As the parent of a child with unique talent, dreams, and potential, encouraging strong character qualities in them is one of the most important things you do. There are certain qualities that every kid needs in order to succeed… and those same qualities, if well developed, will stay with them and serve them for the rest of their lives! Here are four essential qualities that every person – student, athlete, musician, employee, parent – needs in order to truly succeed in what they do:
As the parent of a child with unique talent, dreams, and potential, encouraging strong character qualities in them is one of the most important things you do.
1. Motivation – From my coaches’ perspective, every gymnast that I have ever worked with who has advanced in this sport has been a child with a high level of motivation. They have had a strong inner drive to learn new skills and accomplish their goals. As an employer, I have observed that employees who stand out are those who have a deep passion to be excellent at what they do and continually improve themselves – they are highly motivated. I have thought much on whether motivation is something that can be taught and developed, or if it is something that is pre-determined in each person that we do not have any influence over. In my experience I have learned that while there may be certain amount of motivation that a child is “born with”, there are many things that influential people in their lives can do to create higher levels of self-motivation – especially parents!
2. Perseverance – Life is almost impossible to survive without a certain amount of perseverance! In everything that your child pursues, at every stage and every level, there will be times and events that are discouraging. This is consistent with the reality of life, and these are the times when your child needs you to cheer them on, help them to find the strength to get back up and press on, and hear you tell them you are proud of the perseverance they are showing – even if they are not seeing results yet.
3. Self-Confidence – A child who believes in himself or herself will try harder, work longer, practice difficult skills with a more positive attitude, and be happier. You, more than anyone else in this world, have the power to give your child the amazing gift of knowing that you believe in them. This will give them the self confidence and buoyancy to accomplish whatever they set out to do in life.
4. Endurance – Being able to last or continue at something for an extended amount of time is a quality that can help every child to reach a higher level in anything they do. Focusing for long periods and pushing yourself past what you thought your limits were are part of endurance, and something that you should praise whenever you see it in your child!
Make a practice of looking for opportunities to teach your child what these four qualities are and affirm your child whenever you see them demonstrating these things! In doing so, you will be giving them important tools that they need to become great in whatever they set out to do in life, whether it is a sport, an academic accomplishment, or a career path. In the next part of this series, I will focus on the quality of motivation and give you some practical ideas for how to help your child grow in that area!