Ensuring your child reaches their potential is undoubtedly a priority for any parent. We want them to have the best life possible and for them to realise their God-given talents and gifts. It is an immense responsibility to teach children to give their best and inspire them to live up to their potential.
We’ve uncovered three ways you can be teaching your son to give his best.
1. Maximise his strengths
One of the most significant things you can do for your son is to help him identify his strengths. Parents of successful boys help them to be aware of their talents. When a boy knows his strengths, he knows where he can give his best. However, it doesn’t stop there … flourishing boys are positioned in such a way that their strengths are maximised.
Lea Walters, a professor of positive psychology at the University of Melbourne, challenges parents in her new book to focus on their child’s strengths, rather than their weaknesses. She says:
- “Our brains have this negative bias. Whether we want to or not, we spend more time in fix-it mode with our kids. We spend more time correcting what is wrong – zeroing on weak spots, overcoming their faults and what is lacking in them.”
- “Because you are focusing on their strengths, it opens up the door to have more frequent, more constructive conversations about their weaknesses because the child doesn’t feel defensive.”
- “A lot of research shows it helps the child reach their full potential, yields well-being, and creates a more trusting and positive bond between the parent and child.”
2. Inspire him to grow
It’s one thing for you to tell your son to practise, to study or to read, yet it’s an entirely different thing for your son to have the initiative to engage in these activities and disciplines without having to be told to do so. To see your son take responsibility for his own progress is a special achievement, and this begins with teaching him the importance of hard work and preparation.
Celebrating the process and being disciplined is critical. Be intentional with the type of feedback you give:
- Instead of praising your son for achieving a high grade on a quiz, praise him for his diligence in studying and preparing for the quiz, which led to the achievement.
- Instead of praising your son for winning a competition, congratulate him for all the hard work he put in to training and practising.
3. Set the right goals
Refuse to settle for easy goals. Ensure that the goals you and your son set are reachable but require effort to obtain. If your son can easily run 100 meters in 20 seconds, challenge him to accomplish it in 17 seconds, instead of allowing him to be content with an average performance.
When it comes to teaching your son to give his best, help him to help set goals that are reasonable but will also challenge him to work harder. Having the right goals will expose your son to his capabilities and capacities.
Boys are naturally very competitive; once they achieve an ambitious goal they will want to do more. Nevertheless, it is inevitable that your son will fall short of some of his goals. When this happens:
- Review the goal. Perhaps the goal was too vague or ambitious.
- Ask your son for suggestions. Encourage him to come up with ways to improve in the future.
- Compliment him for his hard work and sticking to the process. This will help build a resilient spirit.
These three points are all excellent ways to teach and encourage your son to give his best and grow into a successful young man, but achieving success is not something he does alone, or just with you, his parents. Encourage him to seek God’s guidance in everything he does. By coming to God in prayer and thanksgiving, your son can be comforted in his journey and find meaningful direction in life.
‘Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men,’ Colossians 3:23.
Fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, we aim to know, understand and nurture each student to help him realise his potential, passion and purpose in life, ensuring that every Trinity boy is challenged, inspired and guided to become a successful, compassionate, internationally-minded man. We are committed to academic excellence.
To learn more about the Trinity difference and to discover why we’re on of Sydney’s leading schools for boys, download our prospectus.