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Unlocking Your Child's Potential

By Detra Davis

Did you know that raising children is perhaps the most difficult task you will ever encounter in life? It's true. Worldwide, parents are responsible for preparing our future citizenry, and that is an awesome undertaking. We start out with these precious little bundles of joy, who trust and love unconditionally, only to discover that they turn into awkward, mouthy, know-it-alls who mature and become the human beings we all know as coworkers, friends, relatives and parents.

It's a little known fact but the person your child is today does not mirror the adult he will be tomorrow; and a lot of who he becomes lies in your hands.

It is our responsibility to support our children and unleash their potential by making sure they like themselves. It is difficult for anyone to perform in a manner inconsistent with the way he sees himself. The way our children see themselves comes first from us. We have the power to life them up or tear them down.

If you are truly committed to developing your child's true potential here are a few principals that will help you do that:

Commit to using "Only Positive Comments." For some parents this will be difficult because you may possess a negative, critical spirit, but you must work to change it. It may mean putting index cards all over the house and car that have the letters "OPC on it. Once you become accustomed to speaking positively to your child it will become second nature. This does not mean you do not correct your child, or scold them when they have behaved badly. Use OPCs to let your child know that despite not liking the behavior, you do love them. Unconditional love is the most difficult love to give and is usually offered by a human being who is mature and secure in the love they feel for themselves.

Develop a positive mind-set toward your child. If you see potential in everything around you, you are more likely to see it in your child. Negative people generate negative energy and apply that negativity to everything and everyone around them. Start to look at yourself and the people around you in terms of promoting positive potential. There is promise and hope in potential, something your children must have if they are to grow into caring, competent, compassionate adults.

Encourage your children to expect great things from their achievements. A child who puts little effort into school, making friendships, and developing relationships will not get much from life. Life will honor you well if you honestly put forth the effort to do well. Children must expect great things from life and not settle for what ever is handed to them.

A parent is their child's first teacher and it is the parent's responsibility to support that child in learning to live a good life. Developing your child's potential can best be accomplished by setting an example that exemplifies mental, spiritual, emotional and physical maturity. Make your home a growth environment, praise your children when they display a desire to learn and provide opportunities for them to have new experiences.

As parents we get caught up in just surviving from day to day. Dealing with the trails of everyday life is overwhelming and can leave little room for focusing on developing the potential of a child. There is no excuse for not developing in your child his potential for greatness. No matter how old your children are, it is never too late to share your belief in their potential, and you commitment to believing in their dreams, goals and aspirations. Remember, if not you, who? If not now, when. It's all about supporting our children.

About The Author
Detra D. Davis is a certified Parent Educator with the North Carolina Parent Network and has been a writer for over 25 years.

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