do our best to embrace their individuality and allow them to express their sense of self in their own special way.
While parents play a pivotal role in the early stages of their child’s development, once the years start to pass and time flies by, it won’t be long before they start making key decisions on their own. Whether it’s something as small as deciding what to have for breakfast and picking out an outfit for the day or much more significant choices like determining a career path, our job is to provide support, guidance and impartial advice. While we can advise our children and offer our own thoughts and opinions, we must always do our utmost to avoid trying to influence their decision.
Encouraging Children to Reach their Maximum Potential
Every new baby born into this world has incredible potential – probably more than we realise. If they choose to turn their hand to it, they can be anyone and anything they want, be it a doctor, a singer, a scientist or even a parent of their own. One day, they may very well find themselves in the exact same position that you are in now; only then will they truly realise the sheer scope of the love, support and encouragement you give them every day of their life.
However, you don’t have to wait until your children are fully grown and have fled the nest to help them reach their full potential. Kids are full of life, endless curiosity and boundless energy, so why not harness that power and put it to good use?
From as early an age as possible you should try to encourage your children to try new things and develop their own interests – whatever they may be. Whether it is allowing them to choose books to read, TV shows to watch, games to play or days out which interest them, all of these seemingly unrelated day-to-day activities can play a greater role in their future life.
Similarly, you may also want to encourage your children to take part in after-school clubs, extra-curricular activities or sports that take their fancy. After all, many a career path starts off with a passion sparked from childhood fun, so it’s important to let your child experiment and find their own road through life.
Goals and Aspirations
Although realistic goals are always a sensible idea, sometimes it can pay off not to immediately discount those ideas and dreams that are a little more left-field. It may be a bit of a cliché, but the old saying of, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’ can be applied – with enough hard work and dedication, almost anything is possible! No matter whether your child is asking how to become an astronaut or how to get into the prestigious Oxford University, if they are truly committed, you never know where life might lead them.
Take a minute to cast your mind back and reflect on your own childhood hopes, dreams and aspirations. How many have you managed to achieve? Did your life follow the path you imagined it would? While we can all think of things that perhaps we would have done differently, without a doubt, it is the successes and the highest of the highs that we wish for our children to experience.
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