As in anything, kids naturally have a great sense of awe and curiosity of the world and of themselves. They have an innate ability to push themselves. However, as in anything, this ability needs to be nurtured and developed.
Let’s teach our kids to work hard and push for excellence:
1. Focus on character. Your values at home will be the values that your child will absorb and exhibit into adulthood. Teach them that a high grade is but a manifestation of hard work and perseverance, and that there is more to it than that.
2. Provide context. Talk to them about your beliefs and your reasons behind them. Explain actions and implications. When your kid understands why she needs to be the one to schedule her own dental appointment, and what it would mean to her, she would be more likely to do it.
3. Set goals. Does he want to attend the same university as his dad did? Help him articulate that goal and put it in writing. Show him what actions need to be taken to get to that goal. Celebrate his progress and failure with him and hold his hand while you both look ahead.
4. Boost confidence. Let your child know and feel that she is capable of good great things, and that she deserves every good thing that comes into her life.
5. Strengthen relationships. Building and maintaining relevant community relationships contribute to one’s self-worth. For some kids, being able to socialize outside the home helps boost their interest in activities done in the home.
6. Offer choices. Demonstrate to your child what options there are in any given situation, and what the consequences would be when a decision is made. Let her know that she is free to spend her allowance on a new iPhone case, but that she needs to manage her resources for the coming week.
7. Take risks. Kids who feel secure are more likely to seize promising opportunities. Praise your kids for initiative and effort regardless of the immediate outcomes. That way they’ll learn from setbacks instead of holding themselves back.
You have a powerful influence on your kids. Create a home environment that guides them towards satisfying their own expectations.