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Tag: tips

Want vs Need

Language has implications.  What you say to a child has lasting impact.  Choose your words carefully so you can truly engage with the thinking of your child.  Here is an example:  Are you guilty of asking your child what he or she wants?  Asking about wants reinforces “me” thinking.  Rather, ask your child what he or she needs.  This question helps you and the child center on a need that you can help fill by working together.  Check yourself and see if you are by default reinforcing self-centered mindset.  It is OK to ask for occasional wants—but be sure that they are questions related to a special occasion or a long-term goal.

Leadership ability often shows up early in a child’s life.

Leadership skills don’t come out of a kid without encouragement from those that see it! Achieving leadership skills is a journey that involves you as a parent.  Not every kid will be like Thomas Jefferson, but every child has an abundance of potential for greatness.  As a parent, find ways to allow your child to lead.  Allow him to plan a special event. Allow her to do something that is out of her comfort zone.  Allow experimentation.  Embrace the outcome.  Be your kid’s cheerleader.  Allow them to fail.

At its core, leadership development is almost always a matter of identifying one’s potential and then nurturing that potential so that the individual enjoys the personal adventure of discovery.   Imagine for a moment that you were the parents of Thomas Jefferson.  What did you see in him that would lead you to intentionally make sacrifices and created an environment for him to eventually do the unthinkable?

Do you see your child as a promise and a possibility?

Your child is full of exceptional potential.  Your child was created for a purpose.  It is your responsibility to identify the likely strengths of your child and then take the steps that help him/her become all that God intended.   To reach one’s potential is a journey that involves you as a parent, your child’s teachers, grandparents, and mentors. Your child has an abundance of potential for greatness, but you need to ensure it all comes out!  Greatness does not come in a magic pill.  Greatness is the result of hard work.  Character development is your responsibility. What your child sees and reads, the relationships he develops, and the habits he/she acquires is the foundation to becoming what she was intended to be.

Encourage imagination! 

Encourage your children to use their imagination. Allow their little minds to dream big dreams. When you hear about an imaginary friend engage your child by asking questions about this new friend.  This is all a part of growing up.  Find ways to teach life lessons by relating to these friends that you cannot see.  Don’t discourage your child.  Knowing you are interested in her thoughts gives her confidence that you care.  The Andy Ant stories are based on a child’s relationship with his best friend—in this case a little ant that lives under the front steps of his house.  Where does your child’s imaginary friend live?  How much do you know about this special friend?


Go eye to eye with your child.

When talking to your child about something important, get down to his or her level.  You can kneel down or sit down next to them so you are equal to your child’s size.   By taking the initiative to get down to your child’s level, you demonstrate that you really care.  Think for a moment of how powerful you must be in his or her eyes.  If you stand and direct your child to do something, he or she will feel very small and insignificant.  You need to find ways to become like a child to effectively communicate to a child.