Father and son playing baseball
Photo: Comstock/Thinkstock
Help them to focus on the pure enjoyment of playing baseball, rather than on winning a trophy. Teach them to love baseball all of their lives, rather than learn to avoid it because they are not supremely talented at it. Do not give them early reasons to avoid anything in life, which is precisely what you do when you place the emphasis on achieving external awards rather than internal fulfillment. Rather than focusing solely on a report card grade, which is less important later in life, talk with them about what they are studying, how they can apply it in life, whether they are happy with themselves in school, what they like to study and what meaning they see in it for them now and in the future. If they pursue only the award, once they have attained it, they may no longer wish to pursue that area or endeavor. I would assume you want your children to love music, not to pass the obligatory music class and then disavow any interest in music for a lifetime. Teach them the inner joy of learning and applying what they gain for themselves.

Next: Let children set their own goals 


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