By Marcus Buckingham
November 23, 2009
When it comes to raising your kids, you may be faced with some of the most challenging moments of your life. Children are wiser than many of us give them credit for. Spend less time teaching them, and more time listening to them. They will teach you how to parent to get the best from them. Develop a mindset of inquisitiveness and curiosity about your child's unique presence in the world. They are fascinating and interesting, and they want to be accepted for that. They want your attention. They are eager to be recognized for their uniqueness. Shine a light on it.
1. Start with the belief that your kids are naturally resourceful. They know how to help you help them.
2. Look for your children's strengths from their earliest moments. Pay attention and be inquisitive. Ask them how certain activities make them feel.
3. Expose your children to as many experiences as you can. Give them opportunities to discover and express their natural talents. Do this in order to find out what lies within, rather than trying to round them out. Support what you find, even if their talents aren't what you hoped they would be.
4. Guide your children toward mastery in one or two areas.
5. Teach your children how to identify their own strengths.
6. Challenge them to contribute these strengths to others.
7. Let them know what strengthens you and model how you deliberately seek to experience more of these moments. Share your experiences.
8. Don't worry about them so much. They will be far better served by your belief in their abilities than by your belief in their fallibility.
9. Love them.
The gift you give your children when you choose to focus on what they have, rather than on what they don't, is immeasurable. Seeking ways to allow them to express the best of themselves, and supporting them no matter how obscure their dreams may be, will undoubtedly give your children a solid platform on which to build a strong, fulfilling life.