Striving for Our Best Without the Stress
Children have big dreams, from becoming a concert pianist to competing in the Olympics. No matter what the dream or how many times it may change, all parents desire to help their children be happy and strive to reach their goals. In our competitive world, how do we encourage our children to be their best without adding pressure or stress? This article provides resources to help parents inspire their children and communicate the importance of striving to be their very best and remaining confident through the ups and downs they may face along the way.
Motivation and Inspiration
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”- Walt Disney
Conversations with young children about what they want to be when they grow up can be unpredictable and entertaining. Children are curious about the world and have no limit to their dreams, so let them explore and identify their interests. Work as a team to determine what they like and feel confident doing. Then motivate them to set short- and long-term goals to pursue those interests. Inspire them to feel like they can achieve anything they want. Their potential is limitless, and there are no boundaries to where they can go.
With Hard Work Comes Great Success
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly, a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.”- Thomas Edison
In Kumon, students develop discipline and perseverance by completing their daily assignments. Praise them for their diligence as they progress through the program, so when they see the success translate to school and other activities, they will realize their diligence is paying off. The achievements that reap the greatest rewards are those that require hard work and dedication. Remind children of this as you motivate them to set goals and praise their dedication along the way.
Fail Fast: The Importance of Failing
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan might be considered the greatest basketball player of all time, but from the day he was cut from his high school basketball team to the end of his career, he was no stranger to failure. Remind children that they too will face obstacles at many points throughout their lives, but the key to their success will be picking themselves up from failure and remaining committed to their goals. There are countless examples of successful people who failed and went on to achieve their goals. Here are a few that might surprise you:
- Albert Einstein’s teachers labeled him “slow” and “mentally handicapped,” but Einstein just had a different way of thinking. He later won the Nobel Prize in physics.
- Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Edison also famously designed 1,000 light bulbs before producing one that worked.
- Babe Ruth is remembered for his home run record—714 during his career—but he also held a record for strikeouts, 1,330 in all. When asked about this, he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
With the right support, children will feel confident enough to strive for their best and remain committed to achieving even their most ambitious goals. Partner with your children early on to help them identify their interests and strengths, and root for them through the ups and downs as they pursue their dreams.