Children are born resilient with high optimism. They do not understand fear, success or failure when they are young. If you see a baby learning to crawl or stand up, they will fall, get up and try again and again and again.
However, through their infancy and toddlerhood, they may have developed some setbacks and discouragement from their carers or the society along the way. They then become less resilient and motivated – they learn to fear. They may learn to “not try” because an adult told them “don’t do that”, or they were “yelled at” or were “punished” for speaking out etc.
When I was at school in Malaysia, from as young as 7 years old, we had daily homework and weekly/fortnightly tests. I held fear and worry most of the time… fear of failing or not finishing the homework, but most of all, I feared that if I did really badly for the tests or exams, not only I would face the consequences at school, we would also face another round of punishment at the home front. This was because during those times, our parents believed what the teachers said; if we were punished at school, our parents would think that we must have done badly at school or did not put in the effort – thus another round of grounding, scolding or punishment.
That is not a great way to encourage your child – never instill fear. I personally believe that the foundation of learning should be based on FUN – because children remember the experiences of how they feel. It they enjoy the exercise, they will want to do it again and again. FUN is play, and when they are playing, they are actually experimenting and implementing… which in fact is actual learning.
However if you instill fear in them, no doubt, they will do what you ask. But once the event is over, they will choose to forget about it.
The natural instinct in your children is to please the parents or carer. In order for them to thrive, they need support, encouragement and unconditional love.
Children are born resilient and capable. They are capable of achieving what they set their mind to. When you have HIGH EXPECTATIONS of your child – your child needs to know that you expect them to be the best they can be, based on their abilities, and NOTplacing your own ideals and expectations on them.
Please note, when I say place or have high expectations on your children, I am NOT asking you to “compare” you children with others or asking them to perform something that is not within their capabilities. This is because it is an unreasonable and a cruel thing to do, as every child is unique. No two children will be alike or capable of achieving exactly the same thing, not even identical twins.
How can you support your child?
- Acknowledge that your child is unique with his or her own individual capabilities.
- Be encouraging. Your child will read and react to your energy. If you believe in him, he will be more likely to try new things through trial and error, thus build self esteem and confidence.
- Be observant and gain knowledge about your child, i.e. What are his skills? What is he good at? Build on that and extend those experiences, so that you can make sure you are providing ample opportunities for them to succeed and gain competency.
- Do not compare – This is an insensitive thing to do to any child. Many parents I know from my childhood did that, and the consequences could be damaging. For example – if a parent constantly compares his daughter to a friend’s child, the daughter would feel that she is forever being compared and is never good enough in her parents’ eyes. The child then thinks what’s the point of even trying?
When you have high expectations of your child – You are letting your child know that you believe in them and you expect them to be the best that they can possibly can, based on their abilities.
You child will in turn learn to trust and believe in themselves; thus in the process, they will gain self esteem and confidence through your support and unconditional love. With that, you child will pursue life with true passion and grit, and they will peruse life with no concept of failing, because to them everything they try is just an experiment. They will try and try, and try again until they achieve their goals.
They believe in themselves, they know who they are and what they want in life. Isn’t that what you desire for your children?
Have high expectations of them, with support and unconditional love.
I would love to hear any feedback about this concept below. Were you supported during your childhood? Did your parents place high expectations on you?
Have a connected day with your family.