To push or not to push?
This can sometimes be a challenging topic for most parents… to push your children to do better in their studies/sport or leave them alone to figure things out? Maybe empowering your children is the answer.
Pushing a child creates issues. On the other hand, are you worried that if you do not push your children, that would be failing your children? Or will you be seen as an unconcerned parent that does not act in the interest of their children?
I grew up in Asia, where high expectations are a norm – whether it be home chores or school work… Yes, I have seen my parents stressed out worrying about our studies and our performances in and out of school, sending us to endless music lessons and tuition… and there would be comparison between cousins and friends…
However, I had the opportunity to live in Australia for more than half my life and I have brought up my children in Australia. I had the opportunity to learn from the Australian way of education, and compared it with my own experiences in terms of parenting and education. So I thought I'd share my view about how to best encourage your children to excel in life whether it be in education or other endeavours.
Here are three ways that I believe would be helpful in empowering your children to be the best they can: through understanding, unconditional love and high expectations.
Every child is unique
Every child is unique. They have their own unique abilities, unique ways of learning and own talents and creativity. Not all children are born to be a scholar; some are born to lead, some are born to heal, some to nurture, some to be creative…
Understand their learning habits, and how they express themselves, then nurture those potentials and use the language they can understand.
Through observing and listening to your actions and words, your children learn and mimic your values and beliefs: how you behave, how you handle and resolve conflicts, how you interact with people, how you conduct yourself daily, and how you achieve what you set out to do.
Have high expectations of them, with support and unconditional love!
Children are born resilient and capable; they are capable of achieving what they set their mind to. However, in order for them to thrive in life, they need support, encouragement and unconditional love from parents and carers.
When you have high expectations of your child – You are letting your children know that you believe in them and you expect them to be the best that they can possibly be, based on their abilities. The aim is to do one’s best.
It is important that your children need to know that you expect them to be the best they can be, based on their abilities, and NOT placing your own ideals and expectations on them or comparing them with other children's performances.
So whether you are pushing your child or not, just remember it needs to come from a place of encouragement, understanding and high expectations, combined with support and unconditional love. Empowering is the key, not pushing.
You child needs to know they are loved unconditionally and are appreciated for who they are, so that they can take risks and pursue in their endeavours without fear of failing and being judged.
I would love to hear any feedback or other ideas on supporting your children to be the best they can be.