Parenting is quite an arduous task, and every new parent wishes to have a happy home with good children. All these dreams are outstretched in such an unforgettable manner. It all begins from the very moment a new baby is born. ‘Just the perfect child…’ seems to be the great expectation behind the maternal eyes of the newly anxious mother. All this comes along with the overwhelming feelings of love, protection, and great joy.
The moment a baby is born, most parents begin to watch out for developmental milestones. However, these milestones cover a broad range and include different stages of development: early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence stage. Each developmental stage is defined by its respected milestone.
The first stage is just when the loving bundle of joy arrives with countless expressions of joy and contentment. These seasons fade away so rapidly, and we find ourselves sooner than ever in the troublesome twos, and then, the middle childhood stage sails on. Next, we glide into the growing-up phases of the child: the adolescence stage. It comes side by side with the exciting teenage years. The time races by ever so rapidly as we watch our children blossom into full-blown adults.
During these stages, some parents try to parent their children based on who they think they should be, rather than who they really are. The children’s passions, likes, and dislikes are ignored, focusing only on the parents’ expectations.
We have found children discovering themselves much earlier in life with skills and interests, but they face disapproval from their parents. It often occurs in subject areas such as the arts, music, and creativity, especially with some communities. Parents then make competitive choices for their children forgetting, the indelible fact that we are all different!
Today’s world does not make parenting any easier, we are faced with a global pandemic. There has also been a rapid shift towards technology and our kids have found themselves in the digital age. This is slowly taking away lots of family ties and bonds.
For parents with special needs, this is a trickier situation. It is much more challenging to work with a child with needs or a defiant teen. Some parents may have neither, but suddenly, you might face a child who has been bullied or abused. At this point, parents may find themselves searching for answers, seeking help from professionals. The word excellence may seem implausible in a difficult situation.
Who is an excellent child?
The Cambridge dictionary defines excellent as extremely good. When I think of this simple definition and my children, I had always imagined, it could hardly be achieved.
The benchmark for extremely good seems to be unreasonably high because we are all human, we tend to fail in diverse ways. Our nature does not seem to suit us all hence, the many hurdles towards excellence can be unlikely.
Excellence, in general, is a great skill that can be achieved with perseverance in any given area related to an individual’s core strengths. These can all be discovered through our giftings, and callings found deep within ourselves. Once the discoveries have been made, then and only then can we begin to surpass expectations and blossom in ways that we have never imagined.
An excellent child may have that great determination to excel within, alongside the skills they may have. This child is the very one who discovers ways and strengths to see things with strong-minded decisions and works towards building the discoveries.
Can parents raise excellent children?
Excellence is unique to everyone and cannot be measured corporately. The key to understanding the subject of raising, all lies within our children or young persons. First, we all need to value each child for who they are as we unwrap each layer of discovery day by day.
During my professional life, I have interacted daily with varying families and have discovered that most parents focus on the children getting good grades. It is one of the very many challenges parents face. We raise unachievable expectations for our children, forgetting the indelible fact that they are all individuals of their rights. The schools are also measured by outstanding grades and young ones are often rewarded with competitive strategies. Furthermore, our differing localities are also not left out with this same contention.
In my book, my excellent child, I asserted that we must find the driving force that keeps us going, the gifts embedded in our children by our great creator. I have worked with a child whose gift is a smile that can brighten anyone’s day. No gift must be unimportant, and we must treasure- every element we can find.
How do we break away from this regressive paradigm, and make positive changes to enable our children to embark on a journey of discovering these elements? It is only when we begin to uncover the excellence within our children that we would begin to raise that excellent child. Excellence is specifically designed for the individual child concerned.
What are the kinds of excellence I should look out for?
There is so much to discover and the more we search, the more we can find.
Excellence in character
Excellence in social activities
Excellence in language and literacy
Excellence in creativity
Excellence in sports
Excellence in studies
Excellence in math and logic
Excellence in music, dance, and art
Excellence with animals
How to raise an excellent child in today’s world.
It all starts with our observations. Observe your child in action and notice the gifts that facilitate your child to succeed. Parents should value parenting time and take advantage of every moment seeking out more ways to discover new realities regarding their kids.
Now and then, we will begin to discover strengths coming through as your child explores interests. This will take time and can take some trial and error. Parents should all have a “growth mindset” one step at a time is all it takes.
Today’s world equips our children with excellent devices that can confidently steal these precious moments away from us. However, we must create ways to balance our lives all out and never forget those precious moments.
Effective communication must be respected, mainly when we need to use our listening skills. As we listen, we will discover the great aspirations of our children. Then we begin to see and sense their likes and dislikes.
The little glitter in their eyes lights up each time they converse about that exciting venture. These are the moments when we should take advantage. The instants when we find our children so engrossed in any given activity are the moments that we will discover excellence. It should guide us through, only if we are all watching. We all need to take up a concerted effort in uncovering these gifts and talents and nurture them towards excellence.
Parents, value what you discover and do not make comparisons. Instinctively, we may tend to focus on things that are not going well and on skills that need improving. But it is just as important to see your child’s excellence.
Every child is gifted and unique in their way and there is no one greater than the other. Try making “an “accomplishments box.” It is a fun way for kids to see what they are doing well. Today’s world exposes us more than ever to social media and despite its positive aspects, the negativity can spread hate. This form of hate only makes our children crumble down in fear, shame, isolation, and even depression, the list is endless!
The world creates set standards with high unachievable measures with little or no way to escape. Only, the great reassuring words of the parents and much more, can our children gather strength to escape from the grips of the standardized failure systems.
-Talk about excellence:
Open dialogues can help both you and your child see and grasp abilities. This will improve and build on your child’s self-awareness and self-esteem.
-Search for opportunities to shine out!
Whether it may be at school or at numerous settings, encourage your children to shine like stars. Let them enroll in competitive tendencies and support them from fright, any form of fear, or lack of confidence.
Finally. Let us all use our time to discover and build our children to their full potential. Embracing individuality and excellence within is the key. Together, we can teach our children to value the gifts they have. It is only then that they will begin to discover the excellence and hidden strengths within.
“I can see the hidden strengths within my child. Can you?” Ruth D-Whyte