I think it’s safe to say we all want the very best for our children, don’t you? We would all like our children to reach their full potential. Whatever that may be. Whether they strive to be a builder, a teacher or an astronaut! We just want our kids to become the best version of themselves.
But sometimes parenting can feel like a balancing act between doing too much or too little. We don’t want to ‘helicopter’ our children every step of the way – we want them to discover and learn independently. But we also don’t want to be too hands off – we want to nurture and support them in any way we can. Is there a way to get the perfect balance?!
Well there are definitely some things that you can do (and some things to do less of!) to get that balance and help your child reach their full potential.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Here are 5 simple ways to help your child reach their potential:
Give a range of opportunities
Encourage your child’s interest and curiosity in the world around them by giving them varied opportunities. Just because they like football doesn’t mean it’s all they have to do! Encourage them – and you! – out of your comfort zones, by trying new things and going to new places. Crafts, sports, exploring outdoors, building and creating. Something as simple as a visit to a different park or beach can inspire your children’s creativity and curiosity.
Show an interest in your child’s hobbies
Show a genuine interest in the things your child is interested in. Don’t push your hobbies on them, or make them do anything they don’t want to do. Just keep giving them opportunities to do new things and show an interest in the things they enjoy.
Give them opportunities to follow their passions and interests. This can be very simple and inexpensive. It might be a visit to the local library to find out more about dinosaurs or detectives. Or providing them with materials to do craft projects at home. Showing an interest in your child’s hobbies will give them more confidence in themselves. Their hobbies and interests will likely change as they get older. But, with nurturing, their self confidence will become stronger.
Encourage your child to ‘be bored’
Giving children opportunities to play, learn and create is important. But this does not mean every waking moment of their day should be scheduled! The opposite in fact! Resist the urge to ‘fill time’ for your child and make sure they have plenty of downtime to play and think creatively. Some scheduled activities are fine, but limit them and value free time equally. Older kids need this time too – especially screen free time. It’s during these moments of ‘boredom’ that children come up with the best ideas and think most creatively.
Support your child in their learning
You can support children in their learning in fun and creative ways. Read stories with them at bed time, write letters in the sand, explore nature in the woods. When your children become teens encourage them to follow their strengths and their interests – whether they are academic, creative, or practical. If your teen is academic, services such as Allen and Jain can help them get into the university of their dreams. Try to be supportive and open minded with your young person. Listen to their dreams and aspirations, whilst giving them the time and space to find their own way.
Encourage them to persevere
Determined children become determined adults! Although you may be struggling with a stubborn 2 year old now (!), try to nurture their independent spirit. Determination and independence will stand them in good stead as they grow into adult hood. I afraid I do not have all the secrets to handling strong willed children – but I do have a couple of my own! I have found listening to and respecting my children and trying to empathise with them works wonders. I’ve found the site AHA Parenting to be a really great resource on how to set empathetic boundaries.
I hope these ideas give you some good starting points on how you can help your child reach their full potential. Do you have any more to add?