In the heart of every loving mom lies the question, how can I effectively bring out the best in my child? From my experience raising two daughters, I’ve discovered that most of us have what it takes to guide our children in achieving their best. Bringing out the best in your child begins with knowing your child so well you’re able to guide them in discovering their purpose in life. However, it doesn’t end there. It also includes encouraging them to live lives according to that purpose.
Over my 30 years of parenting, I’ve drawn many of my life’s mantras from the bible. A wise Proverb that articulates the heart of the matter is in chapter 22, verse 6. Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Amplified Version) In other words, lead your child according to his or her bent, distinctive characteristics or “best”. How do you do this? Get to know your child. Spend time with him discovering his unique characteristics, gifts and abilities. Secondly, accept them. Don’t try to make an artist into an athlete. Don’t frustrate your child or yourself by forcing him into a career they are not suited for. Instead, encourage them to live lives according to who they are.
My children were relatively easy to nurture and guide into adulthood. Early on as babies, I recognized that my daughters were very different. Tara my oldest, is now 30 years old and is the introvert and thinker. She was a very happy baby, and an easy going toddler. When Tara was seven years old she loved to read “chapter books” and write short stories, poems, and newspaper articles. Her preference was spending time with one good friend and her family. Tara is our writer, a fourth grade elementary school teacher, wife, mom of four children, and curly girl-blogger.
Jessica, my younger daughter is 23 years old and is the extrovert and doer. She was a strong-willed toddler and was known to have a few temper tantrums. When she was three years old she wore a dress everyday to preschool, no kidding! Unlike Tara, she disliked reading and writing and preferred subjects such as math and science. Jessica had many friends and still does. As a teenager she enjoyed going out with her friends. This drove my husband crazy. He couldn’t understand why Jessica couldn’t stay in and read a book like Tara. When Jessica was ten years old she told the family she wanted to go into business and become an entrepreneur. As a result, she is now a distribution planner at a major fashion company. She is also a brand influencer and lifestyle and beauty blogger.
As you can see, my daughters have very different personalities. It was important for me as a mom to recognize their strengths and weaknesses at a young age. By doing that, I was able to guide and teach them how to embrace who they were and live lives according to their talents, abilities and purpose. To me, this is truly bringing out the best in your children.
Photo credits: Monkey Business
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