In a world of activities and competition, kids can become stressed about success as early as kindergarten. Competition can be good on some levels, but it can also lead us to putting the focus on the wrong things as our young kids are developing.
I once read a post from someone who gave alternatives to, “You danced really well” or “you were great on the field” which in a child’s mind may imply that you only like it when they do well. Instead, you can say things like, “I loved watching you dance or play ball or sing” or “It’s so fun to go fishing with you.”
Since reading this quick quip, I have used it on several occasions. It helps turn what should be fun childhood things into something they enjoy because you enjoy it.
In our current “Disney-ish” just-believe-in-yourself-and-you-can-do-it-all culture, I think kids are tempted to chase success instead of seeking God. Every child can do something, but they can’t do everything.
Here are some ways to help redefine success, and ultimately, your expectations for your child (from Kevin Leman’s Book, It’s Your Kid, Not A Hamster) By the way, this is an amazing book for anyone dealing with out of control schedules and pressure in their families! I loved reading it. [Take a look on Amazon]
Instead of looking for the top score or award, try looking for and highlighting these things in your child:
Did your child try hard?
Did your child learn perseverance and the value of hard work?
Is your child learning how to think and how to be creative with the gifts he or she has been given?
Is your child a thoughtful friend?
The answers to these questions are more important than any column on a report card or scoring the winning goal. In the long run, the most successful people in the world are grounded in characteristics that cannot be measured with trophies and awards.
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