Children are looking for your approval at all times. They want to feel that they are wanted, needed, and accepted for who they are. As they begin to grow and learn about their passions as we talked about in yesterday’s post, it will be important for you as their parent to do whatever you can to become your child’s biggest fan.
What does it mean to be your child’s biggest fan you may ask? Well, this means that you know your child,their likes, their dislikes. You know what they aspire to become and the heroes that they have. You are aware of why they do the things they do and what gives them energy and what discourages them. Think about fans of celebrities and all that they know about the person they are passionate about. They are aware of every single detail of their life and will do whatever they can to be that person’s biggest proponent and ally. As a parent, this is your job, you must take on this role with your own child.
When you think about being a fan, the first thing in your mind may be sports and when looking into this topic, much of the writing on this topic surrounds sports. One of the articles that I examined talked about five different ways parents provide unhealthy and healthy encouragement to children in sports – these included:
1. Quick to criticize and slow to praise
2. Selectively shows love, support, and approval based upon the child’s performance
3. Becomes cold and critical when the child fails to live up to expectations
4. Lives out athletic aspirations through the child
5. Encourages the child to mimic the training habits or skills of professional athletes
1. Emphasize fun and participation
2. Define winning as a level of effort, not the score of the game
3. Measure improvement of skill, not by comparison to other children
4. Maintain open communication with the child throughout the sports experience
5. Let the child experience the dynamics of sport at his or her own pace
Though much of the writing is about sports, this does not mean that the above encouragment cannot be transferred to any other type of activity that your child is passionate about. Whether it is sports, band, drama, dance or other such activity, the above list of healthy and unhealthy habits still remain true.
Some questions you should ask yourself include:
- Am I my child’s biggest fan? Do I know everything about my child? If not, answer the following questions.
- How to I show that I am a fan of my child?
- What are other ways that I can show my child that I am their biggest fan?
As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.
In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:
What are your thoughts regarding this topic? Make a list of the things that you know about your child and clarify things that you are not aware of currently. Once you have completed these tasks, come back and share your thoughts with the rest of the group.