Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Value

Baby, you're a firework

There is value in all that you do.

I think this is something that we often forget about ourselves and others. No matter what your job or talents may be, they are important.

Unfortunately, I sometimes question whether or not we are teaching our children to value themselves. Often I see parents trying to fit their children into a particular role without regard to their personal gifts and interests. In doing so, parents tend to over-inflate a child’s talent in a particular field in an effort to “boost” his or her self-esteem.

People, it’s OK if your child does not sing as well as another child. It’s OK if your child is not the leading scorer on the football team, or basketball team, or baseball team, etc. It’s OK if your child is not valedictorian. It’s OK if your kid struggles with math or science or writing or whatever.

What does your child excel at? What does he enjoy? If he could spend all his free time doing something, what would that activity be? All of us have the same amount of time in a day. When you figure out what your child really likes, you are able to use your time more wisely, focusing on helping your child hone his skills in the area that he chooses. And, as an added bonus, your kid will probably complain a lot less. Because he’s doing what he enjoys.

Kids are not stupid. If they are not good at something, they know it. By encouraging them to continue with an activity that they do not possess any aptitude for, you are just setting them up for failure in the long run. And you also devalue the talents of those who are more qualified for that activity. Instead of being jealous or resentful of those kids, remove yourself – and your child – from the situation by finding something he or she is gifted at and focus on that.

In the real world, not everyone is going to be a brain surgeon. And, really, do we want them to be? Do you want to go to a doctor who only received a passing grade in chemistry because his teacher didn’t want to damage his self-esteem? Do you want an accountant who can’t add or subtract to do your taxes? Should an NFL team recruit – and pay - a receiver who can’t really catch? I know these things sound ridiculous, but that is what we are doing with our kids when we allow them to continue with activities they are not qualified to participate in. Sometimes it’s OK to quit something.

Do your kids a favor: help them discover what they like and are good at, and then create opportunities for them to explore that talent. Support them in what they like, and expose them to others who have similar interests and talents. Teach them to value what their personal gifts are so that they are able to realize their full potential in life.

And then when you need to see that brain surgeon, you will know you are seeing the very best there is.

What are some of your talents?  Have you ever participated in an activity you felt you were unqualified for? How did that make you feel?


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20 comments:

  1. Value in ourselves,others and especially our children -- so important.

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  2. My father taught me my value and worth as a woman and a human being. I am so glad he did. It prevented me from settling for poor treatment. Every woman should know how vlauable she is. Sadly a lot don't. Great post I'll be back.

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    1. Debra, you speak the truth. When we parents teach our children to value themselves, they learn to treat themselves and others with respect. And the world is a much better place because of it.

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  3. You've said my mind Farawayeyes,,
    Thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway..

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  4. True...

    You have done a great job on the A to Z Challenge...
    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    My New Book:
    Retro-Zombie: Art and Words

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  5. Hi, Dawn!

    Such a beautiful name!

    Trekking by from the A-Z Challenge! Almost at a close and its been a lot of fun blog hopping and meeting new people! Nice to meet you and to visit your blog!!

    I think it very important to value yourself; to know your self worth and to know that the example that you set and pass on to children is a worth while pursuit!

    My daughter is grown and I still try to be a positive role model for her and to provide her with positive concepts, perceptions and words of encouragement!I always let her know that she is worthy of being treated with respect, kindness, love, etc. and to never allow anyone to treat her differently; to realize her own self worth and to know that her own self worth is conformation of who she is; not anyone else's thoughts about her if they are negative; that's why it is so important to feel and to know your own self worth- so that regardless of what anyone else thinks- you stand strong in confirming yourself!!


    Hope you will stop by my blog!!


    http://bettyalark.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi, Betty, and thank you so much for stopping by! I think our children are never too old to be reminded of their value (my parents remind me all the time how important my work is, no matter what it may be at the time). Thanks for the kind words!

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  6. Loved this post. My daughter, who has been studying psychology in college, has just decided to change her major to animal health . . . she said as long as she has to work for a living, she wants to do something that she will love and that will make her happy. Amen to that!
    New follower here from A to Z :)

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    1. Judy, you have a very wise daughter, and I agree with her! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Following you back from exposure 99% blog hop. thanks for linking up

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    1. Nina, thanks so much for stopping by, and thanks for the follow!

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  8. we have value, no matter what we do or our passions--i have tried many things i am certainly not an expert on and encourage my kids to do the same--wonderful thoughtful post!

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    1. Lynn, I agree. And I think it's great you encourage your children to try new things! It's so important to keep learning.

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  9. "his teacher didn’t want to damage his self-esteem" - I am always aghast at the thought that we can hand people some "self-esteem" if we just keep telling them they are wonderful at things they are not wonderful at. Encouragement we can give, self-esteem... Isn't self-esteem thinking highly of yourself? How many people do you know that think they are wonderful? Do you like them? Maybe self-confidence is what we are looking for; the confidence to try new things and strike out on their own, not think they are worthless...but not so self-absorbed that they don't notice what they've done to people on the way. It's a fine line, it would seem. Good post! Lots to think about!
    I'm bopping around and checking out blogs from A to Z still - places I missed! Glad I found you! I'm following! http://mainelywrite.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, Donna. I, too, am still trying to visit as many A to Z blogs as possible! I think you are right - our culture has misinterpreted our role in encouraging self-confidence in our children. Parents are only setting their kids up for future failure if they keep telling them they are good at something they are clearly not gifted at. It's OK to tell them they should spend their energy in a more efficient manner by focusing on the things they ARE good at. This will help us all in the long run. I hope more people will continue reminding us of this - support your kids in the things they excel at, even if it's not something you are interested in. But, please, don't lie to them about their abilities in an area they do not have aptitude in. No one is going to be THAT good at everything!

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