What Brings Out and Flourishes our Kids Potential?
As we are thinking about how to raise our kids, we need to ask ourselves a vital question. What Brings Out and Flourishes our Kids Potential?
Today with the focus on test scores, activities, and community service, we have to get into the college of first choice. There is more pressure on parents and their kids to perform, have to be first at everything, than ever before.
This naturally moves parents toward when seeing their kid showing the slightest talent within to pushing their children to achieve . Yet, in our parent adolescent coaching engagements, we find that external pressure exerted by parents often backfires given the reality of the adolescent brain. As parents we apply external pressure when we see our kids potential and believe they are not realizing it in their lives and school.
This brings us back to the question at hand, how can our kids potential be brought out and flourish? Does present itself by our parents, our kids, our spouse…? Or is potential something brought out within ourselves by our personality type, giftedness, interests, passions, and experience?
If you conclude that potential comes from within, we must recognize this reality resides with our kids. If our kid’s potential comes from within and not our strategies and tactics that seek to externally move them to achieve, we face a bold new horizon in our relationship and approach with our kid.
When I realized this with my own children it helped me see a new dimension of parenting. A dimension that looked at my kid’s potential and caused me to ask question like:
- What gets in the way of their motivation and potential?
- What is the issue underneath their apparent disinterest or “laziness?” (EG lack confidence, past failure, fear of failure.)
- Is what we are doing motivating our kid or is it having the opposite effect?
- What can I do to encourage their internal belief in themselves and fuel their internal desire to achieve?
We often focus in depth on what our projected view is of our kids potential. Being that we are so well meaning, we need to take a step back to really ask ourselves these questions in order to really have our kids flourish.
To often I became trapped on the surface with my kids; I saw their behavior and used external tactics to modify it, in order to get them to do what they needed to do. Once I began to see my children through the grid of their internal potential and desire to achieve I discovered by talking with my kids and through research with thousands of other kids of all ages that much of what I was led to believe was the right way to parent was actually frustrating, hurting, and causing my kid to not want to listen to me.
As I shifted away from traditional parenting, my kids became more open. They were more willing to talk about what was going on inside related to their lives, motivation, and decisions. I often found that the messages I had delivered were taken very differently than intended, often denting my child’s belief in themselves and motivation.
When we realize that our child’s potential lies within, our role becomes one of drawing out that potential which requires relationship, time, openness, transparency and asking questions that draw out their internal desire to achieve.
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