04 March 2010

Parenting Tips to help Children reach Potential

As seen in the Battleford's News Optimist.

At the conclusion of a book titled Hayley Westenra: The World at Her Feet there are recommendations from the parents of this internationally known signer. Of course, their parenting tips do not mean that your child will become famous, but they will help you help your child reach their full potential, whatever that may be.
First is do anything. Let your child be engaged in as many activities as possible, so that they get exposed to the many things this world has to offer. Especially when they are young, because as they grow old, school takes a priority and some activities may be missed.
Second is to do everything to help your child in their interests. Expose them to their interest in all kinds of settings to make sure that this is truly what they want to do.
Third is to trust the child. They will naturally figure out what they are good at. You need to trust them when they say they would rather do activity B over activity A.
Fourth is to go with the flow. That is don’t try to reroute your child’s interest in a particular activity, even if you think it may not be worthwhile.
Fifth is to have low expectations. Often parents set very high expectations for their child. These goals are then out of reach and then not reached by the child. This could be discouraging to the child and prevent them from pursuing their interests. Have realistic expectations. Let them know that people make mistakes, and that those can be used as opportunities to learn.
Sixth is to be there for them. Through highs and lows you need to be reachable for your child. You may also need to stand by them as you go with them through their interests.
Seventh is to ask for help. Your child, at first, will most likely turn to you for guidance, if you don’t help them they will look else where for their answers. So, when your child asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to, get help. There will always be someone willing to supply the answer, but it may take some time to get that answer. Once you have the answer, give it to your child.
Eighth is to prioritize. You can’t do all and be all. Some things will need to take a backseat as you help your discover their interests.
Ninth, and most of all enjoy yourself! If your child sees that you are enjoying helping them pursue their interests, it won’t seem to them that you are sacrificing your life for them. Plus, if both of you are having fun, no time is really being lost.
Remember that these are just some guidelines they are not rules. You know, and your child knows, what is best for them. Follow your gut as you lead your child through their interests in life, which will become their interest for life.