Perhaps you have heard or read some of the controversy and debate surrounding a book released in January entitled, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua. While I want to be clear that there were many things in the book that were extremely alarming to me personally and professionally, there was something that I took from the book that challenged me.
The author made a statement that “Chinese parents assume strength, not fragility, and as a result, they (the children) behave very differently”.
It made me stop and ask myself, “How do I see my child performing when I begin to work with her on any project or new skill? How do I expect my child to master a sport when I sign him/her up? Do I see my child achieving excellence or do I just expect that they will be mediocre from the beginning? If my child whines, do I give in and perceive that my child is weak and cannot work through adversity? If I expect more, believe more, and encourage more…will my child achieve more?”
There are ways to support our children and INSPIRE them to excellence. Perhaps we DO need to stop and make sure that we haven’t allowed our society to lull us into thinking that everything loving has to be comfortable.
Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for your children is to see something in them that they cannot see in themselves. They might try to talk us out of pushing them because of the difficulty, but if we can find that balance of lovingly pushing them, they will one day appreciate that we saw the strength that they possessed to achieve.
There is a great quote that states, “Don’t worry that children seem to not listen to you, worry that they are always watching you.” Children know when you believe in them and they know by your consistent actions and expectations if you are going to “expect the best” from them.
Written by Donna McClintock, CCO with Children’s Choice Learning Center