How can we as moms help our children to fit in, but realize that being themselves is much more important? Struggling with this over the last few months, I’ve been trying to figure out the most important things I want my kids to know, as they venture from homeschool to public. We made the transition a month ago, and they are doing extremely well. Though I am still praying for each one that they will make one special friend who will be a good influence on them (tough prayer request these days, let me tell you!).
I think it is so important to begin at an early age, discovering who your child is. What are their best qualities, what are they good at? What do they like doing?
These are important things to notice because it will greatly help them in the long run to hone in on the things they are good at and like to do. One of my daughters is a born entrepreneur. She understood Monopoly immediately and never missed a rent payment owed to her. My other daughter, was totally oblivious every time we landed on her properties. “Beaners” my entrepreneur-daughter is very observant with marketing. Even asking me at the age of seven, why a company did their commercial that way. What are they trying to sell? I thought that was genius coming from a seven year old.
Finding strengths in our kids is awesome because it gives us ways to encourage them and build them up. If our job is to nurture, teach, love and prepare them for life, then what better way of doing that then helping them to discover what they are good at. When children are in the pre-elementary school years, it’s hard to really know what their passions are. Usually their passions at this point include a TV show, and snacking. But as they get into the elementary years and start taking art classes, playing basketball and trying new things we get a glimpse into the God given gifts that they have.
I am currently working on trying to help my kids be better friends and better “encourage-ers”. Teaching them to be thoughtful of others, during the elementary years is wise, because as they age and get into middle and high school, what happens to them? They grow more and more selfish usually, thinking only of themselves, and what they want to do, and how to climb the social ladder. While they are still young and innocent and not overly worried about being “cool” we can show them how to 1.) love themselves, and who God made them to be, and 2.) how to love others, and treat them with respect
3 Things You Can Do To Help Your Child Discover Who They Are:
- Get them involved in a variety of activities to start, and see which ones click with them. Once you discover their strengths (art, dance, or whatever) you can then decide what classes, camps, instruction, etc. to get them. Not that you have to do classes, but you can even get a basketball net, or a few sketch books so they can practice their new found talent.
- Get to know them. Take your child on dates and talk. Especially if you have more than one child at home, because getting one-on-one with a houseful of kids, it usually quite challenging. I know when one of my kids is alone with me in the car they won’t stop yapping. But when the whole group is together, that same kid might not make a peep. I love it when they just start spilling out all of their thoughts, ideas, dreams they had last night, etc. Sometimes we can miss out on getting to know who our kids are at each phase of their lives, because we are just too busy doing, and too busy being busy that we don’t take the time to just talk to them. Talking to them like they are real people….mini adults in training. Date nights don’t have to cost a thing, or they can even be as cheap as a $0.99 Frosty from Wendy’s.
- Get them involved in charity events, non-profits and other outreaches that focus on giving, not receiving. That may not sound productive in helping them discover who they are, but remember…we are not trying to build the next Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs. We are trying to raise children of character, and purpose. I don’t want my kids to believe that their worth and value comes from the career they end up with down the road. Our value lies with Christ, and our identity in Him. If we can show our kids that true leaders are the greatest servants, and giving is so much better than receiving, then we are helping them to discover themselves in God’s ways, not mans, which is so freeing when you think about it. They don’t have to be the best basketball player, or artist. They should use the skills God gives them but they don’t have to rely solely on those skills to sustain their worth the rest of their lives.