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Do Your Eyes Light Up? - Articles Surfing
It takes courage to step out and make your mark on the world. In an egocentric society of narcissistic bravado (check out MTV) and falsely inflated egos (' la American Idol), parents tread a fine line. How do we build our children's self-confidence and, at the same time, teach them how to be realistic about their expectations?
Competition is a fact of life for our kids. Everyone is grappling for the brass ring, trying to jockey for a position on the crowded ladder of success. It's common to have to lobby for admittance to an exclusive preschool, jump through hoops to qualify for the rep team or undergo nerve-wracking auditions to play in the school band. The pressures of "making it" and "following your star" can be a daunting force in a child's life. Without perseverance, hard work and lots of luck even the most talented person is not guaranteed success.
But somewhere between that initial seed of inspiration and the ambitious leap of faith to pursue one's dreams the question arises, "What makes me so special?" When children wonder, "Who am I to think I can do this," they must draw upon inner strength and security that has taken you, their parent, many years to nurture.
Maya Angelou asks, "How do you react when your child enters the room? Do your eyes light up?" What">All children need to feel special, in their own right, apart from their accomplishments and accolades. In our daily routine it is often easy for family members to take each other for granted. We should never forget how important it is for our unconditional love to shine through and be seen every day. Yes, we can facilitate the attainment of their goals by driving them to practices, cheering from the stands and proudly extolling their talents. But what signals do our kids receive from us during the course of an average day? How negative is our message to them when they aggravate us or misbehave?
Whether it's a reassuring smile, an affectionate nudge or a big ol' hug, by openly acknowledging the joy that our children bring into our lives, we are visibly affirming our love for them. We have the power to infuse our children with the belief that they can face the challenges that lie ahead 'regardless of how pragmatic or grandiose their aspirations may be. They have so much potential. Even the smallest gesture of approval can do wonders to validate their sense of self worth. Whether it is in a lab, a boardroom or on Broadway the world is their stage. So tell them they are special today! Be sure that they see it in your eyes when they walk through the door!
Let your encouragement inspire them and your love be their stepping-stone to greatness.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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